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Realty Builder
Jax Daily Record Friday, Jun. 15, 201808:47 AM EST

Apprenticeship Program graduates enter construction trades

Economy, industry rely on trained construction labor
by: Realty Builder Staff Staff Writer

By NEFBA Staff

Thirty-two construction trades apprentices were honored by their friends, family NEFBA Apprenticeship instructors, administrators and business partners as they received their certificates of completion May 8 at the Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Downtown campus. The certificates represent the successful completion of four years of classroom instruction and on-the-job training in the NEFBA program. 

The graduates will help meet the demand for skilled craftsmen in the electrical, carpentry, plumbing and heating and air-conditioning trades.

NEFBA Executive Officer Bill Garrison opened the ceremony with an invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance. Keith Ward, NEFBA training vice president and chairman of the apprenticeship executive board, offered encouraging words to the graduates and expressed the program’s gratitude to the industry partners who contribute to the program. They are Keiser University, the School District of Clay County, the Florida Apprenticeship Grant team, Bill Lauver of the Florida Department of Education and the NEFBA member employers who provide on-the-job training, salary and tuition expenses for apprentices in the program.

The city of Jacksonville declared May 8 “NEFBA Apprenticeship Day.” Steve Auld of Auld & White read the resolution acknowledging NEFBA’s contribution to the local economy, the building industry and the careers of the 32 graduates. 

Chris Dostie, president of Dostie Homes and the 2018 NEFBA president, delivered the keynote address. Dostie told the graduates the skills they have gained fill a vital need. He said the graduates should consider themselves to be the next leaders to bring more apprentices up through the ranks as they move into management roles themselves.

NEFBA Training Manager Charlie Libretto read each graduate’s name and certificates were presented by Keith Ward, Bil Lauver, Garrison and Dostie.

Keith Ward is embraced by Kaycee Cousins, an Electrical honors graduate who works for Advanced Wiring Services Inc.

Outstanding Apprenticeship Awards

Each trade presented an award as the outstanding apprentice in this year’s graduating class.

•Alejandro Hernandez-Rodriguez, working at Haskell, was named Outstanding Apprentice in Carpentry. The award was made by Brandon Warner, Thomas May Construction and chairman of the carpentry committee.

•Tyler MacEachern, working at Miles Electric, was named Outstanding Apprentice in Electrical. Steve Glover, Deberry Electric and chair of the electrical committee, presented the award.

•Anthony McKay, working for Thermodyne, received the award as Outstanding Apprentice in HVAC. The award was presented by Rick Harper of Florida Comfort and chairman of the HVAC committee.

•Jason Steeg, working for his family’s business of Steeg Plumbing, received the Outstanding Apprentice in plumbing from Scott Wood of C.W. Wood Plumbing and chair of the plumbing committee.

A special presentation by American Electrical and the electrical apprentices in his class was made to the family of Tyler Douglas. Douglas, who passed away in February, was named this year’s Honorary Apprentice of Achievement.

The Carmel Morris Award for Apprentice Employer of the Year was presented to Greener Solutions Air. Curt Kinder received the award for Greener Solutions Air at the January installation of officers.

The Apprenticeship Program is led by Director Christina Thomas, Manager Charlie Libretto, Training Coordinator Tatum Ellison and NCCER Support Specialist Doug Powell. Administrative Assistant Payton Woods is the Apprenticeship Program director.

For more information about the Apprenticeship Program, call (904) 421-0296.

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