Podcast
Tradespeople Interview Series
Hosted by Crew Wyard
Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 17 - Austin Laulainen, HV Electrical Journeyman Lineman
Visit Austin's Website! http://bluecollaredu.com/ Welcome to JointheTrades.com, where we explore the world of skilled trades and technical careers. In this interview, we sit down with Austin Laulainen, a high voltage electrician journeyman lineman and co-founder of Blueprint, an online training platform aimed to educate and bring awareness to blue collar career paths. We dive into the diverse range of career paths available in the trades and technical fields, and dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding these education pathways. Join us as we explore the exciting and rewarding opportunities in the trades and technical fields, and learn how you can start your journey towards a successful career today. Don't miss out on this insightful interview. Time Stamps: Intro (0:00) How Austin Got Started (0:30) Training, Apprenticeship & Schooling Hours (14:18) Austin's Average Day (23:04) Pros and Cons (27:55) How to Get Started in the Industry (35:27) Where to Reach Austin (41:09) Outro (42:27) Find Us On Social Media! TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@jointhetrades Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jointhetrades/ Facebook: https://bit.ly/3kZYCkl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jointhetrades-com/ Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode. Full-length, Audio-only episodes available on your favorite podcast platforms - coming soon!
Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 16 - Katie Shonikis, Welding
Visit Austin's Website! http://bluecollaredu.com/ Welcome to JointheTrades.com, where we explore the world of skilled trades and technical careers. In this interview, we sit down with Austin Laulainen, a high voltage electrician journeyman lineman and co-founder of Blueprint, an online training platform aimed to educate and bring awareness to blue collar career paths. We dive into the diverse range of career paths available in the trades and technical fields, and dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding these education pathways. Join us as we explore the exciting and rewarding opportunities in the trades and technical fields, and learn how you can start your journey towards a successful career today. Don't miss out on this insightful interview. Time Stamps: Intro (0:00) How Austin Got Started (0:30) Training, Apprenticeship & Schooling Hours (14:18) Austin's Average Day (23:04) Pros and Cons (27:55) How to Get Started in the Industry (35:27) Where to Reach Austin (41:09) Outro (42:27) Find Us On Social Media! TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@jointhetrades Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jointhetrades/ Facebook: https://bit.ly/3kZYCkl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jointhetrades-com/ Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode. Full-length, Audio-only episodes available on your favorite podcast platforms - coming soon!
Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 15 - Brian Thomas, Journeyman Lineman
Visit Austin's Website! http://bluecollaredu.com/ Welcome to JointheTrades.com, where we explore the world of skilled trades and technical careers. In this interview, we sit down with Austin Laulainen, a high voltage electrician journeyman lineman and co-founder of Blueprint, an online training platform aimed to educate and bring awareness to blue collar career paths. We dive into the diverse range of career paths available in the trades and technical fields, and dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding these education pathways. Join us as we explore the exciting and rewarding opportunities in the trades and technical fields, and learn how you can start your journey towards a successful career today. Don't miss out on this insightful interview. Time Stamps: Intro (0:00) How Austin Got Started (0:30) Training, Apprenticeship & Schooling Hours (14:18) Austin's Average Day (23:04) Pros and Cons (27:55) How to Get Started in the Industry (35:27) Where to Reach Austin (41:09) Outro (42:27) Find Us On Social Media! TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@jointhetrades Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jointhetrades/ Facebook: https://bit.ly/3kZYCkl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jointhetrades-com/ Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode. Full-length, Audio-only episodes available on your favorite podcast platforms - coming soon!
Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 14 - TJ Scott, ISP Networks
Visit Austin's Website! http://bluecollaredu.com/ Welcome to JointheTrades.com, where we explore the world of skilled trades and technical careers. In this interview, we sit down with Austin Laulainen, a high voltage electrician journeyman lineman and co-founder of Blueprint, an online training platform aimed to educate and bring awareness to blue collar career paths. We dive into the diverse range of career paths available in the trades and technical fields, and dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding these education pathways. Join us as we explore the exciting and rewarding opportunities in the trades and technical fields, and learn how you can start your journey towards a successful career today. Don't miss out on this insightful interview. Time Stamps: Intro (0:00) How Austin Got Started (0:30) Training, Apprenticeship & Schooling Hours (14:18) Austin's Average Day (23:04) Pros and Cons (27:55) How to Get Started in the Industry (35:27) Where to Reach Austin (41:09) Outro (42:27) Find Us On Social Media! TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@jointhetrades Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jointhetrades/ Facebook: https://bit.ly/3kZYCkl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jointhetrades-com/ Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode. Full-length, Audio-only episodes available on your favorite podcast platforms - coming soon!
Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 13 - Erik Salmon, Commercial Dive Medic
Visit Austin's Website! http://bluecollaredu.com/ Welcome to JointheTrades.com, where we explore the world of skilled trades and technical careers. In this interview, we sit down with Austin Laulainen, a high voltage electrician journeyman lineman and co-founder of Blueprint, an online training platform aimed to educate and bring awareness to blue collar career paths. We dive into the diverse range of career paths available in the trades and technical fields, and dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding these education pathways. Join us as we explore the exciting and rewarding opportunities in the trades and technical fields, and learn how you can start your journey towards a successful career today. Don't miss out on this insightful interview. Time Stamps: Intro (0:00) How Austin Got Started (0:30) Training, Apprenticeship & Schooling Hours (14:18) Austin's Average Day (23:04) Pros and Cons (27:55) How to Get Started in the Industry (35:27) Where to Reach Austin (41:09) Outro (42:27) Find Us On Social Media! TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@jointhetrades Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jointhetrades/ Facebook: https://bit.ly/3kZYCkl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jointhetrades-com/ Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode. Full-length, Audio-only episodes available on your favorite podcast platforms - coming soon!
Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 12 - Joe DeLong, HVAC
Visit Austin's Website! http://bluecollaredu.com/ Welcome to JointheTrades.com, where we explore the world of skilled trades and technical careers. In this interview, we sit down with Austin Laulainen, a high voltage electrician journeyman lineman and co-founder of Blueprint, an online training platform aimed to educate and bring awareness to blue collar career paths. We dive into the diverse range of career paths available in the trades and technical fields, and dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding these education pathways. Join us as we explore the exciting and rewarding opportunities in the trades and technical fields, and learn how you can start your journey towards a successful career today. Don't miss out on this insightful interview. Time Stamps: Intro (0:00) How Austin Got Started (0:30) Training, Apprenticeship & Schooling Hours (14:18) Austin's Average Day (23:04) Pros and Cons (27:55) How to Get Started in the Industry (35:27) Where to Reach Austin (41:09) Outro (42:27) Find Us On Social Media! TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@jointhetrades Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jointhetrades/ Facebook: https://bit.ly/3kZYCkl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jointhetrades-com/ Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode. Full-length, Audio-only episodes available on your favorite podcast platforms - coming soon!
Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 11 - Jerry Scamuffa, Masonry
Visit Austin's Website! http://bluecollaredu.com/ Welcome to JointheTrades.com, where we explore the world of skilled trades and technical careers. In this interview, we sit down with Austin Laulainen, a high voltage electrician journeyman lineman and co-founder of Blueprint, an online training platform aimed to educate and bring awareness to blue collar career paths. We dive into the diverse range of career paths available in the trades and technical fields, and dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding these education pathways. Join us as we explore the exciting and rewarding opportunities in the trades and technical fields, and learn how you can start your journey towards a successful career today. Don't miss out on this insightful interview. Time Stamps: Intro (0:00) How Austin Got Started (0:30) Training, Apprenticeship & Schooling Hours (14:18) Austin's Average Day (23:04) Pros and Cons (27:55) How to Get Started in the Industry (35:27) Where to Reach Austin (41:09) Outro (42:27) Find Us On Social Media! TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@jointhetrades Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jointhetrades/ Facebook: https://bit.ly/3kZYCkl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jointhetrades-com/ Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode. Full-length, Audio-only episodes available on your favorite podcast platforms - coming soon!
Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 10 - Michael Anders, Commercial HVAC
Visit Austin's Website! http://bluecollaredu.com/ Welcome to JointheTrades.com, where we explore the world of skilled trades and technical careers. In this interview, we sit down with Austin Laulainen, a high voltage electrician journeyman lineman and co-founder of Blueprint, an online training platform aimed to educate and bring awareness to blue collar career paths. We dive into the diverse range of career paths available in the trades and technical fields, and dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding these education pathways. Join us as we explore the exciting and rewarding opportunities in the trades and technical fields, and learn how you can start your journey towards a successful career today. Don't miss out on this insightful interview. Time Stamps: Intro (0:00) How Austin Got Started (0:30) Training, Apprenticeship & Schooling Hours (14:18) Austin's Average Day (23:04) Pros and Cons (27:55) How to Get Started in the Industry (35:27) Where to Reach Austin (41:09) Outro (42:27) Find Us On Social Media! TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@jointhetrades Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jointhetrades/ Facebook: https://bit.ly/3kZYCkl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jointhetrades-com/ Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode. Full-length, Audio-only episodes available on your favorite podcast platforms - coming soon!
Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 9 - Matt Coombs, Audiovisual
Visit Austin's Website! http://bluecollaredu.com/ Welcome to JointheTrades.com, where we explore the world of skilled trades and technical careers. In this interview, we sit down with Austin Laulainen, a high voltage electrician journeyman lineman and co-founder of Blueprint, an online training platform aimed to educate and bring awareness to blue collar career paths. We dive into the diverse range of career paths available in the trades and technical fields, and dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding these education pathways. Join us as we explore the exciting and rewarding opportunities in the trades and technical fields, and learn how you can start your journey towards a successful career today. Don't miss out on this insightful interview. Time Stamps: Intro (0:00) How Austin Got Started (0:30) Training, Apprenticeship & Schooling Hours (14:18) Austin's Average Day (23:04) Pros and Cons (27:55) How to Get Started in the Industry (35:27) Where to Reach Austin (41:09) Outro (42:27) Find Us On Social Media! TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@jointhetrades Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jointhetrades/ Facebook: https://bit.ly/3kZYCkl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jointhetrades-com/ Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode. Full-length, Audio-only episodes available on your favorite podcast platforms - coming soon!
Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 8 - Cody Vaughan, Commercial Electric
Visit Austin's Website! http://bluecollaredu.com/ Welcome to JointheTrades.com, where we explore the world of skilled trades and technical careers. In this interview, we sit down with Austin Laulainen, a high voltage electrician journeyman lineman and co-founder of Blueprint, an online training platform aimed to educate and bring awareness to blue collar career paths. We dive into the diverse range of career paths available in the trades and technical fields, and dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding these education pathways. Join us as we explore the exciting and rewarding opportunities in the trades and technical fields, and learn how you can start your journey towards a successful career today. Don't miss out on this insightful interview. Time Stamps: Intro (0:00) How Austin Got Started (0:30) Training, Apprenticeship & Schooling Hours (14:18) Austin's Average Day (23:04) Pros and Cons (27:55) How to Get Started in the Industry (35:27) Where to Reach Austin (41:09) Outro (42:27) Find Us On Social Media! TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@jointhetrades Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jointhetrades/ Facebook: https://bit.ly/3kZYCkl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jointhetrades-com/ Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode. Full-length, Audio-only episodes available on your favorite podcast platforms - coming soon!
Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 7 - Paulina Corpus, Wind Turbines
Visit Austin's Website! http://bluecollaredu.com/ Welcome to JointheTrades.com, where we explore the world of skilled trades and technical careers. In this interview, we sit down with Austin Laulainen, a high voltage electrician journeyman lineman and co-founder of Blueprint, an online training platform aimed to educate and bring awareness to blue collar career paths. We dive into the diverse range of career paths available in the trades and technical fields, and dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding these education pathways. Join us as we explore the exciting and rewarding opportunities in the trades and technical fields, and learn how you can start your journey towards a successful career today. Don't miss out on this insightful interview. Time Stamps: Intro (0:00) How Austin Got Started (0:30) Training, Apprenticeship & Schooling Hours (14:18) Austin's Average Day (23:04) Pros and Cons (27:55) How to Get Started in the Industry (35:27) Where to Reach Austin (41:09) Outro (42:27) Find Us On Social Media! TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@jointhetrades Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jointhetrades/ Facebook: https://bit.ly/3kZYCkl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jointhetrades-com/ Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode. Full-length, Audio-only episodes available on your favorite podcast platforms - coming soon!
Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 6 - Robert Busby, Aviation
Welcome to the JointheTrades.com interview series, where we bring you inspiring stories of tradespeople who have carved out successful career paths in their respective fields. In today's edition, we have a very special guest - Robert Busby, an accomplished airline pilot with 19 years of experience in the trade. Robert's journey is a testament to the immense opportunities available in the trades, and we're excited to share his insights with our readers.

