BATON ROUGE, LA. – The Pelican Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. today hosted its annual high school craft championship in welding, carpentry and electrical for local high school students at its Baton Rouge Training Center. The competitors represented schools in Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Point Coupee and West Feliciana Parish.
ABC Pelican has hosted high school craft competitions for more than two decades. At the 2019 championship, more than 100 local eleventh and twelfth graders training to be welders, electricians and carpenters competed against one another to showcase their skills, claim trophies, win prizes and take back bragging rights to their respective schools. The competition consisted of a classroom test and a hands-on component.
Students who competed in the craft competition today were either nominated by their teachers or won an internal competition amongst peers. Allison Coleman teaches Electrical Level 1 and Level 2 at Central High School and was at the championships today to support her three students competing in the electrical category.
“They like showing off their skills,” Coleman commented as she watched her student compete. “This competition offers the students real world experience and it lets them interact with industry”
Coleman said it’s good to see an industry that cares about educating its future craft professionals.
One future craft professional to compete today is Tristan Acosta, a Senior at St. Amant High School and welding student at ABC Pelican. His welding team took home first today.
“I weld at school during the day and at ABC Pelican at night. I feel at home at ABC Pelican,” Acosta said after he wrapped his test and welding components. “I didn’t know much about welding when I came here, but the instructors taught me so much here at ABC Pelican. Now, I’ve got a good knack for it and my instructors say I’m pretty good at it.”
Anthony Mason is another welder who competed today. The Senior at Albany High School gives credit to his dad for helping him develop the skill set he brought to today’s competition.
“I’m here to win and I think I’ve got what it takes,” Mason said after the hands-on component. “Opportunities like this will help me find a job, make my resume better and make me a better welder.”
A welding instructor present at today’s competition is Billy Doiron, who has been teaching at Live Oak High School for 18 years. Three of his students competed in welding and three competed in electrical.
“The key to these crafts is practice,” Doiron said. “ABC Pelican not only recognizes the importance of future of the workforce, but also provides the necessary resources and tools to ensure they are equipped to have a career in this industry.”
A first-time carpentry team from Belaire High School said their necessary resource today was teamwork. Carpentry Junior Jose Villanueva described in detail the building process. “They gave us plywood and the instructions and then we got to work.”
“Our teamwork is great, we are all equal,” Villanueva remarked. “We wouldn’t have completed the job without each other.”
Erren LaRose, Senior Carpenter at Belaire, agreed with Villanueva: “Through teamwork and trusting each other, we got it done.”
The following individuals and teams placed at the 2019 ABC Pelican High School Craft Championships:
1st – West Feliciana High School
2nd – Holden High School
3rd – Central High School
1st – Live Oak High School
2nd – West Feliciana High School
3rd – Central High School
1st – Dylan George – West Feliciana High School
2nd – Mason Stephens – Live Oak High School
3rd – Logan Scuderi – Maurepas High School
1st – Brennan Oubre – Livonia High School
2nd – Tristan Acosta – St. Amant High School
3rd – Trey Hebert – St. Amant High School
1st – St. Amant High School
2nd -- Livonia High School
3rd – Live Oak High School
The Pelican Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. (ABC) was incorporated in 1980 and covers 52 parishes in Louisiana. It is a diverse, non-profit, trade association of contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry professionals who have joined together to advance the construction industry by supporting their mission, to promote and protect the Merit Shop Philosophy and the principles of the free enterprise system in the construction industry.
Pelican Chapter, ABC is a non-profit organization based in Baton Rouge, LA. For information on Pelican Chapter communications and media contact Erika Walter, 225-448-3348.