CMEF-Sponsored Brandon Moore, JACOBS, Wins Gold at National Craft Championship
Welding was the last category to be called at the National Craft Championship’s (NCC) award ceremony, and welding competitor Brandon Moore truly doubted his name would be called at all.
“On the written part, I was pretty sure I got 95 percent of the questions right. On the welding part, I felt pretty good because at that point you can actually walk around and compare your work. I was fairly confident. The last part, though, I thought I threw it away,” Moore said.
The final welding section offered a new challenge to competitors. Moore had a late start and began to hurry. He was racing against the clock, with only an hour to finish. When the time was up, he’d done the work correctly but didn’t get to finish. He said if he could have done it again, he would’ve slowed down.
“I was counting myself out during the entire award ceremony. I was ready to pack up my stuff and go home. As I was standing on stage, they called my name for the gold. I was the last name called of all of the crafts and all of the medals. It blew my mind. I kept checking my name on the check,” Moore said
His employer, JACOBS, Construction and Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF), and Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Greater Houston assisted Moore in his extensive training for the NCCs, a two-day craft competition. He had to complete a writing test and then a hands-on application the following day. Moore said the crowd of family, friends, colleagues and strangers in the stadium during the hands-on application portion did not intimidate him.
“They can all walk by, but one of the great things about welding is that you’ve got that welding screen, so they can see your outline. It’s still pretty private in there. Once that hood drops, the whole world disappears. It’s just that little piece of metal in the two by four window,” Moore said.
But Moore’s journey to the NCCs did not begin behind the welding screen, but in a different field all together. Moore worked as a certified nursing assistant before deicing to switch careers. He heard of construction companies hiring in the Greater Houston area requiring “no experience.”
“There was no where but up to go. I figured that it was the best choice, so I started looking at the different crafts and settled on welding,” Moore said. “My first day on a site was a real surprise, because where I was at the certified nursing facility it was ‘go, go, go,” Moore described. “But when I started at JACOBS, they slowed me down and told me to take my time, to do it right and do it safe. It was hard to adjust.”
Moore’s lengthy training began with CMEF-supplied textbooks containing all of the information he’d need to know for the written component of the competition. After completing the reading material, he ventured to the field with other welders to practice as well as safety professionals to guide him on best practices.
After the competition, he was ecstatic about his experience. He said the best part was getting to meet other craft professionals from across the United States.
JACOBS colleagues supported his journey, and will continue to support Moore in continuing his education in other crafts. He plans on tackling the NCC’s next year in another category.
“JACOBS, CMEF, and ABC were all excited. They were all working to see what’s next to see what they could do with me and what I could do for them. I want to be an asset.”
To learn more about craft training, visit CMEF’s website at www.cmefhouston.org or call CMEF 281-478-3900.