As the economy continues to evolve, there's a growing demand for skilled workers in various trades such as carpentry, welding, plumbing, electrical work, and aviation, to name a few. However, there's often a stigma attached to trade schools, and many young people are encouraged to pursue traditional four-year degrees instead. JointheTrades.COM is committed to changing that narrative by promoting the benefits of trade schools and vocational training programs.

In this interview, Robert will share his experience of working in the aviation industry and how trade school helped him achieve his goals. He'll also talk about the challenges he faced along the way, and how he overcame them. We hope that his story will inspire and encourage more young people to consider a career in the trades.

So, sit back, relax, and join us as we delve into the world of trades and learn from one of its most accomplished professionals.

Crew Wyard: Welcome back to the JointheTrades.COM interview series, where we talk to tradespeople and learn more about successful career paths. Straight from the source. Today I've got with me Robert Busby, an airline pilot with 19 years of experience in the trade. Hey, Rob.

Robert Busby: How are you? I'm good, man. How are you today?

Crew Wyard: I'm great. Thanks for joining.

Robert Busby: Us. Yeah, well, the least I can do, man, The pleasure's all on this side of the iPhone.

Crew Wyard: Yeah. I'm sorry. I was running a little late, but I just flew in, and boy, are my arms tired, right?

Robert Busby: Yeah. Next time, flap a little faster. Next time, we'll see if we can get you there on time Arrival.

Crew Wyard: Okay, man. I'll trust your expertise for sure. So you're an airline pilot. This is incredibly cool to have you here with us.

Robert Busby: Yeah, man. So it's a decent job. I don't mind. You know, if there's a way to pay the bills, this is certainly one of them. So it works for me.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, we all got to do that. And this is a cool way to do it. How did you get started?

Robert Busby: You know, I've been wanting to do this for a long time, ever since I was five years old. So I grew up in a potent town up in Massachusetts, if you're familiar with the area there, just outside of Worcester, it's about an hour west of Boston. We're just a small, small town, you know, And none of my family is in the trade. None of my family does the business or any friends of mine. That's it. So all I did was actually go to my high school guidance counselor and I said, Hey, I want to be an airline pilot. What do I need to do? And that was it. The ball was rolling from that, though. From that point on, I did exactly what he said and that was it. Man took off.

Crew Wyard: So this is since you were five years old, that you were determined.

