Nearly 350 graduating apprentices on May 19 were honored at the 2023 Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin Apprentice Graduation Banquet, according to ABC officials. The graduates traveled from different parts of the state and walked across stage in front of families, instructors and state officials at the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
ABC announced Nick Dunlavy, project foreman and master electrician with PDC Electrical Contractors of Monroe, as Craft Professional of the Year, officials said.
Instructor of the Year Award went to Scott Theilig, carpentry instructor at Northwood Technical College in Rice Lake, and Apprentice of the Year Award went to Alex Rodriguez Vazquez, a Waukesha County Technical College student and Dave Jones employee.
ABC presented the Construction Industry Commitment Award to McFarland High School teacher Travis Ray, officials added.
David Polk, Director of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards, congratulated apprenticeships as they moved to the next step in their career.
“I know that this is a day that you all have been working toward for a long time. It is a day of great accomplishment and pride. You have all shown great commitment to your apprenticeships, and it has paid off,” Polk said.
John Mielke, president of ABC of Wisconsin, said those awarded in the ceremony were the future of the construction industry.
“This is the most rewarding event ABC of Wisconsin holds all year because of the accomplishments being acknowledged. These men and women are the future of our industry, and know they will keep our industry in good hands,” Mielke said.
ABC also recognized Ed Crownhart, an instructor at Mid-State Technical College in Marshfield, Wis. and Burt Harding, an apprenticeship representative with the Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards.
Graduating apprentices took part in ABC programs such as carpentry, concrete finishing, electrical, heat and frost insulating, heavy equipment operating, heating, ventilating and air conditioning and steam fitting.