Built for Growth: Episode 4: Apprenticeships, Mentoring, and Continuing Education

Construction has a major skilled labor problem. Working with a registered apprenticeship program or creating a private apprenticeship program can help your company fill your talent pipeline with skilled workers ready to go to work for YOU!

In this episode of Built for Growth, Kyesha Robinson and Natasha Sherwood share how building apprenticeships, mentoring, and education into your company’s business plan can dramatically increase your team’s productivity, improve morale, and help your company reach its goals for growth.

Full Transcript Below

Scott Peper 0:34
Hey, good afternoon, everybody. Welcome. I’m so glad to bring you guys our newest episode of built for growth. I have two great guests here with me today. First is Keisha Robinson. She is the managing officer of the Workforce Innovation at Pinellas Technical College. And Natasha Sherwood, Executive Director for independent electrical contractors of Florida on the West Coast chapter. Both of you welcome. It’s great to see you guys.

Natasha Sherwood 1:00
Thank you.

Kyesha Robinson 1:01
Well, thank you. So happy to be here. A really important topic and I’m so grateful that one of our partners, Miss Sherwood was able to be here and represent every day.

Scott Peper 1:10
I think for the audience and the people that are here would be great if you guys can maybe take two or three minutes and just explain a little bit about each of your organization. Who you are how you got into it maybe a little bit about this, the specifics of the organization act and things that are happening now. And of course, how you guys know each other too. And then we start diving in some of the topics. Sure, I’ll let you guys arm wrestle over who goes first, but don’t make me pick.

Natasha Sherwood 1:33
Why don’t you go first because then you can go in and we’ll talk about our partnership for the end.

Kyesha Robinson 1:38
Yes. Again, my name is Kyesha Robinson and I am the managing Officer of Workforce Innovation. pretty long title. But the work that we do in this department is marketing and advertising. And then intentional recruitment of individuals who are interested in or may not even know about the opportunities that await for them in technical and tradition of vocational trade. There are two campuses that this department serves with Pinellas Technical College. One is in Clearwater, the other is in St. Petersburg. At this point, we have over 50 different career technical education programs that we serve, that we offer to the community, as well as a host of apprenticeship opportunities that we have with our employer partners. And we also enter into strategic partnerships with different components in different parts of the community and business industry as needed. So again, very happy to be here and look forward to being a part of the discussion. And having Miss Sherwood, one of our partners with IEC to talk more about our relationship as well.

Natasha Sherwood 2:43
My name is Natasha Sherwood and I’m the executive director, as he said of IEC. Yeah, we don’t do the whole long name either. It’s way too long. And so I

Scott Peper 2:52
I already butchered that one.

Natasha Sherwood 2:54
Yeah, it’s okay. I do too, and is an association. It’s a national organization. And we are the Florida West Coast chapter. And we are pretty much the entire state from Tallahassee across the Jacksonville down. I’m except for about five counties on the east coast. I’m in South East Florida. And but we do things for all of our contractors. So they’re all independent contractors across the state. But the largest portion that we do is our apprenticeship program, and PTC is one of our largest partners. So we have over 400 apprentices each year across the state from all the way in Tallahassee, Tallahassee Community College, HCC and Reach Tech in, Travis tech and Polk marchman. Tech in Pasco. And right down the street at Pinellas Technical College, and clear water, we have almost 150 students and right there in Clearwater, and it’s a four year program that I want the greatest part. So if I get into it, if the students don’t pay anything to tuition, it’s done all through their partners, and their contractors. So PTC helps fund this amazing for your education for them and their contractor employer. And these students graduate in four years, and with making more than most of us make, and skills that are as we’ve all learned, essential, the new word 2020, we all know what essential is now, and they go on to make some really great careers for themselves. And so it’s been a really neat, I’ve only been here about a year and it is one of my new found passions. I was a principal before. So this is just a continuing and passion of mine is that education for students. And like he said in areas that sometimes students don’t realize is an option.