Robert Busby: I was five years old. You know, Daddy lost his job down in Houston, Texas. He got another job in Massachusetts. The ground up. The family threw him on a Continental Airlines flight from Houston to Newark, I think. Right to connect. And then the pilot said, hey, come up to the cockpit, I'll give you some wings, I'll let you push some buttons. And that was it, man. I looked at my mom like, Hey, I want to be an airline pilot. That was like, Yeah, kid, Sure, sure, sure.

Crew Wyard: Yeah. We wish we had that pilot's name right now and phone number. We call him up.

Robert Busby: And it's right.

Crew Wyard: Now I'm like you.

Robert Busby: Honestly, You feel. I don't know.

Crew Wyard: Right? Yeah. Really? Yeah. You got to chip him in. That's right. All right. So it's been 19 years of experience. A long time when you got started, how do you get started in this career?

Robert Busby: I mean, there is there are so many different ways to get started in the aviation industry. You know, there's one way, you know, a lot of people think military, you know, back in the day, you know, the most of the majority airline pilots came from the military. That's where they all began. But nowadays, in my ear, you know, you go out there, you jump in a Cessna 172 or a Cessna 150, and boom, you get you instruction, you're instructing, you're risking your life every day. And I'm just kidding. You're not risking your life 100%. But no, but you know, but yeah. So there's a military route that way. Then there's other routes, of course, like I took, you know, I went to there's so many schools and so many programs that they have out there right now is that and I went to school was like, Hey, you know what? Do you want to be an airline pilot? Sure. Well, there's an aviation school down in Florida. Go down there. And it all started and it all started. Now they throw, you know, 172 is all right. Today's lesson is going to be rolling down a runway and pulling up. And that was it. The first thing I learned was how to take off. So, yeah, and that's one way of doing it. And then if like if you're not sure, you know, it's like, hey, wait a minute. That's I hear it's a lot of money to get started. You know, you're not sure you don't want to jump in, you know, sign a $40,000 student loan or something like that real quick, or you want to give your money away real quick. So what you do is you do something along the lines, as they call it a Discovery flight, and you can go to your local, a local airport, any kind of airport that's anywhere near you. They usually have these little outfits with a Cessna and say, hey, you want to do a discovery flight for 60, 70 bucks, They'll throw you in an airplane, take you up in the air like you do a couple of turns. And hey, if it knocks your socks off, well, you're meant to do the business. If it doesn't, well, you know, you're puking all over yourself. Well, then, you know.

Crew Wyard: Yeah. So if you reach for the what? I suppose the vomit bag, you know, that's a bad sign, right?

Robert Busby: That's right. Yeah. It's probably not. It's probably not your trade. Your trade of choice, that's for sure.

Crew Wyard: For sure. So that's how you got rolling. And then where did you go from there? You start working for a specific company or.

Robert Busby: Yeah, man. So I was down there, so I went to, went to Florida, I went to school down there and I did all my flight lessons down there. And you, you get you can get all your ticket, you know, your ticket, your private pilot estimate commercial, raise it a few days you need to get to the level that I'm at, for sure. But once you get all your tickets and ratings, you only have a few hundred hours. And that's just no, that's just nowhere. The experience of what you need to jump into an airline, a jet flying, you know, hundreds and hundreds of people across the pond. So your next thing is like, well, how am I going to go build time? Well, some people go and they drag you know, you're on a beach and you see those little tail draggers that eat at Joe's. Eat at Joe's right there, right? Yeah. Yeah. So some guy that's some guy like myself building time, he's flying like at 60 miles per hour, barely staying in the air building time, or he's flying around some cargo or he's actually a flight instructor. That's what I did. As soon as I got all my hours of my licenses, I actually started teaching kids how to. Lie. And I say, kids, but a lot of people are older than I was. But teaching kids how to fly, instructing people, and that's how I built my hours. And at the time it was 1500 hours, too, for the airlines to even look at you. So that's why when I went right into flight instructing, then after flight instructing, then your regional airlines, somebody else might have been on some of those, you know, a 50 seater jet to buy two seats. You know, it's kind of like, yeah, now you fly from Charlotte, so maybe like Fayetteville, North Carolina, or something, like a short hop like that. That was me back when I was 24 years old. You know, flying those shorts, and I did that for about ten years. And then finally, one of the big boys, they finally knocked on my door, said, Hey, come on, come fly with us. And now I've been doing that for now. That's what I've been doing now.

Crew Wyard: Wow, man, that's super cool. I mean, as a layperson, you have no idea how that really plays out, right? So 1500 hours at that point, just to get rolling. That's super fascinating that everyone just got to put in time one way or the other. Like either. That's such a funny thing because we've all seen those. Of course, we've all seen the banners being pulled and you think like, Oh, that's something you don't realize. Like, Nah, it's just some kid who's building up his hours.

Robert Busby: Yeah, that's exactly right. It's a kid that's a kid that's burning up in there because you're still close to the ocean, right? So it's not cool upstairs. He doesn't have AC. He's sitting up there, He's. He's sweating. He's drinking his water bottle. They just try that little thing that as a fuel gauge gets low, he has to hurry up and hightail it, drop the dragon land-free fuel, and jump back in the air. And so he can't stand it no more. All to build hours so he can come join me on the right seats.

Crew Wyard: Wow, That is fascinating, man. That's a trip. So you've been doing it long enough to have all kinds of ups and downs, I'm sure. No pun intended. And what do you find most rewarding about it?

Robert Busby: So most rewarding is like it's just flying the passengers, you know? It's all about having all those people, all those people back there. A lot of people think, Do you freak out when you're when you know that you have all those people that you're flying? You really never think about, you know, the door closes and things are happening fast. You're getting your papers, getting your dotting your don, your eyes are crossing your T's and you're pushing back and you really don't really think about it. But back there, but back there. And if you do think about it, you know, if you get the airplane, you fight the traffic in New York, you know, LaGuardia, you're your number 22 for takeoff. You're waiting, waiting, waiting. And then you finally take off. You do the turns to get out of there and they sequence you and all these other airplanes and you're finally, finally underway to Aruba or finally on the way to San Diego, and you're finally at cruise altitude. The temperature's right. You're seeing a nice sunrise or sunset. And now you start thinking like, oh, the autopilots on I'm relaxing here, maybe eating a little dinner. Then you start thinking about, well, yeah, wow, there are 180 people back here. There are 180 people. And everybody has a story. You have a story right now? I have a story right now. There are 180 stories back there. I've got people that are going for job interviews. People are going over for podcast interviews. People are going over that are flying to see a family friend, a girlfriend they met on Tinder, a funeral, a job interview or. Yeah, all everybody has a vacation or, you know, there are so many stories back there and you're a huge part of that. You're just a part of that. And you come in for a landing, you grease the landing, and you make it memorable for them. And as you're saying, goodbye, you know, you see the smiles and you see just all their facial expressions up while the day that they're happy. So the rewarding part is you took 180 people to their story. You know, you're assisting them, finishing up their story, or adding to their stories. So that's what I find the most rewarding part about it. But a lot of people, you know, choose to fly for airlines like FedEx, UPS, and they don't want to fly passengers. Their reward is they want to fly those boxes and their rewards, their paycheck. You know what I mean? So everybody has a lot of different flavors when it comes to the aviation industry. And being an airline pilot, you don't necessarily have to fly passengers. You can go fly boxes over to Asia. And a lot of people like doing that, too. So there are all kinds of good options for it.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, there are all kinds of crazy options for people. For pilots. Absolutely. Guide us through the day. At this point in your career. You get up, you're working how many hours a week you're doing, how many flights a week, that kind of thing.

