Houston to Host Iron Workers Apprentice Competition

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Apprentices from across North America will meet in Houston to compete for the top spot.

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“The outstanding apprentices of today will be the leaders of tomorrow,” says Iron Workers General President Eric Dean.

Strength and skill will be on display once again for the Iron Workers Outstanding Apprentice Competition. The 2016 competition will be held in Houston from September 28, 2016 to October 1, 2016, and will be hosted by the Texas and Mid-South States District Council.

“The outstanding apprentices of today will be the leaders of tomorrow,” says Iron Workers General President Eric Dean. “While these apprentices represent their local unions and district councils, they also demonstrate the core of what makes an ironworker: excellence in their knowledge, skills and attitudes."

Ironworkers from each Iron Worker District Council will display their knowledge, dexterity and skill in eight different areas.

Written test:
The written test consists of 100 questions taken directly from the Iron Worker Training Manuals.

Welding Test:
The welding competition requires apprentices to complete a 3/8 inch fillet weld in all four positions: flat, horizontal, vertical and overhead. The welds are graded based upon quality.

Burning Test:
The burning competition requires apprentices to correctly lay out and burn a circle and square, make a bevel cut and a straight cut. Contestants are judged on accuracy of layout and cut as well as quality of cuts.

Instrument Test:
The instrument test requires apprentices to set up an instrument, establish the height of the instrument and figure the elevation of benchmarks above and below the height of the instrument.

Knot-Tying Competition:
The knot tying competition requires that apprentices correctly tie eight knots. The knots are chosen at random from the Iron Workers Rigging Manual the day of the test. They also must correctly reeve two sets of blocks.

Rod-Tying Competition:
In the rod tying competition, competitors have one minute to tie the snap tie, snap and a wrap, saddle tie, saddle and a wrap and the figure 8 tie. The scores that an apprentice gets on each tie are tallied to give his or her overall score.

Ornamental Competition:
The apprentices use a print to properly assemble a glazed window unit in an allotted amount of time. Points are awarded for speed and accuracy.

Column-Climb Competition:
The column-climb challenges apprentices to race to the top of a 35-foot column. The top-ten fastest competitors will be eligible for a “winner takes all” climb; the winner of that competition will receive a special trophy and a cash prize.

The Iron Workers spend millions annually on training in 154 training centers throughout the US and Canada. Apprentices spend a minimum of 200 hours each year in class to learn the required skills to be a journeyman ironworker. An Iron Worker Apprenticeship lasts three to four years, and apprentices complete 6,000 to 8,000 hours of hands-on learning in addition to the classroom training.

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