This year’s IDEAL National Championship theme of “Wiring Better Futures” honors the emerging apprentice talent and the impact this generation of tradespeople will have on the industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. currently needs about 80,000 new electricians every year and more than 1 million more electricians to meet the nation’s goals as a massive shift to electrification continues.
“The wiring for the electrification of North America and beyond is truly in the hands of current and future apprentices. We already know how rewarding it can be to work in the skilled trades, and this competition gives thousands of curious students a close-up look at what goes into a typical day. It’s equally important for them to see how committed master electricians are to mentoring apprentices and giving back,” said Carmen Cardillo, General Manager of IDEAL Electrical, North America. “Jose’s ability to prioritize quality, safety and workmanship in these workplace projects that had to be completed during a truncated high-stakes challenge is impressive - and he still completed the work. This goes to show how valuable our emerging apprentice talent will be to our communities.”
HGTV star Chip Wade and PBS’s Scott Caron emceed the event. Each electrical apprentice was paired with one of five professional electricians and former IDEAL National Championship competitors Greg Anliker, Noreen Buckley, Tom Kennedy, Anthony Kovalchick and Roman Ryszewski. The top 10 finalists earned their spot by completing a rough-in electrical wiring challenge at one of four 2023 regional trade shows.
The top five finalists in the student challenge included:
- Emma Becker, Denver, N.C.
- Devin Slifer, Greenup, Ky.
- Jose Renteria, Elk River, Minn.
- Jake Tribby, Beaver, Oh.
- Dino Gualandri, LaSalle, Ill.