Scott Peper 4:22
Really cool. You know, I’m coming from the other side of it talking to actual clients of ours that own their own subcontracting companies, many electrical companies, but even all the other trades. And one of their biggest problems is they do not these skilled labor, they just have a real issue finding not only labor, but good labor, and even sometimes as one of my clients is Scott at this point. Yes, I love good labor, but I just need labor. And if someone’s not trained or educated, at least if they are willing and able and capable, I will train them or we’ll find some training for him. How do you guys feel the role of apprenticeship programs like this has either evolved or changed or will need to change to meet today’s kind of need and world or is it similar?

Natasha Sherwood 5:06
I think it definitely will. Um, it’s definitely grown just in the time I’ve been here. But prior to that I was working with a local chamber on the lack of skilled labor, specifically in the Tampa Bay metro area and how low it was. And it’s just an amplified by here we are constantly one of the services we offer our members is trying to find them people to hire. And as you mentioned, they’d love to find a journeyman electrician, that is a unicorn, what they would rather find what they’re happy to find is someone that’s willing to work and learn and just yesterday, and I had a gentleman who’s right I helped him with a resume who was a former yoga studio owner, and he wanted to get into something that was essential. He had a family and something he could do work with and say we have a guy with a business degree who owned a yoga studio going into the electrical industry because it’s consistent and but we also have kids right out of high school. And so the apprentice program I think in general will grow. And I think, obviously, our governor has put a really high priority on it with the pathways to career grant. And and also, I think what you’ll start seeing is these pre apprenticeship programs growing and trying to really work with students in high schools to be able to provide this as an option. And I think that’s one of the biggest things we see is that really, our students being presented the option of career and technical education, and that a four year college degree, not only is it not necessary, it’s not the right path for everyone. And not just kids that come times used to think that career technical education was if you couldn’t get into college, but I think what I saw as a high school principal as well as now, it could be for the valedictorian who loves doing hands on and really wants to go into an industry where you can make $100,000 a year with zero debt, you know, so I think that we will continue to see it grow because of finances because of 2020. And because of that lack of skilled labor is so huge, we’ve just lost a whole era of that skilled labor of that has retired and we have more electricians retire every day than we can replace.

Scott Peper 6:42
Kyesha, are you seeing similar issues from on your end? In your the specific apprenticeship program? Have you seen enrollment or bigger changes? Is there anything that’s gone on in the actual facility that’s been helpful or harmful?

Kyesha Robinson 6:57
Absolutely. And Miss Sherwood made a number of wonderful points that we all are experiencing and observing here in technical education as well. So we do know that we have an ageing workforce, and individuals within those faithful employees for all those years are entering or nearing retirement. And that graph that gap, there is an ever increasing, there’s a decrease in employment in some sectors of industry. Not only does that mean that the labor capital is leaving, but that institutional knowledge is being lost along with it. So we’ll talk about that unicorn. We also know that there are some younger generations that are more likely and more readily transition from one opportunity to the next in favor of a host of conditions that best suit their personal needs. And so individuals are not always maintaining long relationships with some employers, because they take advantage of the opportunity to find what best suits what works for them. And so this can make it very difficult for industries to acquire and maintain relationships with employees. And with all of that changing happening, our industries are continuing to expand and grow, there is no decrease in demand for electricians, for example, or in building construction. So these are the types of situations that make it critical for all companies to really consider having some kind of apprenticeship program. apprenticeships are a tool that employers can use to take advantage of assets that they already have. And then to attract some that they need. Having an apprenticeship program demonstrates to others that you have a culture that believes in investing in its own personnel. And I think it apprenticeships support sustainability and growth. So by having these apprenticeship programs, you are able to attract these new employees that have some wonderful entry level skills to get themselves in the door. And then you can provide some additional years of training that will make them best suited to meet whatever your needs are to make their to broaden their abilities and to improve their skills and make them more useful in in your industry. So I think that as companies notice more shifts, more trends and changes in technologies that affect their industry, they’ll be even more willing to adopt a apprenticeship relationship between themselves and some post secondary institution that’s most convenient for them. And I think it helps companies when they have apprenticeships, because instead of looking externally, they can look down their own channels and into their own departments to identify apprenticeship graduates at some point, who are more than ready to fill some of their workforce needs.

