More than 325 Canadian and American sheet metal apprentices, their families and other sheet metal professionals will travel to Las Vegas March 6-10 as part of the Annual International Sheet Metal Competition.

“It’s great to be back in Las Vegas for another year,” says James Shoulders, executive administrator for ITI. “The city was a welcoming host last year with a convenient location and affordability for our contestants and their families. Las Vegas is also home to a state-of-the-art apprenticeship training center, which is one of the top facilities in the country. This competition was meant for Las Vegas.”

Last year, apprentices competed in high numbers due to bypassing the regional competitions held in previous years. This year, the competition introduces another first – the introduction of the detailing category, which is open to apprentices and journeymen. This is the first year journeymen are allowed to compete in the annual competition; the detailer category is the only category journeymen will be allowed to take part in. The winner of this category will drive home in a new pickup truck.

“Offering a prize like this turns up the level of excitement and encourages detailers to get certified, so they can register,” Shoulders said. “This category is going to be the highlight of this year’s competition – everyone in the industry is going to want to know who won.” Other than detailing, competitors will compete in five other sheet metal disciplines including HVAC , industrial/welding, service, architectural and TAB (Test Adjust Balance in heating and air conditioning). Each competition, no matter the discipline, consists of a written test, sketching projects, a shop project and a blueprint reading test.

Hosted by the International Training Institute (ITI), the contest will take place Monday and Tuesday, March 7 and 8, with an awards banquet on Wednesday, March 9. Activities for the competition will take place at Sheet Metal Local #88’s Joint Apprenticeship Training Center – located at 2540 Marco Street, just off North Nellis Boulevard and East Carey Avenue.

As well as training students, Sheet Metal Local No. 88 also trains sheet metal instructors from around the country. More than 15,000 apprentices are registered at training facilities in the United States 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 United States 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.