August 3, 2023
Applewood Looks to Boost Trades Through Apprentice Program
Plumbers, electricians, heating, ventilation and air conditioning technicians and more all have one thing in common: they’ve all been thoroughly trained in skilled trades. These trades are crucial to the economy, yet not enough young people know about the benefits of a skilled trades career paths.
In its 50th year of business, Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric sees this as an opportunity to inspire a new group of technicians and increase awareness of these viable careers. In the last several years, the number of those entering the trades has declined, but as many “boomers” age out of their trade career, there is opportunity for the next generation. Applewood is taking that opportunity head on with a robust apprentice program.
“We have come across individuals looking for a change and not wanting to invest years and thousands of dollars in college to get there,” said Josh Ward, owner of Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric. “Careers in the trades bring many a high level of personal satisfaction and professional growth; something that many people aren’t aware of until they get into an apprenticeship.”
In 2015, Applewood began their apprentice program. Since the start, Applewood has hired 45 apprentices with five currently on staff and current open apprenticeship positions. Not only does the company offer apprenticeships, but they also provide scholarships for students learning the trades at Red Rocks Community College. Students may apply for the $1,000 scholarship for the spring or fall semester.
What are trades and why are they important?
College isn’t the only pathway to a successful career. Everyone needs help with their plumbing, HVAC or electrical issues and at some point, and will require a trained specialist.
Trades are an ideal career for anyone who is mechanically inclined and wants to secure a steady income. Learning a trade involves acquiring special knowledge and practical skills that open the doors to careers after training. The skills of trade workers are highly specialized and will vary depending on the area of expertise.
Some advantages to pursuing the trades include gaining experience immediately. Some apprenticeships, like Applewood’s, will offer real life experience.
“We work in fields that will always have a need,” said Ward. “And today, these skilled trades offer just as much financial compensation as someone with a college degree. Applewood offers paid on-the-job training which can last anywhere from 18 to 24 months depending on the area of expertise. This includes time with their mentor, mastering key skills and logging enough hours to apply for appropriate certifications and licenses.”
Skilled trades are constantly growing in demand. Some studies estimate skilled trades may grow as much as 25% in the next few years. No matter how the marketplace shifts, plumbers, HVAC technicians and electricians are always needed.
“We hope that we can play a small part in promoting skilled trades as a viable career choice,” said Ward. “We know from our own experiences how important the services we provide are to our customers.”
If you’re looking to land your ideal job in the trades, there are several ways to get started. Taking courses at a local community college can be a great first step. Another option is beginning with an apprenticeship. Applewood offers apprenticeships that require no prior experience.