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2018 North Carolina HVAC/R Apprentice Contest

The fourteenth annual North Carolina HVAC/R Apprentice Contest was held on Friday, October 19th at the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, NC. The contest is sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Community Colleges/Apprenticeship NC and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
The contest was opened with a Toolbox Safety Talk by Eric Smith, a representative of the NC Occupational Safety Department (OSHA) who covers safety topics that are pertinent to the work that the apprentices will be doing during the contest.

Participants in the North Carolina HVAC/R apprentice contest
Participants in the North Carolina HVAC/R apprentice contest

The apprentices compete in a series of technical and trade skills stations that test the apprentice’s abilities in brazing, electrical trouble shooting, refrigerant recovery, system operational analysis, writing customer service reports and customer interviews. The contest also includes a comprehensive written exam. The stations and written exam are modified from year to year to provide a variety of skill tests.

Volunteers from various HVAC contractors, County Code inspection departments, equipment manufacturers and local unions work throughout the year to plan each year’s contest. On the day of the contest, the volunteers serve as judges for the various segments of the contest.

A very large tent is erected to house the different apprentice contests. Fair goers can observe the apprentices as they participate in the contest.

The contest is open to all HVAC/R apprentices registered with the N.C. Department of Community Colleges/Apprenticeship NC, and who will not have completed their apprenticeship prior to October 19, 2018. Each apprentice must be sponsored by a registered apprentice program or Apprenticeship Committee. We were excited to have two Pre-Apprentices from the Vernon Malone College and Career Academy compete this year.

Cash prizes provided by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture are awarded to the first through tenth place contestants. A wide variety of companies and organizations also share in sponsoring the contest by providing cash and other prizes that are distributed to the participants in the contest. The 2018 first place winner was Brandon Marsh an apprentice who works for Thomas Built Buses in Thomasville, North Carolina, while attending Guilford Technical Community College.

For additional information about the contest or Apprenticeship in NC, contact Mr. Ryan McCarty at the N.C. Department of Community Colleges/Apprenticeship NC, in Raleigh, NC. Phone (919) 807-7175 or visit the web site at http://www.apprenticeshipnc.com.

For more information regarding Contest Sponsorship or Prize donations you can email Committee Chairman John Todaro at: jjtodaro@earthlink.net.