Robert Busby: Yeah. So right now I live down in the southeast. Right. But the great thing about being the airline that I work for in any airline passenger service is that you know, we're allowed you can live anywhere in the world. I'm actually based in New York, but I live down in the southeast of about of the states, you know, So I don't actually start work until I actually get to New York. And the good thing about the airline pass, we all have a deal with all the airlines, as other pilots say from Southwest can fly on American absolutely free. I can go jump on an American Airlines flight. I can jump on a Delta flight. I can jump on a Southwest flight all for free. Because, you know, badge, you say, hey, I'd like a ride, please, to New York because my airline's full. Or someone goes, I always want to do a little vacation by myself. You know what I mean? So if there's a seat available, it's kind of like a little gentlemen's handshake. There's a seat available. It's all yours free of charge. So I'll jump on an airline, my, my airline or American, and I'll jump on and I'll fly to New York. Else I'll wake up in the morning and I'll wake up more at about three in the morning. I'll jump in the car. I'll thank god that I don't have to do it. They don't have to fight traffic like most 9 to 5 hours. You know what I mean? It's clear. It's clear runways, it's soon like getting to the airport. You're parking at one of those park-and-go-type things. You jump in a shuttle like everybody else. You go to security, you get on your airplane and you get on your airplane and you're the pastor in the back. And I'm commuting I'm commuting over to New York. I land in New York. Well, my showtime was showtime, but usually about an hour prior to your takeoff. It comes up in a couple of hours. So you get something to eat, you grab a coffee, and you go to one of the crew rooms or the crew lounge. Do you take a nap or you hang out watching TV, watching the football game? You chill with the fellows there maybe, or off your board to talk about airline stuff as you go in the passenger, you go up there in the airport, you see all kinds of entertainment. And I know if you haven't seen the news lately, but there are all kinds of entertainment going on right now. Yeah.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. Not a dull moment.

Robert Busby: No, it's not a dull moment. So you're sitting there and you're. And you're waiting for. And you're just waiting for your flight. Your flight to come up. Next thing you know, everything is done. Now, you know, back in the day, it was all done through in the weather rooms. Yeah. You have these big screens are all in these weather rooms and you be flight planning on the on all this paperwork plotting your course is finally on the phones. It was really, really busy. But now technology is so advanced that it's all done in a laptop now. So I'm sitting there sipping my coffee. I'll start getting notifications on the laptop. Then I start going through the paperwork. Okay. Are my passengers going to be safe from A to B? Does this route look good to me? Do I have enough gas? How's the fuel? You know, I can even spot out turbulence just sitting down here talking, you and I talking right now, like, oh, there's turbulence in this area. So I'm going to reroute ourselves around this area or fly at a different altitude. Wow. Yeah, we can all do that right now via the iPad. And I could talk to my dispatcher and say, Hey, we're going to do this instead. It might cost a little bit more fuel-wise, or you can or will do a short time. You can take off some gas. So by the time you actually walk to the airplane, it was about 45 minutes prior to departure. That airplane's already fueled up. That airplane's already ready to go. It's the right tail number. The maintenance is all taken care of. And you just it's almost like you sign in, drive, you get in there, you do your checks, you start, you go through all the buttons and there are about 8000 buttons to go through. And you go through all your buttons and your switches and there's two of us. It takes two to tango. But, and, and just talking to, like I said, the labor person out there talking is like, oh gosh, that's a lot. But I know doing what you've been doing this long. I close my eyes and the hand just goes, you know, just it. It's like your hair starts.

Crew Wyard: Glad to hear that.

Robert Busby: To hear that that button doesn't feel right. Sure enough, that button might not be in the right place, you know? So you do your flows and your checklists and you talk to your copilot or your captain, whoever you're flying with their first officer, should I say, And you get to know each other, you know, because you want to make you make sure you're molding well with the guy next to you so you can kind of wrap together should something bad happened type of deal. But everybody's on the same page. You know, I started from the same book from my airline. He started from the same book on my airline. So basically, I can say the sky is and he'll say blue. You know what I mean? We'll both be on the same page. So as we're doing our checks and we're getting to know each other and we're briefing each other and we start briefing each other, you know, we're talking, okay, this is how the flight is going to go. Do you agree, or disagree, those type of things. Well, then the boat then the passengers are getting boarded at the same time know they're starting to come in, they're starting to come in, and then problems arise, you know, and you kind of just take a slight a tennis column, say, hey, we got a passenger back there, he's smoking or hey, we got to see a duplicate seat. You know, it's just a typical day in the aviation industry or maybe we're not fueled properly. So you kind of got to put out these little fires as the airplane's being boarded. But it's all part of the excitement. You know, it actually just makes the air just makes time go by quicker. Then once all the T's across the I's are dotted, everything's ready to go. And you're approaching departure time. This like, all right, now I need to go do some customer service and I call it selling tickets. I'll go back there in the cabin. I'll walk the entire cabin. I'll hand kids out wings, you know, I'll shake babies, things like that. Talk to the first class pass. Yeah, sure. Say hi. You know, that's of things. And then you make an announcement. You know, you talk to the people, you know, and you talk to them one on like you're talking one on one. You know, there's all that stereotypical pilot stuff out there. Hey folks, the quagmire on that family guy.

Crew Wyard: Right?

Robert Busby: You can count a thousand others all the time. And most guys sound like that. Not so much myself. But you talk to your passengers, you brief your passengers. Then once it's all said and done, the gate agent kisses you goodbye, gives you your final paperwork, shuts that door, then it's go time. Then you have the ramp controls in. Are you ready to push back? And there you go then. Then it's off to the races and you fly. We'll fly, We'll go out there, we'll taxi out, then we'll fly you. Your typical day would be from New York to Denver. Then you'll do a two-hour layover there. You might switch airplanes, you might switch flight attendants, and then you'll fly Denver, too. You'll get something to eat over there, or you fly Denver and then you'll fly Denver to Seattle. Okay. Once you're in Seattle, boom, you'll have maybe 22 hours in Seattle. And Seattle's a great city. You know, a lot of people die. Yeah, I happen to like Seattle a lot. Great food, a great atmosphere, and great people out there. So you get out once you're done, now you're on aisle my time, You know what I mean? So here you are on my time. Well, there's a shuttle. There's either a van or there's a car service awaiting your arrival while your pilots head on down there. They get in the car service, they bring it down to a very, very nice hotel. You know, we said a. Gorgeous hotel right off of Pike's Market right there. They bring to the hotel, they check in, up, your crew up. This is you. They already have your rooms already pre. You're already pre-checked is almost here. You just kind of sign your name. Here he's kind of doing it to the side. You don't wait in line. Here's a case because we just that's just a job you know you go in there he's boom boom, boom, boom, boom. You get up to the room, you strip off your clothes, and you iron them, right? Then you get out, you get on your other guard there. This is not a nice time to be me, you know. So some people might lie in the bed and be exhausted. Some people might call the wife, some people might talk to the kid, and Some people might go out there and enjoy the town. They might go to a local bar, a local brewery or might go and have dinner somewhere by the water out there. Me, my personal favorites, they have an amazing pokey bowl over there. So I'm always going down there for a pokey bowl, then a little sushi and soccer afterward as well. So and then it's nighttime and you go to sleep and then you kind of like rinse and repeat. The next day, you fly Seattle down to San Francisco to our set. Then you go to San Francisco, you fly to Des Moines, and then you sit over there and you do almost the same thing. Yep. Car service, hotel. And a lot of people don't like money. They think it's small and small, quirky. But I tell you what, I love Des Moines. There happened to be this amazing German place that it actually a lot of Germans settled in Des Moines so the food is out of control. It's like you're in Frankfurt, Munich, or somewhere like Des Moines. Are you there? Yeah, yeah. Yes.

