This month, Tim Boyd competed in a grueling three-day challenge requiring accuracy, endurance, and wits. The competition was part of the annual wire-off event, sponsored by Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC), which took place in Baltimore during the organization's national convention. Boyd, IEC's Oregon Apprentice of the Year, recently completed his four-year apprenticeship. He prepared for the competition by studying textbooks and practicing in the Chemeketa Community College electronics lab in Salem, which features motor starters, push-button stations, timers, and relays, as well as a bench set up with power. The competition included a written section, a conduit bending challenge, and one major project in which competitors were required to put together relays and controls according to a set of drawings they were given. Boyd came in fourth out of 19 competitors from across the nation. Beyond the thrill of competing, he says the opportunity to network, meet others in the industry, and learn new things was just as exciting. Boyd hopes to teach the trade to others in the classroom someday, but for now, he says, “I look forward to helping whoever it is that goes next year to get ready for it. Definitely, I want to invest back into it and see if we can do even better next time.”