During the Careers in Construction Awards Ceremony March 6, ABC recognized Holley Thomas, a foreman for KBR, Houston, Texas, as its 2015 Craft Professional of the Year and Jonathan Sacks, transmission and distribution training manager for Cianbro, Pittsfield, Maine, as its 2015 Craft Instructor of the Year. The awards were presented during ABC’s Workforce Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 

Each year, ABC presents the Craft Professional of the Year and Craft Instructor of the Year awards to a construction craft professional and a construction instructor who excels in his or her field, maintains a lifelong commitment to training and upholds the merit shop philosophy. 

“Holley is one of the most honest, dependable, and straightforward people you will ever come across. She is an incredible welder and selfless industry leader,” said KBR Workforce Development Director, Natalie Smith. “Her craft skill is matched only by her leadership qualities and ability to manage and mentor other welders.”

As the winner of the Craft Professional of the Year award, Thomas received a brand new 2015 Ram Tradesman Truck sponsored by Tradesmen International.

Thomas began her career with KBR as a welder helper and quickly advanced to structural welder. She competed in the ABC National Craft Championships as a structural welder in 2010 and was the first woman to ever place at the event, where she took the gold. She continued training to upgrade her skills and become a pipe welder and went on to represent KBR in the ABC National Craft Championships for pipe welding in 2013. In her third project with KBR spanning more than five years, Thomas has perfected her skill in both structural and pipe welding.

Sacks has worked for Cianbro since 1993 and is an electrician by trade. His passion for teaching, his sincere commitment to the industry and above all, ensuring the success of his students has paved the way for his success.

“On any given day, you may find Jon in front of a classroom, in a training yard or lab, volunteering on an advisory committee or even working with his tools on a project site among his students so he can better relate to them in the classroom,” said Cianbro Vice President of HR, Michael Bennett. “Regardless of where Jon is, you can see his love of the subject matter and the enthusiasm he evokes.”
  
As the 2015 Craft Instructor of the Year, Sacks received a $10,000 cash prize from NCCER and the Trimmer Construction Education Foundation.
  
The ABC Craft Professional of the Year winner was chosen from selected finalists. The other finalists were: 

BERNARD BALZ
Messer Construction Company
ABC Ohio Valley Chapter

BRAD DUTTON
Price Electric
ABC Iowa Chapter

MATTHEW KOHLES
Signature Electric, LLC
ABC Cornhusker Chapter


Sacks was selected from four finalists. The other finalists for Craft Instructor of the Year were:
 
BILL CHERRY; ZACHRY INDUSTRIAL, INC.
ABC Greater Houston Chapter

JOHN DILLON; KBR
ABC Greater Houston Chapter

BRYAN MCCLURE; LPR CONSTRUCTION CO
ABC Rocky Mountain Chapter