Scott Peper 9:22
So if you know I’m thinking about it from a business owner, looking what we talked about, kind of like one of our clients, they have this issue and they need, they need new labor and they say, you know what, I love this apprenticeship program, but what do I do? How do I start glad to start it myself? So I find someone to partner with like you guys. And you know, here in Florida, it’s great for all of our local customers, they can go right to you, but we see clients all over the country. So if I was a business owner and talking to you guys, how do I start an apprenticeship program? Is that a large investment on my part? Is it better just a you know there’s registered apprenticeship programs And unregistered. Is that does that matter? Should I just partner with one of you guys and say, Hey, here it is, and I have a budget for and please you train my folks or help me train people. How does that work?

Kyesha Robinson 10:06
Well, I’d say we welcome both me Sure, we will welcome anyone that wants to partner with us to develop an apprenticeship on their own. So contacting your local Technical College, or your local trade or professional organization Association, would probably be a great first step for anyone who’s interested in establishing an apprenticeship with their company or organization. I mean, there’s no need to recreate the wheel, when there’s something that you can join and be a part of that already exists, or has a model or template that can be adjusted to fit whatever your needs of our training or apprenticeship may actually be. So I would recommend that a person kind of start there with their local Technical College trees or associate professional or trade association, the they’re also the Department of Education, you know, this is a institution that every state has. So for us is the Florida Department of Education. And if you want more information, maybe you don’t even know where to start with your local organizations, maybe just reach out to that state level. Everyone has a website, ours is FL do E. And by going to that website, I know that they will definitely have information on apprenticeships, and how to be a part of one that is registered by going through that channel.

Natasha Sherwood 11:22
And yeah, it’s very similar. So obviously, if you’re an electrician in Florida, we’d love to love to help you out. But we also are national organization. So apprenticeships across the country are differently. And so the Department of Labor nationally kind of oversees apprenticeships, but each state has plenty of their own rules. So I know Oregon is way different than Texas is way different than Florida is even different than Georgia. And so individual states are going to have a few different rules. In some places it falls under Doa Department of Education like it does for us. Some places, it’s Department of Labor, some place has workforce. So I would say that either starting with those technical colleges or community colleges in the area, that’s usually where the programs already exist, Oregon going to your department of labor, education, and is a great place to start. And I would say there are some benefits if you’re going to, you know, a technical college or to an association that already has one because a lot of the and just to like minutiae, the details are already set up the accreditation, the certifications of it, the guidelines. And but that being said, one of our one of our members is does electrical work, but also does all kinds of other stuff. They’re a general contractor, and similar. They do welding and so they came to me and they said, Do you all do welding? I’m like, No, we do electrical, but let me call and actually called PTC. And I called one of the members of our PTC, do you have a welding program? They said, Absolutely, we have a welding program, here’s the person’s name for welding program. So um, I mean, I would just reach out to the resources that you have. And last week, I had a major home national home builder in my office saying we don’t have enough, my subs don’t have enough people. So I can’t get my houses built because they can’t get the drywall up and the concrete and I said, Okay, I don’t do drywall on concrete. But let’s find out who does. So together, we reached out and we reached out to PTC into HCC, we reached out to some associations that even we’re a member of. So I build in some other places to find those resources. And I think what we found is that everybody’s willing to help each other because my, my electricians can’t get done. If the walls aren’t done, the walls can’t get done. If my electricians don’t get done. They can’t get it done. If the, you know, the framing is not put up. So everybody realizes that it is a group project, you know, it’s it is the group project from high school, if everybody doesn’t do their job, you don’t get the grade you wanted. And so it has become and I don’t know if the whole 2020 COVID. We’re all back at home zooming. But I will tell you, it’s been interesting. And maybe it’s the growth but we have worked really well crossing kind of borders. And so mptc organized a lot of it, but sometimes it’s been ACC or the Home Builders group, sit down in a room and figure out how do we help because there just aren’t enough bodies that we can find right now. So the best way is with how to service them and work together. And if electricity is not right for someone, but they really do like a trade. I can call up one of my contacts at one of my locations and say okay, let’s get them in somewhere. They love this program. And so we kind of grown up but then we’re right now we’re trying to grow down like we’re working with high schools and middle schools where they’re starting to see those ideas because if you wait to their senior year it’s not necessarily been a something that’s been proposed to them or they’ve considered so um, I’d say though this step going back to your question apprenticeships is really do reach out to your I think probably your first step easiest is those local community colleges or technical colleges or your association. So whether it’s home builders or you know, general contractors, ABC IEC, there’s a different letter combination for everybody.

