[Indianapolis, Indiana] Associated Builders and Contractors of Indiana (ABC) hosted its 2016 Graduation Event for Indiana apprentices on Friday, May 20. The event recognized 77 graduates across ABC’s Indiana training sites in the following craft areas: Carpentry, Electrical, HVAC, Plumbing, Pipefitting, Roofing and Sheet Metal. The Indianapolis Colts offered ABC the use of their pavilion on Indy’s Westside. Graduates and their families were provided a photo opportunity with the famous Vince Lombardi Trophy. Ben Davis High School Junior ROTC kicked off the graduation ceremony with a presentation of the colors, vocalist Hailey Allen sang the National Anthem, and electrical instructor Gene Senter led the Pledge of Allegiance. 2016 Indiana Board Chairman, John Roop of Capitol City Fence, provided the invocation.
ABC President J.R. Gaylor gave opening remarks during which National Craft Instructor of the Year (2016) John Lupacchino was recognized for his passion for training. Lupacchino stated, “My biggest accomplishment in the Industry [are] the people I’ve been able to teach.” Bryan Feller, one of four finalists for the 2016 National Craft Professional of the Year Award, was also recognized for his dedication to craft education. Feller stated, “A career in the trades allowed you to get a degree while working in your field. Not only are apprentices able to complete the ABC training program but are able to simultaneously receive a college degree from Vincennes University.” Lupacchino, Feller, and a strong team of dedicated instructors provide ABC apprentices with top notch training education. This year, the Indiana/Kentucky Chapter had two national champions, one silver medalist, and one bronze medalist at the 2016 National Craft Championships in March, providing clear evidence of ABC’s strong training program and tradition of excellence!
Three keynote speakers addressed the graduates: Dr. Charles Johnson, President of Vincennes University, special guest David Chapin, 2016 ABC National Board Chairman of ABC, and Josh Bleill, retired U.S. Marine Lance Corporal and motivational speaker. Each speech not only recognized the achievements of the graduates but offered encouragement and support as they transition into more responsibility in the field.
Dr. Jeanne Fredericks, Director of Education, presented graduates with ABC Craft Professional Certificates and Vincennes University Associate Degrees in front of 400 family, friends, and special guests. Rob Griffith, 2016 Indiana Trust Board Chairman, provided closing remarks for the evening.
Event sponsors for the evening included Vincennes University, Gaylor Electric Inc., Fredericks, Inc. Contractors, Ellis Mechanical & Electrical, Ferrer Mechanical Services, James Babcock, Inc., Pinpoint Resources Inc., Talent Logistix, and Edwards Electrical and Mechanical.
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association representing nearly 21,000 chapter members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically, profitably and for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at www.abcindianakentucky.org.