Cynthia Chan of Portland, Ore., with her plaque for first place in the testing, adjusting, and balancing competition.

LAS VEGAS - There were 36 contestants proving their mettle in this year's International Apprentice Contest.

The March 27-29 event, sponsored by the Sheet Metal Workers union-affiliated International Training Institute, took place at a training facility operated by the union and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association.

Contestants were the top finishers from 12 regional apprentice competitions. They were judged in the categories of HVAC; testing, adjusting and balancing; and industrial/welding.

Prizes included up to $3,000 and welding equipment from Lincoln Electric.

In the testing, adjusting and balancing category, first place went to Cynthia L. Chan of Portland, Ore. She works for Vancouver Refrigeration and Sheet Metal.

Second place was awarded to Chino Hills, Calif., resident Stephen C. Miller. He works for Precision Air Balance Co.

Chris Coatsworth of San Jose, Calif., took third place. He is employed by United Mechanical Inc.

In the HVAC competition, Nathan E. Harris of Fresno, Calif., was given first place. He works for New England Sheet Metal.

Second place was handed to Jason W. Fulton of Belmont, Mich. He works for Certified Sheet Metal.

Redmond, Wash., resident Vaughn White won third place. His employer is Bellevue Mechanical.

In the industrial contest, Joseph S. Pavek of Montgomery, Minn., won first place. He works for Himee Inc.

Second place was given to Darek A. Scarlavai, who works for Bauer Sheet Metal and Fabrication in Sparta, Mich.

The third-place winner was Christopher R. Whatley of Senoia, Ga. He works for RF Know Co. Inc.