Scott Peper 14:08
I think this may seem like a silly question, but is there a difference between a registered apprenticeship program and a non-registered one.

Natasha Sherwood 14:14
And there are some differences in it and it’s different in each state. And I know there are some different unregistered ones, which is more of a training and for ours is registered because it leads to the journeyman certificate. And based on the hours in the apprenticeship program, if you were just an electrician you entered, you didn’t go through an apprentice program, you have to do 12,000 documented hours of on the job training. So it’s 12,000 hours that are documented through your before you can take the journeyman license exam as an apprentice because all of our everything’s gone through and certified. We’ve got all of our courses in kind of guidelines set through the prime education, the students only have to have 8000 hours. So they finish our course we certified they’ve gone through our course, they do 8000 hours and we document their oj when they turn it in, we document it and keep it. So give or take that saving you 4000 hours, which is two or so years of labor where you can get your journeyman license. So in the state of Florida, you know, those are those specifics. But I also know someone who runs a great crane, you know, training individuals to be crane operators, which again, you don’t think of it like that doesn’t cross your mind, like in kindergarten, what great, what do I want to be I want to be a crane operator when I grow up. But they make great money. I told them, I do have a first grader and I told him he should be an electrician or crane operator. Because he gets math and he likes messing up things with his hands. And there’s isn’t a registered one because there’s not a registered one with the state yet they are moving that way. But we need them. They’re still hiring them. There’s just not a registration for it yet. So those are some of the main differences. I and those are, it’s all I know Mayan probably knows a little bit more than I do from a larger standpoint on that.

Kyesha Robinson 15:31
I would have to agree with what your observations were about registered apprenticeships, because that is the direction that PTC has chosen to go in, especially because we are associated with the Pinellas County school system. So we definitely offer registered apprenticeships to individuals, we pride ourselves on making sure that whatever persons in their programs, which is something that translate translates to industry, it is in alignment with industry standards, so that whatever certification or license they walk away with is something that’s nationally recognized to it when possible when applicable. And so all of our apprenticeships would be registered.

Natasha Sherwood 16:10
I think we’ll see more apprentice programs pop up, that’ll take that time to get in because I do I know, PTC is even working on some innovative apprenticeship programs for teachers. So where you don’t come in through the, you know, not the same typical four year education six year education college that we’ve seen for so long. And I know they’re being innovative. And I mean, California has like apprenticeship programs for like lawyers and stuff. I mean, like coming into new ways where we will learn, and we will learn in a more practical mindset. You know, I went to college for way too many years. I’m not doing anything that has to do with anything in my degree. And I think we will more Yeah, you know, like, I mean, my mom will probably hate this if she sees this. And but I think we will see more of that as people start to realize what they want to do. And there may be different paths. I mean, as a technical world evolves, and skilled labor becomes more important. I think we’ll see apprenticeships rise.

