NEW YORK – Over half of America’s skilled trade employees are nearing retirement age and fewer men and women are being prepared to take their places. To address the shortage of skilled laborers, the Copper Development Association (CDA) sponsored the copper piping portion of the annual the United Association (UA) Competition and Instructor Training Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan on August 13-18.
The annual competition featured apprentices from the UA’s six North American districts and Australia who had won local and state events. The week-long event included a series of tests in each field – plumbing, pipefitting, sprinkler fitting, mechanical service and welding – that required apprentices to apply the on-the-job skills and knowledge they’ve gathered at their local union halls. The four-hour copper component of the competition included nearly every type of joining technique for piping systems.