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Apprentices square off in provincial cabinetmaking competition

March 21, 2014

Apprentice Winner 2013

From left: AWMAC President Curtis Popel, RRC apprentice Leonard Derksen, and RRC instructor Todd Birtwhistle, at last year’s National Apprenticeship Contest.

Best of luck to the RRC students taking part in this weekend’s Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC) Cabinetmaking Apprenticeship competition.

The nine-hour event will unfold at RRC’s Notre Dame Campus this Saturday, during which time eight apprentices will compete for the top spot, and for prizes supplied by AWMAC and RRC’s Cabinetmaking Apprenticeship Fund.

The winner will advance to the nationals, where his or her project will be judged against winning projects from throughout Canada.

Last year’s provincial winner, Leonard Derksen (shown above), went on to take top honours at the National Apprenticeship Contest. The following RRC apprentices are competing in this year’s provincial round:

  • Mike Baker
  • Alicia Demare
  • Travis Devisser
  • Marcus Dyck
  • Derek Friesen
  • Adam Hajkowski
  • Marc Lindenberg
  • Julia Smith

The AWMAC’s Manitoba chapter provides a valuable link between the College and industry. RRC has hosted these competitions for nearly 20 years, and 11 years ago strengthened ties even further by becoming an educational member of the Manitoba Millwork Association.

Instructors Mike Watson and Todd Birtwhistle have been attending monthly MMA meetings for more than a decade; both took part in the cabinetmaking competition — and won — while still apprentices some 15 years ago.

“We make this happen with the logistical support of our instructional team, as this event is close to our hearts,” says Watson. “These are the ties that employ our students and participate in our advisory committees, making our program stronger. We also do this so that the apprentices’ employers can be exposed to the authentic real-life training that happens at RRC, and so we can give them specific goals to focus on when their employees go back to work.”

Click here for a full list of AWMAC Manitoba members.