Scott Peper 16:54
Yeah, well, it’s funny how conversations got Evan flow, because I’ve had hearing him here as you guys talk, I’m hearing things I’ve been having conversations before I’m hearing from clients, I’m hearing from referral partners of ours or other folks that are working in and around the construction industry, even general contractor clients and equipment rental companies that are selling into this this space. And they talk a lot about apprenticeship programs and mentorship programs. And I need to start a mentorship programs like work with the younger businesses, not by age, but just by maybe experience I can help graduate these people that are really, really good, but they’re that they do the size jobs and I want to give them a job that’s five times the size. What do you guys are what is your experience or opinions between mentorship and apprenticeship programs? And how are they different and when do they need to overlap and I guess

Natasha Sherwood 17:31
You’re talking about students that are employees that go from a smaller job to a large job, we have an apprentice who’s a fourth year apprentice, he’s and you know, a year ago is an apprentice now he’s doing a huge hospital site and his hospital, just the site he was on just won a national award. So because he’s been mentored and because they’ve moved through those steps, and I think that’s part of that, and what part of what we do as a continuing education part of it. So it’s that mentorship becomes a personal aspect of it that maybe isn’t written down so much. It’s just more part of the culture. I also see the mentor ship company to company. So some of our larger, more established companies, I have seen them invite in contractors that are smaller or newer, or go out and tell them and share best practices. And so there’s that mentorship aspect that I think is important. And again, we’re seeing trades, start to share that and even internally, so like our companies sometimes bid against each other on large jobs or even small jobs. But there’s still trying to help each other best practices because as they better the industry as a whole. And as they mentor other corporations to follow those cultures. I think the industry as a whole begins to be able to hire and it goes into the workforce is the better the industry is the better reputation it has, the more everybody can find better employees, you know, and let’s be honest part of it is so that mom and dad when the kids in high school and who says I want to go into skilled labor doesn’t go once. College and you know, you’re like, Okay, great. $30 an hour in four years and zero debt. Sounds good to me because I have a senior going to college and it’s expensive, you know, and I’m like, Sure you don’t wanna be an electrician, you know, you’re a female, you’d be like right up there and like no time flat. So I’m in the mentorship is a large portion of that.

Scott Peper 18:55
Um, it’s funny because we have a, we have a two we have two series. This is our built for growth series, which really brings in different topics. And then we sort of have what we call a little pun on our names. You can see my my head, the mF, or as we call them, real mF ers and obviously, it’s upon on mobilization funding, but they come on and there are clients and there are other folks that are in the construction world. The two folks in particular came in they’ve talked about apprenticeship and mentorship. One gentleman named Charles Covey, he talks about this unicorn in his business, and he does waterproofing, and he’s like there is no, there’s really not a lot of good apprenticeship programs. So he has to focus a ton on training and build that in within. He says I one of the things he does is he has an apprenticeship program training, but then he immediately puts them with a mentor or someone that’s at a senior level and experience on the job together. And what they do is they kind of unfold and move together. And I said, Well, that’s interesting. Do you have enough of those? He goes, Well, no, I have essentially one unicorn who knows everything about everything, no matter what every problem, all that we’re trying to extract as much information out of that person’s brain before they leave or before they retire. And he’s like, they just don’t have this education level anymore. So he’s had to build this whole thing around these unicorns and he talked about that. Is there anybody? Do you feel it’s the same in the electrical world or other trades? And how do you guys kind of utilize your programs of find that carnal knowledge?

