CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Plumbing apprentices from UA Local 149 based in Savoy under Davis Houk Mechanical were recognized for taking home the top honors in a recent statewide competition.
Cole Reedy, a 2019 Monticello high school graduate, won the top pipefitting honor in the state, and Alex Matlock, a 2015 LeRoy high school graduate, finished second in plumbing during the two-day competition in Rockford.
Reedy and Matlock are in their third year of Local 149’s five-year apprenticeship program. Last month, they competed against other Local 149 apprentices in order to qualify for the state contest.
For both competitions, they completed written tests, followed by a two-day project to test their abilities. Judges focused on their accuracy, technique and precision before naming the winners.
“We are proud of the work that our apprentices do and the recognition that Cole and Alex earned,” Derek Reedy, local 149 training director, said in a news release. “When we invest in our training programs, we’re investing in the next generation of local union workers who will be providing high-quality service to businesses and homeowners for decades to come.”
Now that he won at state, Reedy will advance to a district competition in June competing against other state champion pipefitters from across the Midwest in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
“Plumbing is something I really enjoy doing,” Reedy said. “With the right people teaching you, anyone can do it, though not many are willing to do it.”