Crew Wyard: Shout out to Des Moines.

Robert Busby: Exactly. Yes, Shout out to Des Moines. You know, so there's so many there are so many places you talk about reward. It's like there are so many different places that you would never think to go to and that you can go all over the place and explore all these sad cities. But do you ever get out of the States? And I do. So the next day would be like Des Moines, Houston, Houston, Bogota, Colombia. And then you're flying down to South America, you know, Wow. Over there. And now I have a language barrier, so I hope you habla espanol. If not, you hope you hope you're with somebody. If not, you're like, you got your Google Translate in your phone.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Robert Busby: And then and then the next day it's basically you go back to your base, you go buy you back from Bogota over to New York, You check out, you're done. Thank God you didn't bend any aircraft. Ba-boom. You don't need to talk. And that's another great thing about this job. I never see my boss. You never see your boss? Never. You never talk to your boss. You never see your boss. And you can actually go through your whole career never seeing your boss or even having a phone call from your boss, as long as you're like, Yeah, as long as you show up on time when you're supposed to show up, you don't bend an airplane, you're good, you go home, you don't take in the way. Another great thing about this job, is you don't take the home, the work home with you. Right now I'm sitting here just chit-chatting with you, talking aviation. But guess what I'm not thinking about? Oh, man, I got this meeting I got to attend. You know that time, right?

Crew Wyard: I've got a deadline looming.

Robert Busby: DEADLINE? All I know is February six is my next flight, so I got some time off in between. So that's all that time? Yeah.

Crew Wyard: Yeah. It sounds pretty extraordinary. Actually. Gives you a whole lot of freedom. Not to mention, as you say, I mean, you're just counting life experiences every time you go somewhere, I guess, right?

Robert Busby: Absolutely. You're absolutely right. Yeah. You meet so many different people. You. Yeah, you meet new people. If that's your thing, you know, you can be by yourself or invite people to come with you, but you can meet so many different people and so many different cultures and so many different places to see that you might not be aware that's out there and you might find someplace that, Oh man, I really like this joint. You actually end up with a lot of guys and girls. They end up going moving out of some of these places. You know, we have pilots that live in Spain, they live in Spain, and they commute to New York, do their routes, and they fly over to back to Spain.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, that's incredibly cool that you mention that. That's something that we don't consider at all. Just being a layperson. Like what? What an opportunity that is. What an what an opportunity that is that you can basically live anywhere you want in the world, for all intents and purposes, and still get to work without that much trouble. Right. I assume it's a little bit more isolated.

Robert Busby: Right.

Crew Wyard: But wow, that's something else. Wow, that's really sweet.

Robert Busby: Guys, I live in Australia.

Crew Wyard: Incredible. How is the business changed since you've been in? You've been in long enough. And technology obviously is changing rapidly even more rapidly, it seems, year to year, huh?

Robert Busby: Yeah. So, yeah. So the technology is starting to get, you know, starting to get up there, you know, like a long time ago, whenever, whenever I was coming up in the industry, usually there was three, there's three pilots sitting in the flight deck. You know, there's three paths yet. You had your captain, you had your first officer sit and face in the front. Then you had an engineer on the right side, kind of keep an art house, hydraulic levels. How is this levels? How the how's the fuel levels, those type of things. But with technology, they're able to shrink that down to two pilots. So that's a huge savings to companies. Obviously, that's not good for supply and demand. That's not good for pilots supply. But right now we are very much not a dime-a-dozen pilot. The pilot gig is certainly a hot one right now. Pilots are definitely in that demand right now, if you know what I'm saying. So technology-wise, just what you talk about with the iPads and things around those lines, also, it's the security. You know, everybody remembers September 11th or for that, it's a lot of learning onboard them, but they've heard of it type of deal. You know, before then as you taxi out, you'd have a door open behind you. You know, people come up to the cockpit during your flight hours. It's a great time, you know, So now you can't do that. You're behind a steel door, you know, And nobody gets near that whatsoever. Heck, if there's ever a disturbance back there in the cabin back there. You know, pilots are on strike. You just keep that steel door shut, locked, bolted, you know, and there is no by any means nobody's supposed to come up there. So that just has that in the back of. So that's an unpleasant change that had to happen, unfortunately, due to events. But that was a change there. And then, of course, it's the passengers. You know, a lot of people are flying. These airports are packed. A lot of these airports are built, you know, like they were built to handle like 90 passengers. So now they have these terminals that are flying these hundred and 80 passenger jets all the time. These terminals are packed, and people are all over each other. And you just see a lot of people having a bad day. Yeah, I don't blame the person. Everybody has a bad day, you know, what do you have? One person has a bad day and another person has a bad day. Guess what? Their bad days come up. Yeah. And everybody has a cell phone now, and next thing you know, they're on CNN. They're on Fox News. Yeah, that. And they are TikTok in aviation. Here we are laughing and watching it, you know, the type of deal. So when you got two bad days or and then people mail together, that's it's all over. So you get to see a lot more of that. That's for sure.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, I'll bet. Yeah, we definitely see a lot just, just here on the tube so. And youtube, of course so. Yeah, yeah. Luckily you get to close that steel door.

Robert Busby: Yeah. I'm a people person. I like to try to solve problems, but they, tell me to go stand and sit behind the door. I'm like, All right, fine.

Crew Wyard: I'll do it. No problem.

Robert Busby: He told you not to be like, they run the ship. They pay your checks. So you do as you're told.

Crew Wyard: Man, it sounds like such a cool gig. Sounds like such an awesome gig. I mean, I grew up, of course, a while ago and, you know, pilots were always, like, revered and, wow, you know, the pilots. And it always at the time when I was a kid, of course, we have that image of the sixties and like, you know, the cool image of the pilots during the royal baby. Yeah, right. Part of him. Right. But it's awesome to know that it's still just it still has all these, you know, positive aspects. Now, as far as someone getting into the field or is it difficult to get in the field, is there a whole lot of competition at this point or the airlines are really looking for people?

Robert Busby: Yeah. So so so that's the industry is kind of like Yes. Hills and valleys. Hills and valleys. Hills and valleys right now. Is it right now it's what would be positive? Would it be uphill or would it be downhill? I don't know what with the positive I'm trying to think I guess anyway, let's just say it's a great time to be a pilot, you know? I mean, okay. Yeah. So pilots are very much in high demand right now. A lot of these regionals, like I told you about the 50-seater jets. The 70-seater. When I started, my first airline job was in oh four. My first paycheck was 500 bucks. My next paycheck was 800 bucks. You do the math, 1300 bucks a month was horrible. It just was the way it is now. These cats fly in the same airplane, same deal, same because we're in we are in demand. These guys are making over 150,000 their first year or 100,000 their first their very first year, 24 years old, 23 years old, you know, young, dumb, and ready to rock. And they're coming out of class, coming out of school. They got their hours in their tickets and they're jumping in that plane like, here we go, baby. You know? So the supply is so supply is I mean, so the demand is on our side right now. So it's out there. Pilots are making a boatload of cash and you can go pretty much anywhere in this area and these airlines will sponsor you. You know what I mean? So there are ways to. Go to this place called ATP. They call them pilot factories, you know because you jump in there and within six months you have all your tickets and you have all your licenses and now you're instructing for them. And then I flew with somebody just the other day. They started from 0 to 0 and I'll say 0 hours all the way to the right seat of a 737 took them three and a half years. And that is lightning speed. Lightning speed. Like right now, if we took you through you in a cockpit tomorrow, three and a half years, you'll be flying with me making Wow, 200 plus. Yeah. So, so. So it's very, very easy to get into this industry right now. And there are all kinds of in and a lot of people think it's very, very expensive. And at a point it is expensive. However, a lot of these airlines, and there are so many programs out there that are giving they offer signing bonuses, you know, hey, you come, you come, you go ahead and you're about to start your training with X, Y, Z. Well, guess what? Where if you signed if you sign on the dotted line right now, as soon as you're done with your training, you come fly with us. We're going to give you a $60,000 bonus. We'll give you $100. But well, there's your student loans right there. You know what I mean? Or they'll say, hey, we're going to go ahead and float you a 50 grand right now, but you're going to come work for us and you're going to give us a guarantee. Three years. Well, there's just student loans, right? There are a good chunk of them, at least, you know.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, Yeah, absolutely. That's. It's a nice gig.

