• Looking Back to the 2015 Craft Professional of the Year Award Winner

    2015 ABC Craft Professional of the Year Holley Thomas with Tradesmen International's Ed Rojeck.

    2015 ABC Craft Professional of the Year Holley Thomas with Tradesmen International’s Ed Rojeck. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch)

    Who Took Home Last Year’s Top Prize from Workforce Week?

    At the end of Workforce Week 2016, the newest Craft Professional of the Year will be announced. Along with being recognized with one of the highest honors in the industry, the Craft Professional of the Year will take home a 2016 RAM Tradesmen Truck, Bosch ReaXX Table Saw and the respect of their peers. We’ve already covered what the judges will be looking for in this year’s recipient. But to give you a more complete view on how these values are carried out into the world, we wanted to take a look back at last year’s CPOY.

    Each year, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) presents the Craft Professional of the Year award to a construction craft professional who excels in his or her field while also demonstrating a commitment to safety, training and the merit shop philosophy. In 2015, Holley Thomas, an Alabama-born welder who serves as a foreman for KBR, earned the prize and is a shining example of what a CPOY should embody.

    About 2015’s Craft Professional of the Year: Holley Thomas

    Holley Thomas put off the welding training portion of her community college coursework until her final semester but quickly fell in love with the craft. Upon graduating, she began her career with KBR as a welder helper and has risen quickly to her role as piping general foreman.

    Committed to and passionate about developing others, Thomas volunteers with several organizations to raise the profile of the construction industry, particularly for young women, in addition to her work at KBR. She participates in the Summer Welding and Technology Camp (SWEETY) each summer in Priceville, Ala., and also volunteers at the MAGIC Camp (Mentoring a Girl in Construction) in Houston, Texas.

    Thomas has competed in ABC’s National Craft Championships twice, becoming the first woman to ever place at the event when she won the gold medal in the structural welding competition in 2010 – her first National Craft Championship competition. On the jobsite Holley’s crews consistently achieve superior productivity rates and maintain a zero accident and zero injury record.

    Thomas is always looking for an opportunity to go above and beyond. In fact, she served as a volunteer judge for last year’s National Craft Championships structural welding competition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

    Who Will Be ABC’s 2016 Craft Professional of the Year?

    At the Careers in Construction Awards Ceremony on March 4, the culmination of Workforce Week 2016, the next Craft Professional of the Year will be presented, and if Holley Thomas and the many other past CPOY recipients are any indication, this professional will truly be a beacon for the industry, serving as an exemplary model for his or her peers. We look forward to meeting this person and giving them the recognition they deserve for their hard work and dedication to their craft and the Merit Shop industry.

    To learn more about the judging process, the incredible prize packages and what it means to be the ABC Craft Professional of the Year, read our blog posts:
    What is the Craft Professional of the Year Award?
    What Does It Take to Become Craft Professional of the Year?

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