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Matt Klebs
Vice President
Klebs Mechanical
Anchorage, Alaska

The construction trades are facing an interesting time in which the industry will be looking at this new generation to become the technical experts and leaders of tomorrow. I believe the NCC fosters a drive for these young competitors to be their best and accomplish more than they thought they could. In doing that, momentum continues to build after the competition for them to reach even greater goals. It is extremely satisfying to see these young people evolve in many cases from a high school graduate to a competitor on the national level. For this to happen, a company must commit to training, motivating and creating an environment that will allow young apprentices to flourish. We have had representation at the national level for the past four years, and have placed twice. Our apprentices consistently demonstrate exceptional skill and dedication to their craft. That energy spreads throughout the organization as a whole and creates a sense of pride. It also gives the first-year apprentices a goal to reach for.

Tom Wanamaker
Training Manager
Starcon International, Inc.
New Lenox, Ill.

By sending our welding, pipefitting and insulation apprentices to the NCC, we can reward our top performers, benchmark our training program, network with other instructors and learn about the latest innovations in workforce development. The event is well organized and professional, and the friendships and bonds created are priceless. We also encourage the competitors
to bring a guest. For many, this is the first time they can share what they actually do at work. The competitors
and attendees are left with a feeling of pride and professionalism they will always remember. Our past competitors usually become our next instructors. Filling our pipeline of quality craftspeople is what interested me most and sparked me to become engaged in ABC at a national level. Sharing best practices allows us to become better.

Jamie Van Voorhis
Senior Manager, Workforce Development
Birmingham, Ala.

Our continued success depends on having a workforce that is skilled, safe, productive, motivated and flexible. The NCC gives our craft employees an opportunity to compete against the “best of the best” from across the industry. There is a tremendous amount of excitement leading up to the competition that permeates throughout the organization—from the competitor to the workforce development team and up to executive leadership. The pride that comes with participating in the event is exhilarating and enduring. Even years later, competitors always say they remember it like it was yesterday. Skill development and the NCC are effective ways to engage employees in our company‚Äôs “learning organization” culture—where continuous skill and knowledge acquisition is seen as a competitive advantage.

Competitor registrations for the 2015 National Craft Championships are due Dec. 1. For more information, visit www.nationalcraftchampionships.org.

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