Chris Peterson was on KC Live on May 9 and had the chance to discuss Schloegel’s Apprenticeship Program with Stephanie Summers.
Chris’s Start in the Industry
They kicked off the discussion with how Chris got started in the industry. Chris started in new construction in high school and learned college wasn’t for him. He attended Vo Tech school for a year to receive more formal training and education. Chris mentions how both formal and hands-on training are important parts of the equation.
Stephanie adds how this type of training adds value to you your life as it always comes in handy. You’ll be able to go a long way with these types of skills.
Chris mentions we are catering our apprenticeship program to the younger generation coming out of career centers and trade centers. There are a lot of great career opportunities that allow you to provide for your family and it’s transferrable. You can move anywhere in the country.
Years ago, you were paired up with one of the guys who had been in the field for years and sort of learned that way. Now we’re hiring more people, we’ll hire five to ten people this year, and get them onboarded and up to speed the right way. The “Schloegel” way. So, we are formalizing this training. An apprentice will have x number of hours per week in the office with some formal training and then on-the-job training.
The Apprenticeship through Schloegel is a two-to-three-year program because it includes on the job training. Apprentices are out in the field getting hands-on training the entire time. It’s also a paid position. Apprentices are team members that are working for a wage and learning on the job. So, it’s the best of both worlds. It’s not like going to college or a trade school only, where you are paying for the education. Here you’re getting paid while you learn.
When the recession hit people left the field and didn’t truly come back. There was a shortage of jobs at the time and there were many layoffs as companies went out of business. Following the recession, it took a few years for the market to slowly start coming back. So, we lost not only the folks that left the industry at that time but for three or four years there was no new talent joining the industry. In the last four or five years, we’ve seen good steady growth. There is a lot of remodeling going on right now. We’re trying to make it appealing and get people to come back to this industry.
NARI members are in the process right now of creating a NARI Certified Apprentice. This a one of the smaller steps to a larger picture. In addition to the certification, NARI is also in the process of working with a local community college to put together an Associate’s Degree Program. There’s a lot of things in motion right now.