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Making the Grade

Issaak Chavez of Pleasant View, Utah, is our Masonry Apprentice of the Month. Chavez, 20, is a graduate of the Ogden/Weber Applied Technology College in Ogden, Utah.

Chavez has lots of talents and training in construction. He started the Applied Technology College program in drafting. Then, he completed the HVAC sequence, obtained his certificate, and proved his mettle by placing second in the state VICA competition.

Still not satisfied, Chavez pursued and completed his certificate in masonry. He took his skills to the Utah state competition, where he took first-place honors. As a result, Chavez went on to the national masonry competition held in conjunction with the 40th annual SkillsUSA Leadership Conference at Bartle Hall in Kansas City, Mo.

Of all of the trades he's learned, masonry is his favorite. "I'm always impressed when I see a building stacked in brick," Chavez says. "I love working with my hands and building things."

His instructor, Rick Brown, sponsor of five national masonry contestants in the past six years, speaks highly of Chavez. "There is no doubt in my mind that Issaak will be very successful in anything he chooses to pursue. He is a very smart and ambitious individual."

Chavez is employed at Rich Improvement Construction Co., where he continues to learn many aspects of construction, including framing, finish work, sheet metal and, of course, masonry. His goal is to become a general contractor.



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