Helping others in his chosen field has always come naturally to Dan Rademacher, and now he’s received the chance to make a difference halfway around the world.
Rademacher is the 2020 World Plumbing Council (WPC) scholarship recipient. With this honor, he will travel to Rwanda to help plumbers in that country, something he is excited and humbled to do.
“I really don’t know how long it took to sink in that I’d won,” Rademacher said. “I think this will be an amazing exchange of ideas, which is one of my goals. I look forward to the opportunity to help them as much as possible, and hopefully we can learn something from them, too.”
Rademacher will have some company on his trip – Tom Bigley, the Director of Plumbing Services for United Association (UA) of Plumbers and Pipefitters and current chair of the WPC, wanted to go on the trip as well, so the two were planning for a seven- to ten-day trip this summer. However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, Rademacher accepted an extension on his scholarship through 2021 and will travel at a later date.
Scholarship winners get to choose their destination and are encouraged to seek out areas that are underdeveloped from a plumbing industry standpoint. Rademacher had a secondary reason for choosing Rwanda, because he wanted to work with Jean Claude Twagirimana, a Rwandan plumbing instructor he met when Twagirimana traveled to the United States for instructor training with the UA in 2018.
“When Jean Claude came to America on his tour, we at the UA sent him every training plumbing book we had – and we probably overwhelmed him!” said Rademacher, who is an accomplished instructor with the UA. “When this opportunity came up, I thought maybe I could go over there and help him with his curriculum and training.”
There will be five days of plumbing instruction with field trips, and Twagirimana will also offer suggestions of what particular industry training would be most helpful for his students. Plumbing industry leaders from neighboring countries have been invited to attend the training sessions as well.
Rademacher is a seasoned plumber and pipefitter, with 29 years of experience in the industry. He serves as the Region 8 Director of the American Society of Sanitary Engineers International (ASSE) and is a certified plumbing/mechanical inspector and plans examiner by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO). He has extensive experience with multiple plumbing and mechanical codes.
He previously traveled the country giving training seminars for IAPMO and currently serves as the Chairman of the IAPMO Education and Training Committee. Dan still instructs for the UA at the annual UA Instructor Training Program and other events throughout the year.
“Teaching came naturally to me, and I just kind of fell into it. It seemed like a very good fit,” Rademacher said. “If I can help somebody earn a paycheck and help them understand the plumbing systems and codes and make their lives easier, that’s the most rewarding experience.”
Rademacher first applied for the WPC Scholarship in 2016, having talked to a previous scholarship winner about his experiences. The scholarship is very competitive, and only one winner worldwide is awarded $10,000 to travel to another country for the purposes of developing and contributing further plumbing industry knowledge.
Rademacher also serves as the Viega Trades Education Network (VTEN) Sales Manager.