Another full house at second annual Skilled Trades Night

March 16, 2016



J. Ranck Electric (JRE) hosted area parents and students, grades 7-12, at a Skilled Trades Night designed to help students explore careers opportunities they could pursue within the trades. The event filled JRE headquarters in Mt. Pleasant with nearly 100 young adults and parents.

“My wife and I are professors at CMU. So we certainly appreciate a college education,” said Scot Squires after attending Skilled Trades Night with his son, “At the same time, the professions within the skilled trades should not be overlooked. It is wonderful that you focus on high school students who have a skill set that makes them successful in other areas that traditional colleges do not focus on. My son is one such high schooler. … Thanks for hosting a program that looks at other professions that high schoolers sometimes overlook.”

As JRE employees shared their career stories, a theme emerged: each one began as a student. Some started at technical centers, as co-ops, or in apprenticeship programs, some went to college. Regardless of the specific path, they all agreed that skilled trades aren’t just jobs, but solid and rewarding careers. Groups of students and parents visited demonstration stations in JRE’s warehouse where they learned about skills used in the industry: splicing high voltage cable, bending and threading conduit, installing traffic signals, and operating heavy equipment like bucket trucks and digger trucks, and maintaining a fleet of vehicles.

“A lot of people don’t realize how many different careers there are within the construction industry. We hold this event to show students a few of the many, many options they have,” explains JRE Vice President and Human Resources Director Angie Wood, “While traditional classroom career preparation is a solid option for some, others thrive when they are working with their hands, getting outdoors, solving problems, and going right to work after high school.”

Skilled Trades Night showed these students that the career they will thrive in is available and can provide a solid future; all it takes is a young adult willing to put in the effort and develop as a skilled tradesman.