Our apprentices are on the road to a fulfilling career in facilities services.
Cleo is an apprentice at a client site in Texas, but he isn’t new to the facilities services industry. He has over 14 years of experience in a variety of roles, including machine adjuster and conference room set-up tech. He joined our apprenticeship program in July and, for the last nine months, has been learning new skills, gaining experience, and doing more of the work that he enjoys.
“I used to work as a utility tech,” says Cleo. “That was fine, but I really enjoy the HVAC and chiller work I’m doing now. The system is state-of-the-art, the gold standard. It’s really exciting. It’s a chance to see where the industry is going.”
Investing in our people.
A big part of our apprenticeship program is providing participants with tuition assistance, and Cleo says that he’s really enjoying the opportunity to learn new skills that are relevant at the facilities of today.
“I always get excited when we’ve covered something in school, and then I go to work and can put that knowledge into action. That just happened with chillers, actually. It’s great being able to go hands-on with systems at the same time you’re learning about them.”
One common challenge for all of our apprentices is balancing both work and school. “It’s hard,” Cleo says. “I have a job and then I go to school five hours a day, four days a week. It’s all about managing my time well. For example, homework is always due on Wednesday, so I make sure that I do all of my studying and homework on Friday, Saturday, Sunday. That way, by Monday, I can just focus on work.”
This effort and dedication has been paying off for Cleo, as he has a perfect attendance record and has appeared on the dean’s list multiple times.
“I was looking for a way to go back to school,” he says. “So finding out about this program was a great sign for me. I want to thank Paul Bedborough. It’s been a great opportunity for me.”
Cleo hopes that with the new skills he has learned in the apprenticeship program, he’ll be able to do more of the higher-paying facilities services job that he enjoys. “I’m looking forward to being able to provide a better life for my family. My son is graduating from high school, about to go to college. My daughter is graduating from college. I want to be able to help them in whatever ways I can.”
Solving the trade-skills gap.
We have offered apprenticeship programs at a number of our client sites for years, but what caused us to redesign and further invest in the program is the growing trade-skills gap. This problem, as Thomas A. Kochan, Dave Finegold, and Paul Osterman explain in their article Who Can Fix the “Middle-Skills Gap?,” is caused by the fact that a large number of baby boomers are going to retire over the course of the next decade and that there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill these vacant roles.
You can learn more about how we’re working to address the trade-skills gap here.
Who takes care of your facility?
Cleo is one of many stories we have from the field that demonstrate how our team’s culture is the backbone of our service delivery success. We pride ourselves on delivering a broad portfolio of services, developing and empowering our people, and defining a new status quo.
Get inspired and read more stories about employees like Cleo.
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