By: Cindy DeWire, Director of Apprenticeship, ABC Keystone

Here at ABC, apprenticeship training is in full swing! Classes started last September, and the Shop/Training Lab at the Chapter facility has been busy with hands-on training during all our trade classes. While it is important that apprentices learn the theory of their trade and the “how’s and why’s,” it has been our main goal–while expanding our building and hiring full-time instructors–to increase hands-on education opportunities in every apprenticeship class. I would encourage you to check out our training facility if you are in the building and see first-hand what our classes have been learning.

Plumbing classes are taught by Randy Doxzon, and the following are some highlights from his classes over the last month:

Plumbing 1 – Safety and how it impacts jobs and companies.
Plumbing 2 – Fire-Stopping along with Installing and testing DWV systems.
Plumbing 3 – Water Treatment. Students brought water in from their own homes and tested it. They also covered types of vents and sizing of DWV and storm water systems. The class completed worksheets to size systems.
Plumbing 4 – Indirect and Special Waste along with Hydronic and Solar Heating Systems. The class did a takeoff for the shop boiler that they will install next class. Also, Vernon Bitzer came into class to do HTP boiler training.

HVAC is taught by our newest instructor Derek Robbins. Below are some highlights from his classes over the past month:

HVAC 1 – Basic Electricity. The class drew basic wiring diagrams for electrical circuits in class and then wired them in the shop.
HVAC 2 – Compressors and Refrigerants and Oils. This class began piping for refrigeration mock-up
HVAC 3 – Troubleshooting Cooling. The class installed air conditioning systems and trouble shot different issues. They also worked on wire cooling circuits on wiring boards while troubleshooting.
HVAC 4 – Indoor Air Quality and Water Treatment. This class took samples of boiler system and tested for pH, iron and hardness. They also performed IAQ evaluations on roof top units.

Sheet Metal 1 is also taught by Derek Robbins, and this year is the first time that ABC has had day classes for this trade.

Our level 1 apprentices are enjoying the day classes and have been using the tools and equipment of the trade to fabricate toolboxes from a drawing. They have used a plasma arc cutter (the first time for most of the students) to fabricate a fan bracket from sheet steel and then bended the backet to the shape specified in the drawing.

Watch for future apprenticeship class updates and pictures of projects in the ABC training facility! Visit abckeystone.org or call Cindy DeWire at the Chapter office with any apprenticeship questions.

Posted January 11, 2022