It’s pretty impressive to be named the National Craft Champion for pipefitting, but downright amazing if pipefitting isn’t something you do every day.
“A lot of the other competitors were from the south and worked on jobs like oil refineries, where they did pipefitting every day,” said Sean O’Dowd of DECCO,
who took home the gold medal on March 28 at the 2019 ABC National Convention in Long Beach, California. “I do mostly clean piping on things like pharmaceutical projects. I think I caught the other guys off guard a little when I won.” Nonetheless, Sean outdid the nine other pipefitting finalists. He made it to Long Beach by winning the pipefitting category at the Massachusetts Chapter’s craft championship competition, which was held at Greater Lawrence Technical School.
After high school, Sean studied welding at Manchester Community College in New Hampshire. A work associate of Sean’s mom knew DECCO Vice President Tim Barton, and he went to work for the company. Sean is in the final year of a three-year pipefitting apprenticeship program at DECCO. He’ll be sitting for the pipefitter exam within a year; possibly as early as this summer. “DECCO has treated me well,” Sean said. “I’d like to build a career there and move up through the ranks. Maybe someday I’ll also own my own business and do some work on the side.” I wouldn’t bet against him. So far, Sean O’Dowd appears able to do pretty much anything he sets his mind to.
Left: Tony Rader, ABC's National Chair; Sean O'Dowd, DECCO 1st Place Winner;
Ronnie Balentine NCC pipefitting PM; Shon Smith, NCC Chair.
Notch Mechanical Constructors