Pahrump resident to compete in national competition

Updated October 23, 2018 - 1:25 pm

Jonathan Bush, a local insulation installer, will use his skills to battle for the top spot in a national competition.

Bush, representing Pahrump-based Aspen Insulation, is heading to Denver, Colorado to compete in the 16th annual America’s Best Insulation Installer Competition. The three-day event is scheduled to occur on Oct. 18-20, and top prize is $10,000.

“I’m hoping that with what I know, what I’ve been taught, that I have a pretty good chance of bringing money right back here to Pahrump,” Bush said in an interview from Aspen’s headquarters near East Manse and Homestead roads.

Bush said he is planning to use the money to catch up on bills should he be successful in the competition. He will compete against 35 other competitors from around the country.

Bush has been installing insulation off and on for about the last 12 years and has worked in the construction industry, including the building of new residential homes and installing fiber-optic lines for Valley Electric Association Inc. He also worked for Ace Hardware in Pahrump, which is closed and has been for about 10 years.

But in the last year, he’s been on with Aspen full time.

Bush has been in Pahrump since the early 2000s; he was born in Colorado and grew up in Alaska.

Bush and his co-competitors will be battling for thousands of dollars in prizes, including the $10,000 top prize, which also includes the America’s Best Insulation Installer title.

“Second-, third- and fourth-place winners will be awarded cash prizes of $5,000, $3,500 and $2,500 respectively,” according to a news release from building products manufacturer Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway company, which created the competition in 2003 with Insulate America, a national independent insulation contractor, according to a news release from the two organizations.

An awards ceremony is planned for Oct. 20 when the winners of the competition are set to be announced. That ceremony will be held at the EXDO Event Center in Denver.

According to a news release from the two organizations, the competition was created “to recognize the unique skills, hard work and dedication to high-quality installation shown by top installers.”

“Understanding how and why a quality installation is critical to overall energy efficiency is one of the reasons Insulate America and Johns Manville created the annual competition,” the release stated.

“We’re proud to host a competition that recognizes hardworking insulation installers from across the country and emphasizes how quality installation can positively impact energy efficiency, a topic that’s important for everyone,” said Bob Wamboldt, president of insulation systems at Johns Manville, in the release. “We look forward to the competition each year and the opportunity to celebrate local insulation installers and their contributions to the building and construction industry.”

The competition is skills-based and uses a mock home structure, where competitors must install JM formaldehyde-free insulation batts in. The walls of the mock structure are filled with several barriers such as pipes, vaulted ceilings and electrical outlets, according to the news release.

“Expert judges evaluate each competitor’s performance based on real job site criteria, including workmanship and install quality, speed, material use, and reaction to the different obstacles,” the release stated.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at

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