City Resident Places Third In Regional Contest
In March, a Ridout’s Heating and Cooling employee reached a pinnacle in his metal working career.
Jasen Swanson of Jamestown attended the annual Region I Sheet Metal Workers apprenticeship contest. Region I is the East Coast branch of the Sheet Metal Workers Union, which in turn is part of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers.
The event took place at the training facility at Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 in Quincy, Mass., south of Boston from March 21-23. The competition involved selected fourth year apprentices of the Sheet Metal Workers from across the East Coast.
Swanson placed third among the top 10 apprentices in the northeast. The competition included sheet metal workers from areas such as New York City, Boston and Maine.
Swanson is a member of the Sheet Metal Workers Local 112 on East Second Street in Jamestown. Swanson is a fourth-year apprentice in sheet metal working and will be a journeyman next year.
The event was described as challenging by Swanson.
“It was intense,” he said.
This is Swanson’s first year partaking in a Region I Sheet Metal Workers contest. The incentive to compete initiated when he was encouraged by Scott Rideout, Ridout’s Heating and Cooling owner.
“He told me I might be able to try for this year and I said, ‘I might as well,”‘ Swanson said.
Swanson also credited seeing Ridout’s award from the same contest on the wall at Local 112. Rideout placed first at the event in Danbury, Conn., in 2004.
The experience was also new to Swanson because he had rarely welded until he entered the program.
“I am a trained welder, but had not done much of it prior to this,” Swanson said.
To qualify for the event, Swanson had to place best in his class at Local 112. Attendees were also able to qualify in their second and third year of apprenticeship.
The event included three tests in which contestants were judged. The categories were a written exam, drafting and blueprint reading. Swanson placed first in all categories. In addition, contestants also took part in welding and shop events.