Kyesha Robinson 20:08
Right. And I know that mentoring is for some companies in closer reach, easier to achieve than the investment that apprenticeships may require whether they are registered or not. But it’s something mentoring is something that everyone can implement if they are willing to commit the time to think about what mentoring would look like or is needed for their employees. And mentoring and cross departmental training or even a shadowing can better help people to understand. And I mean, employees that are understand the entire ecosystem, that is their company, which is all about eliminating the fact that there are some situations where there’s a few people who have quite a bit of institutional knowledge that just hadn’t been written down or hasn’t been shared. So mentoring and cross training can help to also expose some areas of opportunity within the company and how things can be done a little bit differently or better. When everyone again, understands the full ecosystem and understands what happens in their department, as well as what’s happening. And others. I mean, you’re certainly reducing risk by not having this small collective of individuals who are your only go to persons or certain tests, or when certain vendors need to be called upon or contacts that are needed. So I think also that having these mentoring relationships can give individuals the opportunity to invest in their the proliferation of their organization and program, because all the information can be in your head, it has to be shared, it needs to be written down in a way the systematic and organized and procedural. So not only is an investment in your employees, but it’s also an investment in yourself for in an abstract, you know, kind of way you don’t want for an emergent situation to arise. And that’s when you decide, well, maybe we should have had more than one unicorn in a company or any organization. And I think it also it helps employees to know that they’re dealing with a organization that sees value in them. And while there may or may not be an opportunity for them to move into a new position right away, they are seeing that they’re being invested in and so no matter what’s happening with that company, they’re more likely to soldier on to remain encouraged, remain supportive of the brand or that company so that they can continue to be an asset and then they are there when needed to perhaps step into some greater opportunities. They’ve had the opportunity to present themselves as wanting to know more and wanting to do more. So you don’t feel like as an a business owner, that you have to look outside of what you already have. You already have a good candidate pool that started to develop, if you’re willing to take a little bit more time and to impart some knowledge onto some new people,

Scott Peper 22:56
Hire and hire and fire based on your core values, and you’ll teach and train all the skills. And what I’m hearing you guys say that so resonates with me well is that this is really a, it’s a, not only is it a recruitment tool, but really keeps your people happy and whole and with you. And in a world where there’s not a lot of labor, doesn’t mean you’re entitled to have your own your labor that you do have, it means the people that do things, the best they’re going to get, they’re never going to have a labor issue, because they’re going to have all the best people. And people can be a lot of options in a small labor market is the employers really need to make sure their game is, is on point because one, that’s how you should run your business anyway. But number two, you’re going to lose people, they’re going to pick up a lot of options, and people are going to recruit, they’re going to go and more important, they’re going to stay where they’re taking care of and it’s they’re treated the best. And it’s not all about money. It’s a lot about education, it’s about values about what they stand for. It’s their their are they aligned with the thoughts and vision as I feel like it’s very transparent. And what I’m hearing you guys say is these two programs both have meant apprenticeship and mentorship. They tie into that really well. But in different places early on, apprenticeship may be really important. But mentorship is like the second wave of your education. But it’s also something to aspire to be. When you get to an organization I Well, you know, I want to be a mentor to the next wave. And it’s that progression is really, really valuable, I think.

Natasha Sherwood 24:06
Absolutely. I mean, and we have an apprentice of the year competition every year. So they take an academic test and then top 10 get to do a hands on test. And then the winner actually goes to a national competition and and I got to spend time with our young man this year But um, he said, we were sitting and chatting. He’s like, you know, you know, sure what I want to teach, do you think I could teach I’m like you were signed up the teacher, I made your class. He’s like, I just learned so much I remember. And he you know, I remember this instructor, I remember the very first class I went in, and everything he taught me, I know, I can do that for someone else. And I was like, spot on and you’re hired, he’s like, for real, like, for real, right? Like, right now you’re hired. And this is a kid who never missed four years never missed a class inner miss one of his apprentice class top in his class every year and finish wire off number one, so really could do anything will move up and his company quickly does not need the extra money for being an instructor but I definitely think that they realize that that culture and that those steps make a difference. And I do like the way you said it like apprenticeships kind of the first investment that the company makes into the student. And then the mentorships, kind of the secondary investment. And then the return is when they mentor someone else, it’s kind of the repayment of that investment. And so it makes like a nice, you know, good circle going. And I do think that’s how you keep you know, I have one company that I rarely see, lose, they don’t ever lose employees, they may have to let an employee go, but I have not ceased employees leading them ever. And I know the culture of that company, is why they don’t leave, they play well, they pay well. But they don’t pay the highest of all of mine. In dollars and cents they pay well in a culture that is conducive to growing.

