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Apprenticeship graduation

14 skilled tradespeople complete UVA Apprenticeship Program

The UVA Apprenticeship Program celebrated the graduation of 14 employees during a ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

The graduating Class of 2023 included the following individuals:

  • Electrical: Joshua Cunningham, Garrett Hatmaker, Charlie Henderson, Rebecca Hord, Bryce Humphreys and Hunter Monroe.
  • HVAC: Ashley Bell, Travis Castellanos, Pedro Gonzalez and Blake Shifflett.
  • Plumbing: Allen Anderson, John DeBilzan, Ryan McCarthy and Gabriel Reedy.

Speakers included Senior Vice President for Operations and State Government Relations Colette Sheehy, Associate Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer Don Sundgren and Utilities Supervisor and 2019 Apprenticeship graduate Marcus Klaton.

“This graduating class includes 14 individuals who joined Facilities Management in August 2019 and spent most of their apprenticeship in pandemic conditions,” said Sheehy. “This class completed 3.5 out of 4 years of classroom instruction online rather than the traditional in-person format and spent much longer periods of time in fewer rotations.”

Kathleen Ford and Richard Bonnie presented the Ed Ford Outstanding Apprentice Graduate Award, for apprentices who “made outstanding contributions to their workplace,” to two winners this year for the first time since the award was started in 2016. The recipients included graduates Ryan McCarthy and Pedro Gonzalez.

McCarthy was honored for leading and contributing to initiatives around food insecurity within the Charlottesville area, working to help create the “Cville Tool Library,” an organization dedicated to sharing tools and learning to use them properly, as well as excelling in the classroom by finishing classes a year early and pursuing additional certifications.

Gonzalez was recognized for participating in voluntary English language conversational skills tutoring and the UVA Edge program in addition to his trades classes. He also participated in a 2021 team designed to reimagine FM's mission statement and volunteered on several occasions to visit local high schools and help host branches of the Central Virginia Boys and Girls Club for trades exposure and education.

A total of 244 tradespeople have graduated from the Apprenticeship Program since its inception in 1982. With this year's graduation of three female apprentices — Ashley Bell, Rebecca Hord and Ryan McCarthy — UVA has now had 20 women complete the program.

See photos from the 2023 Apprenticeship graduation and the event's program for remarks shared by each graduate.

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About the author

Jane Centofante
Communications senior generalist
UVA Facilities Management
(434) 982-5846