Associated Builders and Contractors announced that two ABC Pelican Chapter trainees won medals at the 29th annual National Craft Championships, while a third won a safety award.

Ryan Diez and Derek Ray took home the silver and bronze medals respectively in the instrumentation fitting competition and George Cisneros Jr. won the safety award in the millwright competition. All three men were honored during the Careers in Construction awards ceremony March 4.

“The dedication to top-notch construction, quality craftsmanship and world-class safety exhibited by this year’s award winners is truly impressive,” said 2016 ABC National Chairman David Chapin, president of Willmar Electric Service, of Lincoln, Nebraska. “With the workforce shortage facing the construction industry, each of this year’s competitors and finalists will play an important role in the future of merit shop construction. Our member companies are fortunate to employ such skilled craftsmen and women.”

Diez, a Gonzales native, works for Triad Electric and Controls in Baton Rouge.

Ray, a Prairieville native, works for ISC Constructors LLC in Baton Rouge,

Cisneros, of Baton Rouge, works for Turner Industries Group LLC.

All three men are finishing their training programs at ABC’s Pelican Chapter in Baton Rouge.

Silver medal winners earned a cash prize of $500 and bronze medal winners took home $350. All medal winners received tools from Hilti and Klein and a pair of boots from Keen.

The National Craft Championships featured a field of more than 200 craft professionals competing for top honors in 15 competitions across 13 crafts. Competitors first took an intense, two-hour written exam and then competed in daylong hands-on practical performance tests.

The competition was developed in 1987 to help celebrate and recognize craft training in construction careers. Each year the competition draws some of the nation’s most talented craft professionals and highlights the important role that craft skills training plays in the construction industry. The National Craft Championships Committee, which is composed of leading merit shop construction firms, plans all year for the two-day competition.