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Local plumber to compete for world title

SAVOY - Andrew Hall made local union history, winning the Illinois Pipe Trades state plumbing championship for apprentices in March and taking the district title in June to advance to the United Association Apprentice International Contest in August. Hall, a member of Local 149, is the first East Central Illinois resident to advance to the association's national championship in the plumbing division. business news Hall, who earned the District 4 title in Iowa two weeks ago, beating state champion apprentices from 10 other states, will be back in action next month when will go head-to-head against six other district champions from around the country in Ann Arbor, MI.

“It was a very tough competition and it was time-limited, so it was pretty stressful,” Hall said. “The competition was so good, I really thought any one of those other guys could’ve won it. Then I won and was just in disbelief for a couple of hours after that.”

Hall and the competition were tested on plumbing knowledge and skills, including a project involving a mocked-up wall needing pipes and water lines. Certified training directors then graded the work of the state champions from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Hall will now go up against five other district champions.

“Every day is like a puzzle and you have to figure things out,” he said. “I really enjoy it.”

In addition to winning the district championship, Hall recently graduated from Local 149’s five-year apprentice program, where he and 26 other apprentices spent 240 hours in class and 1,700 hours on the job each year. Employed at United Mechanical in Champaign throughout his apprenticeship, the June graduate travels the country as a journeyman plumber.