ALACHUA, Fla. — NCCER is pleased to recognize Jonathan Sacks, transmission and distribution training manager at Cianbro of Pittsfield, Maine as the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) 2015 Craft Instructor of the Year.

NCCER Vice President Steve Greene presented Sacks with the prestigious award and a $10,000 cash prize from NCCER and the Trimmer Construction Education Foundation at ABC’s Workforce Development Conference on March 6 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The Craft Instructor of the Year is presented each year to an instructor who possesses outstanding creativity, a positive attitude and the ability to transfer knowledge through exceptional communications skills and innovative teaching to promote lifelong learning to the future workforce. The award recipient represents NCCER and ABC’s commitment to training America’s craft workforce.

Sacks is affiliated with ABC’s Maine chapter and has worked for Cianbro since 1993 as an electrician, electrical supervisor, instructor, training coordinator and training manager.  He is currently a licensed master electrician in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, an NCCER Master Trainer, a craft instructor and an OSHA outreach trainer. 

"We are so happy for Jon and humbled to have one of our team members recognized with such a prestigious honor,” said Mike Bennett, vice president of health, safety, environmental and human resources at Cianbro. “Jon’s passion for teaching and the care that he lends to his students and peers is contagious. He volunteers countless hours to the industry to support the evolution of trades. This honor is well deserved.”

Sacks began his career in the construction industry in 1977 as an electrician’s helper. He later became a certified educator in Maine teaching middle school science while continuing to work as a licensed electrician. Sacks eventually left teaching full time to start his own electrical contracting business prior to joining Cianbro in 1993. He remains active as an adjunct electrical instructor at Kennebec Valley Community College and Eastern Maine Community College. He also serves as cluster chair for the Maine SkillsUSA electrical contest and on NCCER’s Workforce Development Committee in addition to serving on advisory boards for four high school electrical programs.

“The quality and caliber of this year’s finalists is truly extraordinary,” said Steve Greene of NCCER. “Their dedication, commitment and contributions to training the future of our industry are exemplary.”

This year’s Craft Instructor of the Year award finalists include Bill Cherry of Zachry Group and John Dillon of KBR from the ABC Greater Houston chapter and Bryan McClure of LPR Construction from the ABC Rocky Mountain chapter. All three finalists won complimentary round-trip travel and hotel accommodations to the ABC conference and awards presentation.

“Our congratulations go out to the other three finalists,” said Bennett. “It is comforting to know this kind of talent is out there – individuals who are committed to the industry and who encourage and support others through the wonderful career opportunities that exist in our industry. Thank you to ABC and NCCER for this recognition."

ABC also recognized Holley Thomas, a certified welding instructor at KBR, as the 2015 Craft Professional of the Year. The award recognizes her work in the industry and her commitment to safety, training and the merit shop philosophy. Thomas is no stranger to winning; she was also the first woman to win gold for structural welding at the 2010 ABC National Craft Championships.