More than 275 sheet metal contestants and their families will come to Las Vegas March 5-9, to take part in the Annual International Sheet Metal Competition, which allows apprentices and journeymen from throughout the U.S. and Canada to demonstrate their skills.

The competition will take place at Caesars Palace – located at 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South – as well as at the Sheet Metal Local #88’s Joint Apprenticeship Training Center – located in Las Vegas at 2540 Marco Street, just off North Nellis Blvd. and East Carey Ave. The competition is held in conjunction with the 2012 Partners in Progress Conference, which is hosted by a partnership between the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA) and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA).

For the second year, the detailing competition allows journeymen, as well as apprentices, to show their experience and skill as they compete for a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lo motorcycle provided by Henderson Harley-Davidson.

This year, Sean Edwards, an apprentice from Rock City, IL, tested and qualified as one of the top 12 finalists. The detailing category is the only category that permits journeymen to enter. Apprentice contestants will compete in five sheet metal disciplines including HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning), industrial/welding, service, architectural, and Testing, Adjusting and Balancing (TAB) in heating and air conditioning. Each competition, no matter the discipline, may consist of a written test, sketching projects, shop project and blueprint reading test.

“It’s exciting to have the detailing category included for the second year and with such diversity. Not only do we have an apprentice competing alongside journeymen, but Amelia Kelsay is the only female to test and become a finalist,” said James Shoulders, executive administrator for ITI. “The competition is a fun way to bring all these different talents from different backgrounds together in one place. It really showcases the talent and skill level of members in our industry.”

Hosted by the ITI, apprentices will compete March 6 and 7, with the detailers contest on March 6, 7 and 8. Apprentice Partnership Sessions, hosted by Partners in Progress, are scheduled for March 8 with regional and industrial breakout sessions on March 9. The reception and awards banquet will take place the evening of Friday, March 9.

The Partners in Progress Conference, held every other year, will feature a new program format and emphasize creative collaboration for labor and management through breakout sessions and educational opportunities. This year’s theme is “We Mean Business."

More than 15,000 apprentices are registered at training facilities in the U.S. and Canada. The International Training Institute (best known as ITI) is jointly sponsored by Sheet Metal Worker's International Association (SMWIA) and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA). ITI offers apprenticeship and advanced career training for union workers in the sheet metal industry throughout the U.S. and Canada. Located in Alexandria, VA, ITI produces a standardized sheet metal curriculum supported by a wide variety of training materials free of charge to sheet metal apprentices and journeymen.

For more information about the contest or ITI, visit www.sheetmetal-iti.org or call 703-739-7200.