Indiana apprentices to compete in hands-on sheet metal competition

State contest to feature students from across the state May 5-6

SOUTH BEND, IND — The Sheet Metal Workers Local No. 20 Training Center will host students from across the state in the hands-on Indiana Sheet Metal Apprenticeship Competition from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6, at the Sheet Metal Workers Local 20 South Bend Training Center, 2605 S. Main St. in South Bend, Indiana. An award ceremony will take place at 6 p.m., Saturday, May 6, at the Four Winds Field, 501 W. South Street.

Apprentices, who attend five-year schools across the state, will showcase their skills and expertise during the statewide apprenticeship contest, which will test the skills of students across the state in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning); industrial; service; and testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB). The hands-on competition not only tests their skills in the lab, but it also tests their nerves and the ability to do work under pressure.

The term “higher education” can take on many connotations. Where some believe it means attending a two- or four-year college or university, there is another side to higher education: apprenticeship in the skilled labor trades. Apprentices at more than 153 unionized sheet metal training centers across the United States and Canada go to classes, attend labs, earn grades and receive on-the-job training in five-year programs. Apprentices are paid while they work to become journeymen, and graduate debt free. While they don’t process down the aisle in caps and gowns for graduation, they are rewarded with hourly wages above and beyond those many university graduates can hope to earn.

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