The Western States Electrical Contest was hosted in Portland this year for the first time since 2006. The contest included 7 components of an electrician’s skill, including the following written tests
- A comprehensive written exam, which is a random test based on the first four years of the national Inside Wireman curriculum.
- Material Identification – a written test where contestants may view but not touch 30 items selected by the host and must identify them as if they were placing a purchase order.
- Motor Control Logic Drawing – contestants must create a ladder logic diagram from a set of written instructions and an included material list.
The hands-on events included:
- Residential Wiring
- Motor Control Wiring
- Conduit Bending – ½” EMT
- Conduit Bending – ¾” EMT
There were 20 participants in the 2018 contest, coming from Nevada, California, Utah, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Contestants are selected by each participating JATC from their annual graduating class and gather to represent their respective local unions and NECA chapters.
Portland was proud to offer up Ethan Rinier as the representative for the host JATC and was not disappointed. Ethan demonstrated his skills throughout the day, keeping calm and feeling good about the various events. His experience as an outstanding apprentice paid off as he applied his rigorous study habits and knowledge taking first place in the Written Exam event. He continued to impress throughout the day, also taking first place in the Residential Wiring event as well as the ½” Conduit challenge. Ethan had a varied experience as an apprentice, working for the coastal shop of Cannon Beach Electric as well as a stint at Intel with OEG and Rosendin, and wrapping up his apprenticeship working for Stoner Electric in service, where he continues today.
The awards banquet featured a few remarks from LU 48 Business manager Gary Young and Christensen Vice President of Operations, Sonja Rheaume, followed by keynote Speaker Todd Stafford, Executive Director of the Electrical Training ALLIANCE. Awards were presented as each contestant was given a Milwaukee 18V drill/driver kit, gift cards, meters and contest swag from contest sponsors Platt Electric, Milwaukee Tool and, of course, the NIETC.
As final awards were given, Lee Bowman, Trade Specialist, and Edgar Aponte, President of Platt Electric, addressed the group to recognize the excellent performance of each and every contestant.
All combined, Portland contestant Ethan applied his vast experience to wrap up the ceremonies with a First Place overall finish in addition to his three individual event wins. First, Second and Third place, as well as individual event winners, received prize money for their accomplishments. The First place winning JATC, Portland OR, also gets the honor to display the Carl Sorensen traveling trophy for the next year after adding Ethan’s name to the plaque. The contest history dates back to 1963.
Next year’s contest will be hosted by the SW Washington Electrical JATC on Sept. 7, 2019 in Tacoma, WA.