Apprentices entered in the competition has already won contests at their local Joint Apprenticeship and Training Center as well as at one of 12 regional events held the third weekend in March. They were tested on their skills at shop fabrication, drafting, reading plans and specifications, and had to complete a two-hour written exam. Fourth-year students were also judged on their welding ability. The prizes ranged from $700 for second-year students to $2,500 for fourth-year apprentices. First-place winners also received a $5,000 mutual fund, provided by financial services company Invesco.
At the May 3 awards banquet, all participants received a copper cowboy boot, handmade by Local 2 apprentices and instructors.