Equipment Type

BE&K Welder Jennifer Jeffords Named ABC Craft Professional Of The Year

Jennifer Jeffords, a certified welder, welding inspector and welding instructor for BE&K Industrial Services at International Paper's plant in Pensacola, Fla., has been a trendsetter since she first took up welding as a career in 1999. But Jeffords raised the bar even higher recently when she was named the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Craft Professional of the Year at the organ...

May 19, 2008

Jennifer Jeffords, a certified welder, welding inspector and welding instructor for BE&K Industrial Services at International Paper's plant in Pensacola, Fla., has been a trendsetter since she first took up welding as a career in 1999. But Jeffords raised the bar even higher recently when she was named the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Craft Professional of the Year at the organization's national convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Jeffords was nominated for the award by BE&K's Construction Training department based on her skill level and her commitment to teaching after-hours welding classes after work, three to five days per week.

Of all the women in the workforce in the United States, only about one in every million is a welder.

"I am proud to honor Jennifer Jeffords with ABC's most prestigious craft award, the Craft Professional of the Year," said 2008 ABC National Chairman Bill Fairchild, president of R.W. Murray Co., Manassas, Va. "Jennifer's dedication to becoming one of the nation's top welders and her generosity serving as a mentor and teacher for others in her field have made her an outstanding choice for this year's award."

Tradesmen International, official sponsor of the 2008 Craft Professional of the Year competition, awarded Jeffords a new full-size pickup truck in recognition of being named Craft Professional of the Year. Jeffords also received ABC's Eagle trophy.

Each year ABC recognizes the top seven candidates and selects one as Craft Professional of the Year at the national conference.

"When Jennifer's name was called, the audience erupted in applause," said Regional Training Manager Jeff Morris. "Many of them were familiar with her through the convention buzz," He added, "I met the other nominees and heard one say if they had to be a runner-up, they were glad it was to Jennifer."

The individual craft category winners are evaluated on several criteria, including the candidate's mastery of job-related skills, jobsite and safety performance record, leadership, professionalism, community and industry service, personal motivation, credentials, commitment to the merit construction philosophy, and recognition by others for the candidate's excellence in craft skills and teamwork to complete projects successfully.

"Jennifer deserves this award," said BE&K's Manager of Construction Training Greg Sizemore. "She represents the quality of employees and instructors we have at BE&K. We are proud of her accomplishments."

Jeffords has achieved Level II Quality Assurance/Quality Control certification, in addition to three levels of welding certification: structural, stick pipe and tungsten inert gas (TIG) arc welding. Jeffords also holds National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certification as a core curriculum instructor and welding instructor, and serves as an instructor at BE&K's Training Center. Jeffords has received certificates of training from BE&K, Inc. in the National Board Inspection Code and the company's Visual Inspection Procedure for Nondestructive Evaluation.

Jeffords recently served as a key member of the BE&K project team responsible for converting the Number 5 paper machine at International Paper's Cantonment, Fla., mill from producing 350 tons per year of white writing-quality paper to 500,000 tons per year of unbleached linerboard. During the shutdown, the team installed 72,000 linear feet of pipe and more than 65,000 linear feet of tubing.

Jeffords was encouraged to enter the field of welding by her husband of 21 years, Lee, who is also an accomplished welder.

Founded in 1972, Birmingham-based BE&K, Inc. — through a variety of subsidiaries — works in the engineering, construction, and maintenance of pulp and paper, power, and heavy industrial facilities. It is one of the Southeast's largest employee-owned and privately held companies.

More like this

Comments on: "BE&K Welder Jennifer Jeffords Named ABC Craft Professional Of The Year"

Overlay Init