Scott Peper 25:35
It’s so interesting to hear how you’re climbing clients are similar and saying and you’re seeing the same things that I’m seeing, but from a totally different side in the same exact business and industry because I try to tell folks all the time that your problems are not alone, like everybody has them. It’s just you know, they’re parts of business, but you can do things about it. And this is a great tool. I feel like people in construction leaders in construction, whether they own the company or they’re in management or they’re aspiring leaders that are in a introductory role but want to develop into that they can stand in these roles and anybody can be an apprentice in anybody. I mean anybody can be a mentor to anyone about whatever it is they know that someone does and helpful. Um there’s one last time I got this is a good segue to is just continuing education. You know, depending on the trade, there’s some continuing education One that is needed and sort of mandated. How does do these apprenticeship programs and also mentorship kind of get credits towards continuing education? Or is that all separate classes in the trades? How does that how do they go together if they go together at all?

Natasha Sherwood 26:29
For electrical, it is separate until it’s after the fact. And there are requirements from the state, it’s 11. It depends on which is which part of the electrical industry, but for the basic part, it’s 11. And then there’s some specific requirements, just like so if you’re an educator, he had to get certain CPUs, these are specific, and there’s some business ones, technical ones. And then if you’re in the fire alarm, then there’s specific fire alarm if you’re, you know, an H back, and so forth. So there are certain ones and we provide to the association, we do those monthly. So every month, we provide free ones for our members, and we do them. And so it’s everything from legal aspects of running a business, like you said, so some of them are business related to tool safety, and OSHA, all of those. So those are all specific ones that are required. And there are a certain amount that they have to get every two years is the cycle. And but then in addition, those are kind of the required ones. And those are important, don’t get me wrong. But I think the bigger part we offer ones that aren’t necessarily required by state, they still get the EU credit, but it’s the ones to make their business better. So whether it’s a code, change seminar, electrical code, I’m sure it changes for everything else, like every three years, let’s just change the code. And so kind of go over what those code changes are, or they have to be certified, whether it’s fire alarm safety. And they do that. So we offer those as journeyman prep classes. So for maybe students who didn’t, or electricians who didn’t go through the apprentice program, have those 12,000 hours and want to apply for you know what to take the test for the journeyman Pratt, we’ll do that kind of see. And we’ll also do a training just on leadership. So it kind of ties into that mentorship program. So now you’ve been electrician, you’ve got you know, done the apprentice program. You’ve got your journeyman license, you kind of started moving up, do you see yourself as a foreman? So the first class would be what is foreman? What does that include? Like? Do you know if it’s raining? Yeah, you send people home, even your best friend, because that’s what a foreman has to do? And then what is the supervisor look like? And then what is, you know, further leadership into estimating? I mean, what is estimating? So how do you go from electrician into estimating? How do you go into all the other aspects. I mean, as you kind of said, construction, any contractor is a business besides being the trade. So there’s HR, there’s, you know, education and training and public relations and estimating and finance. And so we offer a little bit of all of that, and they again, making your company better is investing in the education of those employees. And I think when they feel valued, and I think the education part makes them, you know, feel valued. So whether it’s bringing them to a legal aspects of electricity to or it is a fire alarm, safety years, a journeyman or leadership prep. And so those are the ones so some of them are required, and some of them are to actually grow the individual and the industry.