Robert Busby: Yeah. Not only do you get a lot of money, but right now people are interested or, you know, the next is interested. Ready to rock our hell. These 55-year-olds are starting to start a rocket right now. So it's definitely a good time if that's what you wanted to do to be a pilot.

Crew Wyard: Incredible. How would you suggest that someone go about that? If we had someone out there right now, this wasn't anyone who was like, no way, because I'm kind of getting pumped about it. Tell you the truth.

Robert Busby: Absolutely.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, not quite 55, but, you know.

Robert Busby: So, yeah, so I mean, hey, if, you know, if you got sat behind before you signed any dotted line and you go you do one of those discovery flights and that that's, that's as simple as going any kind of local airport you spend the day, you go drive to any kind of airport that you can Google Discovery flights. In my area, there are all kinds of things that will come up. You jump on that Discovery flight for 60 bucks, they let you mess with the controls. You can do a takeoff. Heck, I had brand spanking new students doing landings on their very, very first day. So you can actually do that. You can actually go up there and see if it's a see if if you why you whet your whistles there. See if it's for you. You know, I was like, hey, man, I really, really like this. And also I'm here, I'm here, I'm seeing dollar signs and I'm really enjoying what could be my life in the future. Yeah, I'll fly to Tennessee. Oh, my goodness. So here we go. So then at that point, then it's like, you know, you start looking at how do I want to go about it? You know, there are so many different options to do it. Okay. People jump on the military. They want to go fly an F-16 for a couple of years. So they go fly an F-16, They get that out of their system, then they jump into the aviation world. So that's option A, Option B, there's if they want to go to school for it, you know, there's college degrees. You can get that. For that. But the for the airline pilots as well. You know you got there are so many aviation schools out there. You can go out there and get your four-year degree as well. So that's for the youngsters or people that want to get in to get their degree. On a side note, they get that they get their take as well. Or if you're somebody like myself right now, here I am and I'm 42 years old, and if I'm starting fresh right now, I'm like, Man, I really want to do this. Here we go. I'm going to go ahead and go to school. One of it's an eight. So I think it's like airline training pilot or something like that. Oh, you research these regional airlines are about probably about ten or 15 regional airlines in the U.S. and they all are partnered with these aviation schools. You know, so you have ATP, United Airlines, they have their own now, they have their own aviation school called Aviate. They bought it from Lufthansa over in Germany. And they really the program is over there and it's over there. So aviate. And kids can just hey, I want to sign up. They go apply. Say, if you go apply to that aviate program, you're pretty much a united pilot at that point. And you do your training over there. Once you're all said and done, your instructor over there, you join one of the regionals at the regionals. Then you jump on their plane, too, so you can just go to one of those. As I said, in pilot factories where you are strictly doing the pilot, then you're getting all your tickets, your flight instructor after that, and then you are on the right seat of a C. RJ, Are you one of those regional jets? So there are a lot of different ways that you can get to where I'm at.

Crew Wyard: Wow. That's incredible. Yeah, It's awesome for people out there to know, like, how many opportunities there really are in this field. How exciting. I mean, after 19 years, for you to have the enthusiasm you have for it is still pretty. Not only contagious but pretty exciting for sure.

Robert Busby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's definitely me. It's one of those jobs where it's not the same thing that will never happen twice. You never do the same route and never go the same way. You'll never meet the same people. You never fly with the same exact person. They'll never be in that same exact mood that you were that day that they were in three weeks ago. When you're flying with them, you know, So it'll never you'll never fly the same type of day twice.

Crew Wyard: Sure. And so you wouldn't say that anyone specifically necessarily is more likely to be prone to succeed at this job. You have all kinds of different personalities. You mentioned people that fly packages and people that like to fly people.

Robert Busby: Absolutely. Yeah. There's so many I mean, I fly with probably about maybe five, six different pilots in a month, you know, 5 to 6 of them. And they all have a different personality. And some people are talking and they want to talk your ear off, you know, hey, hey, let's talk about my skin color. Let's talk about the cream I'm using right here, you know, gives me gives them nice. Give me a nice gives me a nice moisturizer. You're like, Oh my God, what type of moisture? And then you have the other person that just wants they want to keep to themselves and that's good for you. Respect you. Just respect the person that's sitting next to you. You know what I mean? It's like, hey, they're in their ways. You have your ways. And sometimes you guys get along great. Sometimes you're just professional and then sometimes obviously you have the 5% like, Oh, I wish I didn't have to work with him again. You know, those things happen too. But that's every that's in every industry, you know what I mean?

Crew Wyard: So it's any job.

Robert Busby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So you never talk in the cockpit. You never do it much like any job, really. You never talk about race, You never talk about politics. You never talk about, you know, personal beliefs and religion, things like that. You know, you keep that to everybody else. So to have him holler at me, I talk about where are we going to eat? Well, how we're we're flying to over here, you know, is Shirley are they going to be coming out with us and having a good time over at that Pokeball place over to Seattle? That's what I'm worried about. You know what I mean? So that's my main concern.

Crew Wyard: Right? Right. Well, hey, man, that's a lot of information, a lot of awesome information. And I think people anyone who tuned in is going to be pumped up to know how many first of all, how many opportunities there are, how many options are for them. And then the fact that you're still so you're so jacked up about it is really cool, man.

Robert Busby: Absolutely. It's yeah, I have it's a good time. It's a good time. But again, that's me. You know, you might come over here, and you might not like it. Who knows? Everybody. As I said, everybody's got a different personality. But a lot of people like what they do around how you met.

Crew Wyard: You know what now, now that you touched on that, is there anything specifically that you think would be something that would be a deal breaker for certain? For certain people.

Robert Busby: I say deal-breaking. A lot of people have that is that it's the face of financial obligation to a lot of people. They put as they put a stop on that. But that's just their thinking. But there's so like I said, there's so many being in such demand, there are so many different programs, there are so many different ways to get you from here, from your there to here. You know, when I started, I had zero cash. I come from absolutely nothing. I had to do it 100% on student loans. Right. And it took me like so like we're talking about earlier, it took you about ten, ten damn years to pay those student loans off. You know, I did it. You know, I did it. And I like you. You love what you do. But again, deal breakers are a lot of people, if you don't have if you're sitting up there like, oh, man, a lot of people think that if you can't make it work in a lot of years, like what if you have a family? What what, what have your fiance I hear this a lot, every job has its ups and downs when it comes to how you're handling your family. You know what I mean? So if you have if you're a good spouse, if you're a dedicated spouse, if you're a good father, if you're a good mother, those types of things, you make it work for you. I mean, yeah, Daddy might be gone for five kids, you know, Daddy may be gone for three days, but guess what? Daddy's face time and on every single one of those days, when he gets to when he gets home, you know, Daddy's or whenever he's at the hotel, I'm doing a face time or I'm asking about school. I'm there, you know I'm there. I'm not there physically, but I'm there in the picture, right? Or daddy might have gone to certain airports where or in Vegas. You know, one of my kids like daddy, you go and you go to Vegas again because there's a big gummy bear about this big in the airport that I buy, that gummy bear I bring home for them. Like, here you go. That's the gummy bear you want, right? Yeah, that's the one I want.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, that's right.

