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Harris County Welders Make History in Winning National Awards at ABC’s National Craft Championships

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) proudly announces that three Harris County craft workers won medals at the 29th annual National Craft Championships. Lindsey Irvine won the gold medal in the pipe welding competition while Michael Noschese and Jose Morua won the gold medal and silver medals respectively in the structural welding competition. All three competitors were honored during the Careers in Construction awards ceremony on March 4.

“The dedication to top-notch construction, quality craftsmanship and world-class safety exhibited by this year’s award winners is truly impressive,” said 2016 ABC National Chair David Chapin, president of Willmar Electric Service, Lincoln, Nebraska. “With the workforce shortage facing the construction industry, each of this year’s competitors and finalists will play an important role in the future of merit shop construction. Our member companies are fortunate to employ such skilled craftsmen and women.”

Irvine is the first female competitor to win a gold medal in the pipe welding competition; she works for JVIC, a Zachry Group company, in La Porte. Noschese, a Houston native and senior at Lewis Career and Technical High School, is the youngest gold medal winner in the history of the structural welding competition; he works for Performance Contractors, Inc. in Rosharon. Morua, a Pasadena native, works for Jacobs in Baytown.

Gold medal winners earned a cash prize of $750 and silver medal winners won $500. All medal winners also received tools from Hilti and Klein and a pair of boots from Keen.

The National Craft Championships featured a field of more than 200 craft professionals competing for top honors in 15 competitions across 13 crafts. Competitors first took an intense, two-hour written exam and then competed in daylong hands-on practical performance test

The competition was developed in 1987 to help celebrate and recognize craft training in construction careers. Each year the competition draws some of the nation’s most talented craft professionals and highlights the important role that craft skills training plays in the construction industry. The National Craft Championships Committee, which is composed of leading merit shop construction firms, plans all year for the two-day competition.

A complete list of the winners is available on ABC’s website.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association representing nearly 21,000 chapter members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically, profitably and for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at abc.org.