Seven regional champions from around the U.S. converged on Cleveland late last month to participate in the 36th NTMA/NIMS National Apprentice Competition. The event was hosted by the NTMA Cleveland Chapter and its training partner Cuyahoga Community College. For two days, competitors demonstrated their knowledge through hands-on work with lathes, mills and surface grinders as well as a written exam. First place honors went to Andrew Sears (Six Sigma, Louisville, Kentucky) with Milwaukee Chapter's Lucas Starch (Mahuta Tool and Mfg, Germantown, Wisconsin) finishing third. Besides prevailing in their local competition, each regional champion had to successfully complete the online exam for the NIMS Machining Level I: Measurement, Materials and Safety credential to be eligible for the national. NIMS waived the registration and fees as part of its sponsorship for the event. As sponsor of the first place champion, Six Sigma will receive the grand prize of a 30-percent discount off the purchase price of selected models of EDM or high speed milling machines from GF Agie Charmilles. Additionally, the top three regional champions will receive an expense-paid trip to Switzerland before returning to Chicago as VIP panelists at a special workforce development conference. For more information from The National Tooling and Machining Association, visit www.ntma.org. For more information from the National Institute of Metalworking Skills, visit www.nims-skills.org.