Robert Busby: Yeah. Yeah. So things like that, you know, it's all about. So when people think again, it's like family-wise. But again, it's, it's, it's what works for you. It's how you make this job work for you. Like any job, it's how you make it work for it. I don't care if you're outside frickin sweeping, sweeping the streets, you know? I mean, you're out there sweeping the streets. What are you going to make? You're going to make that You're going to make that job work for you. You know, say, hey, you might be able to come home to your family every night, you know? I mean, are you going to sleep on the street or are you going to put headphones in? Listen, your favorite songs really sweep that street. You know, it's like it's how you take it. So it's really how you take it, you know? So it's the aviation world, the airline industry. It's like, I know I'm going to be gone three days. I know I'm going to be, but daddy will be back and I'll be back and I'll be home for days. You know what I mean? And when I'm home, I get to put you on the school bus When I'm home, that's for days off. And I'm not thinking. About work right off the hay. Hey, you got extra days off from school? Guess what? We're gonna go jump on a plane for free and we're going to fly down to Aruba. Guess what? Airline pilots and flight attendants, have airline deals where you get discounts on these hotels and you'll spend sometimes next to nothing for these hotels, and you'll be able to vacation more with your family. So it's a give and takes. It's a give-and-take.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, but that's a good give and take and that's a good rundown for people to understand. I mean, the fact of, yeah, you're working three days, you're out. But then if you have afforded full days with your family, you can really be there, You can really accomplish a lot of good times.

Robert Busby: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

Crew Wyard: Thanks, man. This is awesome. Is there anything else that you'd like to add?

Robert Busby: Hey, man, no. If anybody's interested whatsoever, you know, you talk to me. I give a link type of thing, but it's a great world. And in the airline industry, in the aviation industry, it's not like the pilots get to enjoy rides like, oh, you're you only way you get to enjoy the airline industry as if you're a pilot. But now it's not so much you know, you take to save a lot of flight. It says they take the same pride in rampart mechanics, the gate agents, they the people who clean the airplane. It's really like that. It's really just this tight, tight, tight family way. And once you're in it, you really don't appreciate it until you actually end and you kind of feel, you know, but it's aviation world is certainly a special thing to get into. And if and if you're here, it is definitely a rewarding job and a rewarding career.

Crew Wyard: And thanks so much for the info, brother.

Robert Busby: Yeah, it was great talking to you, and good luck.

Crew Wyard: All right. Take care, man. Thanks for being here. Thank you, everybody, for being here. We'll see you next time on jointhetrades.com.


Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 5 - Ty Branaman, HVAC
Crew Wyard: Welcome back to The Join the Trades Academy interview series, where we talk to tradespeople to learn more about successful trades straight from the source. Today we're here with Ty Branaman, an educator with 27 years in the field. How are you?

Ty Branaman: I'm doing great. It's absolutely a beautiful day. It's a great day to learn something new.

Crew Wyard: Awesome. Where are you located at?

Ty Branaman: Well, right now I'm in Texas, but I travel all over the country and I've lived in multiple different cities and in states all across this beautiful country. We've lived in Australia for a little bit, so it's been around a time or two, and seen a lot of really cool stuff. And no matter how much you learn, there's always something new and something else to learn. So you just can't get enough of the education and all the things that make the world work. And there's so much science in everyday life that really apply to Vassy. And when you start looking at it, it's kind of like The Matrix where you start seeing how everything operates. It's like Willis Carrier. He invented the psychometric chart before he admitted the air conditioner. He first saw how air worked, and then he thought, I can manipulate this and control the temperature and humidity. And it's pretty cool, that fact. So everything about us, we think about, you know, fixing appliances or parts or helping people, but think about it like such a big, big career. What's crazy is the world is what, 8 billion people now? I can't remember the exact number that's somewhere but that's only possible because of refrigeration and transportation. We can grow food anywhere around the world, transport it and keep it at the right temperature. We wouldn't be able to sustain the population without a VCR.

Crew Wyard: Oh, that's so cool. Yeah, we don't you know, we don't think about that very often. We don't think about what a massive scale is needed to maintain 8 billion people all across the planet. That's interesting. How was Australia?

Ty Branaman: Oh, I loved Australia. I couldn't do direct HBC work because of their licensing and laws. Although I tried, I did work as a fugal mill operator. And understanding how humidity and moisture and stuff works operate at a fuel. And I was able to run the dryer and get the sugar. Just have the right texture and everything. Just understanding what I knew about ABC, applying it to a fugal operator, and it just, it was a great time, it was a great experience for some amazing people, and saw some amazing things. It was awesome.

Crew Wyard: Well, for those in the audience, including myself that don't know what is a fugal.

Ty Branaman: So a fugal is how they, they, they do the sugar. It's it's incredible. They have this whole farmland, they have train systems, they bring all this sugar in and they crush it and they use every part of the sugar. They even have this thing called bagasse, like all the stuff, this leftover, the junk, and they burn that through the generators to make steam. They run the plant and the cell electricity not only for the plant but back to the city. And then they use the leftover parts of all everything leftover to make biodiesel to run the trains in anyway. So I had the good part product, after all the service and done and grown. They have this thing called molasses or it actually had a different name, but it came down to me in this hot sticky stuff. But I had to separate and get the good sugar out of it and I was like a big washing machine. And then it dropped in this belt and I had to dry it. If you made it too dry, it was a fire hazard. It is too wet and it would spoil. And it was just I learned a lot really, really fast, but as just a really neat experience.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, that sounds like a really interesting experience, something that most of us never get to. All right. Well, you're located in Texas, and how did you get started in the field?