Kyesha Robinson 28:40
Yeah, at Pinellas Technical College, we do offer continuing education courses, as well. And similarly, they are separate from apprenticeship experiences, as well as from our full time courses. And we like to refer to these types of courses as our last lifelong learning experiences. So if we want to support a vibrant workforce that is able to adapt to change, and truly recognizes the value in ongoing education, or even seeks to continue to be a part of and support advances in their own technologies in their respective industries, we really have to all continue to be lifelong learners. And that’s where that concept comes from. I don’t know that you can really have a lot of innovation and creativity or even remain relevant on an ongoing basis if you don’t invest in so far in yourself, or continuing education or in your employees for the same. So I think that investing in continuing education can help businesses to remain relevant and in step with various changes that are happening in their industry. Just thinking about electricity, we know we’ve come a very long wave, Edison, you know, and there’s still more to come. So the appetite of consumers and customers businesses, for you know, environmentally conscientious is also going to continue to change the way and to create a need for ongoing education as new technologies, and new ways of delivering services is happening. So we do offer that those continuing education are those lifelong learning courses, and we encourage people to take them whether it’s an obligation to maintain your certification credential or your license or not. It’s just something that’s good to have if you want to remain a well-rounded and informed employee.

Unknown Speaker 30:30
I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s actually one of our core values of mobilization funding is to be a lifetime learner. You know, you got to continually be educating yourself, you know, things change, people change, you become more valuable to yourself Most importantly, but you as you’re more important, you’re more valuable to yourself, you’re more valuable to everybody. And that’s the most important thing to, to stay in the game and not get passed by, or let yourself pass your own self by.

Kyesha Robinson 30:44
Well said.

Scott Peper 30:46
You guys have been awesome. I really appreciate you guys going through this, this has been really great, much more surprising topics and conversation than I thought we’d get into. I like the topics, of course, but I really like we’re winning. And I’m just shocked at how much it ties into all the conversations I have every single day, in just anecdotal ways. And I really feel like if we get this video off, everyone watched it, see, they’re gonna be able to really understand it and have some good tactical action steps of where they can go and where to go next and how to do it. That’s the most important thing that we’re trying to help.

Natasha Sherwood 31:16
I think that’s one of the biggest parts is and I always joke that I mean, I’ve lived in Tampa my entire life. And I consider it a little, you know, small, big town. But still, what resources I didn’t know, were out there. And you know, what resources, I come across contractors all the time, just like this home builder, large. I mean, if I told you the name, I won’t, because they’ll kill me, large, large builds tons of homes in our area, you know, didn’t know what options are out there for like apprenticeship-wise and getting people trained. And so houses are behind. And I think sometimes people just to say, hey, I need some help. What are you doing? And that hasn’t necessarily, I think been, you know, a strong point in construction in general is because it’s been competitive. And I think right now it’s everybody realizes somebody can help them out a little bit. So if anybody ever needs any, I’m more than happy to reach out. And sometimes it’s to PTC and sometimes it’s ABC, and they all seem to be letters. And to find out, you know, where does someone go? And I don’t know the answer. And same thing I found PTC if they don’t know the answer, they’re more than willing to help find the right one or Hey, you want to start a new email to the head of a PTC, you want to start a new pre apprenticeship program next year? Yeah, sure. Okay, let’s write a grant. So it’s all good. And I think that’s the neat thing I found in this industry is it is a is evolving into a help each other out type situation.

Kyesha Robinson 32:31
So yeah, enough, can’t be said about collaboration. Gone are the days of operating in silos. I hear something that we don’t do, just like she shared. We’ll partner with whomever to get the job done. And then maybe later on down the road, there’s a way for us to adopt some new programs or technologies ourselves, but there’s no way that we can continue to serve industries, and not have these types of open dialogues and build relationships. We just have to do it.

Scott Peper 32:55
So I’m going to make sure that the audience and everyone knows they can see your guy’s email address that question right here below on your name. And I think which in myself as well. And I’m more than happy to speak to anyone anytime they want to reach out and talk. And I know you guys have been very gracious with your time too. And hopefully people will take us up on that.

Natasha Sherwood 33:16
Absolutely.

Kyesha Robinson 33:15
Thank you for allowing us to share on your platform. This has been great.

Scott Peper 33:20
Well, everybody. I hope you guys enjoyed this conversation. Thank you so much. Natasha, thank you so much, Keisha. And please let us know how we can help and enjoy the rest of your afternoon and day. Thank you very much.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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