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Ohio Carpenter Wins

Drywall Olympics

An Ohio carpenter won gold in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters’ inaugural Drywall Olympics, an event that also gave the union’s training and facilities a chance to shine.

David Gibson, a 33-year-old from Local 200 of Columbus, clocked a time of 52 minutes and 2 seconds installing 60 feet of inspection-ready drywall on a course that included several corners, a window, a door, a column, electric boxes and a plumbing cut-out.

“I got a little nervous at first,” said Gibson, a nine-year UBC member representing the union’s Midwestern District. “But then I focused on hanging the drywall until it was done. I knew from the minute I got on the plane in Ohio that I was in it to win it.”

The competition, at the Carpenters International Training Center in Las Vegas, brought together five competitors from across the United States and Canada.

Andy Silins, the union’s general secretary-treasurer, said Gibson and the four other district finalists showcased the best of the Brotherhood.

“Each of these men exemplifies the power of hard work, commitment, proper training and the positive attitude that all of our members strive for,” Silins said. “The skills on display here are also on display at the jobsites across North America, where our members compete every day.”

Also competing: Pedro Resendiz, of Local 150 representing the Western District, finished second with a time of 56 minutes and 59 seconds; Perry Giambuzzi, Local 1073 representing the Eastern District, took third at 1 hour, 2 minutes and 22 seconds; Marek Wiedro, Local 675 representing Canada, completed the course in 1 hour, 11 minutes and 29 seconds; Luis Cardenas, Local 72 representing the Southern District, finished in 1 hour, 12 minutes and 29 seconds.

Besides recognition as North America’s best drywallers, the participants received cash prizes, and their efforts will be permanently honored at the International Training Center.

“This is really going to come in handy right now,” said first-place finisher Gibson. “We have five kids, so the prize money will really go a long way toward putting food on the table for me and my family.”

The Drywall Olympics was held May 5 in conjunction with the UBC-sponsored Interior-Exterior Systems Leadership Conference. Several hundred contractors and union representatives attended the three-day event, which included updates on union training, presentations from construction industry leaders, and a chance to see the 345,000-square foot Carpenters International Training Center, where the union’s unrivaled training is developed.

“This is my first time at the International Training Center and I really enjoyed the experience,” said Steve Belfield, a contractor from Bartonville, Ill. “I’m really impressed by the facility. The conference was well-done and the Drywall Olympics was a great way for the UBC to showcase its training and the talent that’s out in the field.”