While the decades have brought a greater focus on four-year college education and reduced attention on the trades for high school graduates, service providers such as Rooter-Man of South Carolina are determined to continue introducing newcomers to the workforce to the significant advantages that await them in the trades. In addition to recruiting high school seniors in person, Nelson Huggins, the president of Rooter-Man SC, also uses modern digital solutions to give interns and new hires more streamlined training than they have ever been able to access, making it easier for them to land their first job in the trades industry.
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Like many plumbing, carpentry, and other trades businesses, Rooter-Man SC has found it difficult in recent years to find prospective employees who are both interested in and qualified to become technicians. In the past, it was common for high school graduates to enter the trades, but with a nationwide emphasis on attending college, guidance counselors are far more likely to direct students toward a four-year degree program rather than informing them about the options available to them closer to home in apprenticeship and internship systems.
In-person recruitment has always been a cornerstone of the strategy for companies like Rooter-Man SC to hire great new young employees, who ideally remain with the same organization for decades and form a valuable core of knowledge and skill. As an educator with 17 years of experience teaching in Charleston County schools, Rooter-Man SC CEO Nelson Huggins is comfortable and passionate about having a presence in local schools to speak with students and let them know about the opportunities available to them once they graduate. With a general lack of information presented to students concerning the trades as they approach graduation, Mr. Huggins sees these personal efforts as critical for supplying his company with the next generation of expert technicians.
Under Mr. Huggins’ leadership, Rooter-Man SC is also actively employing digital solutions to give interested students and new hires a head start on the training they need to begin working in the plumbing industry. App-based education that students can pursue on their own schedule and under their own supervision allows them to learn plumbing basics, safety protocols, explanation of tools, procedures for repairs and installation, and other details that they will use on the job. This education is a vital supplement to the hands-on training that new hires later gain while working with the experts at Rooter-Man SC and gets them on their way to their first job more efficiently.
Rooter-Man SC is proud to launch its pilot program for educating students in the plumbing industry in 2023, and the company is already working with prospective 2024 graduates to get them started in the program. After graduation, these participants in the program will be ready to start working under the supervision of experienced plumbers and developing their own skills.
To learn about the pilot program and to find out how to get involved, students and their parents can get in touch with Rooter-Man SC through their website (www.rootermansc.com) or by phone at 843-402-7799.