Ty Branaman: Oh, my dad is a sheet metal man, and I love my dad. I did not enjoy doing sheet metal work, but everything had to be written like a 16th of an inch. Everything had to be precise. And just sitting in a shop really wasn't what I like to do. So I got into doing installations and that was better because it out seeing stuff and doing stuff that was, you know, super hard on your knees. And the people I worked for, man, they were pretty rough, you know, the old school tradesmen and, you know, they throw stuff and yell at you. But then I saw this guy come by like several times a day in this van. He didn't get out of the van. He had this big old Slurpee cup and he would drink out of and ask questions and then he would leave and then he would occasionally come by and we might not see him for a couple of days. And I, I asked the lead is like, is that the owner is like, Oh, no, that's just a service guy. I'm like, that's a like, how do I get that job? And he says, Well, you have to like, read stuff and learn stuff and understand more about it. And I'm like, sold. And then so from then on, I just kept learning and learning and learning. And I have some learning disabilities, ADHD, and stuff like that that really not a disability. It's more of a superpower if you look at it, right? But I forced myself to read and study and I did. And then the more that I studied and learned, the more questions I had and people couldn't answer, I just had to read more and learn more. And still to this day, it's just fascinating when I learn something new or something that I thought I knew, somebody told me. And then I go and read into it and research and realize it's actually not exactly correct. And then you modify your ways and keep learning and keep changing. And the next thing you know, I'm, you know, traveling all over the world and like, seeing different things and doing differently. Often I get bored easily. So I've done commercial and residential and supermarket and education and like all different realms of it. And there's this industry so big people think HBC, they think of, you know, fixing an air conditioner or fixing a, you know, a freezer. But it's so much bigger than that. Even now, building science in a residential site, and how houses are built differently. They were built 100 years ago and how electricity plays a part in that. So building science is a whole other aspect of HPC that people don't think about. And I got electrification. Whether people like it or not, you can't just take a gas furnace out, but in a heat pump. I mean, you got to think about the whole house system, you know, in the air leaks and blower door testing and, you know, it's just amazing how much science and just the air around us. Everybody talks about being healthy and doctors and insurance plans, but we breathe in. I mean, think how many gallons of air we breathe every single day. The air that we're breathing in is huge but it's even more important than the food that we're eating as far as health goes because the poisons in the air can really affect the long-term gravity of our body. And so understanding that and sometimes it goes a little deep for people, and that's okay. But when you start thinking about the unlimited possibilities and how much is the learn and understand, the more you understand, the more questions you have and the more you want to learn. And, you know, I just think it's cool because I keep trying to learn more stuff, and the more I learn, the more I realize, the more stuff I don't know.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, you bring up several interesting things that I've never thought of. First of all, the air purity aspect, right? I mean, we all worry about diet. We worry about what we put in our body, but quite often we're not considering the fact that certainly what we're breathing in is just as important to our health as what we're putting in as far as food goes or what we're expanding as far as exercise, right?

Ty Branaman: Yep.

Crew Wyard: That's fascinating. And you mentioned A.D.D., of course, and I suppose it's probably a sliding scale that we all fit into this umbrella on some level, you know, you know, the difficulty to sit in and kind of focus on a boring task as opposed to moving around, learning something new, experiencing something new that's interesting as well. You know, I'm someone who's never had a proclivity for sitting at a desk, being in a dull job. I always like to be active, move around, and learn new stuff. So I think I'm probably somewhere in that gray area myself.

Ty Branaman: But I used to go to these office buildings and people would take the same route every day and their same car, the same parking lot, and it worked the whole life to get closer to the window. And, you know, and that's fine. Our biggest change was, you know, a new car. Maybe they moved to a different house. And I just think it meant I have an office with three windows. I got this big front window and two side windows, and my view changes every single day, just being surprised and driving around and the people you meet and some of the stuff in Texas, I had this one remote location and the guy had zebra. I'm driving my service van and there's Ziva running beside me and it's like, what is going on? And in South Beach, Miami, you know, when you're in that, you're on the very top floor. The person owns that whole entire penthouse and you're having views that nobody else can see, or you're meeting authors and famous people. And then, you know, then those people that, you know, barely making ends meet and you're able to help them out and get their system running a little bit longer, you know, or help a restaurant save their business. Because if your freezer went bad today, that's a big loss. But a restaurant, they lose their freezer, they have to shut down. You're talking about employees being out of pay, the money they lose for the freezers of money, of income. I mean, it's a big deal. So when we do this trade, it's great because we're not only working with our hands and making a decent living, we're also helping other people out, whether it's other businesses or people or the survival of the world or air quality. You know, it's really cool to be able to do stuff with your hands. And one thing is, no matter how bad life gets, because I've been through some tough times before, no matter how bad life gets and somebody tries to take everything from you, nobody can take away your skills. I had everything taken away from me and I was able to start over because I had skills. I moved to Miami and from Texas to Miami was a huge difference and a complete culture shock. But because I had these skills, I could apply them and learn and grow and I was able to start over. And then they're from continuing to travel. So no matter where I go, I have skills that nobody can take away from me.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, I'm glad you bring that up. I'm glad you mentioned that. That that seems very important. Certainly, many of us get stuck in one certain area because of the fact we're working for one certain company and that's all we can do there. As a matter of fact, I worked for a company for 15 years. It was fun. I rode horses, but my skills were limited to combat and riding horses, which is a very limited, useful skill. Very few places I can go with that. And quite often I found myself thinking, Gosh, it would have been great to learn a trade or learn a skill where I can move anywhere I want to be, whether it be the ocean, whether it be the woods, whether it be mountains, it be the desert. And I actually utilize that in a productive manner.

Ty Branaman: That's right. And. With these skills. Even if you get into the trades and realize, hey, you know, you don't like this, it's going can be a great stepping stone to something else. A great friend of mine, his whole passion was to be an actor. He got an AC that paved the way so he can actually move to New York and become an actor. Had another friend want to get into music. So he did it to build a studio. And another friend loved skateboarding and stuff. But you couldn't, you know, successfully, you know, pay for it as everything he liked in life. So it had to pay for these other things. And a cool thing is you always have something to fall back on. There's always that needed skill of being able to understand how to use tools and repair stuff and work with your hands, even if it's in your own house.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, I love that. I love that. I love the fact that you brought that up. I think that's something for people, especially young people, who are deciding what they want to do, even if they want to be creative, even if they want to have, you know, a creative lifestyle, they can not only do that within their trade itself, but having a skill does give them something to fall back on where they can head towards their ultimate goal in this creative field, but have some kind of stability in the meantime. That's a really good point. All right, so let's say you're day. You start your day. And how does it begin? What do you do?

Ty Branaman: Well, in my days in the field, I would ideally get the service van near the drive to the shop to get my list of calls for today. But then as time progressed, a lot of people had been dispatched from home and one company had. It was early on was way ahead of its time. There were dispatches straight from home, so I just left the house and went straight to my first service call and worked until I just really a lot of times in the summer, you couldn't work anymore. In the summertime. It was just, you know, as many calls you could possibly do as many hours, you could take it all. That was overtime and I would just put it in a bank. And in the wintertime things would slow down and I would go on vacations. I would go on ski trips or travel or whatever else I wanted to go do. And it was great to be able to have that freedom, to be able to, you know, make the money and do stuff. Now, what I loved is that, you know, being able to go talk to customers, going in and have my tools with me, whether it's a commercial building or residential, you know, going in and talk to the customer and you get that out of the way, that's a job in itself. And then going to the equipment and the customer gives you a little bit of information and then you look at the equipment and you kind of have to be a doctor, but the equipment can't talk to you. So you have to learn how to get the information from the equipment. And instead of just fixing that first problem, what caused this to happen? This may be an issue to get it running again, but it's going to be running correctly. A lot of people just want to replace that first part. But when you stop and think, let's look at the bigger picture, What causes the part to fail? What other things are happening with the system? Then you can go to the customer and say, Hey, we can do this to get your running. Let's really look at the bigger picture here and then you can solve bigger issues with them instead of us having to come back all the time. Let's all these bigger issues that solve these issues. Let's make the system where it's going to be dependable through the summer. So it didn't happen on the 4th of July, and it's really cool when people then want you. They don't just want your company. They say I want you to come back. And they call your company and request you by name. And that's a pretty cool feeling. It's called the superhero feeling. You know, when people like they trust you and they respect you and they want you to come back out, you know, that's awesome. On the downside, you know, there's there's some harsh working conditions we have to do. We have to crawl under houses. We have to crawl up in hot attics. Some days it's so hot that the sweat is running in your eye and it's burning and the tools are so hot they burn your hands. And some of them you have customers that are just had really bad days and they're sitting in a very hot house There have been waiting on you all day and you get there to help them and they're mad cause they know you're going to be expensive. They're waiting on you and you have to, you know, bite your tongue and you have to, you know, be considerate of their feelings and emotions, then get the equipment running. And then you, you know, then they start to usually calm down a lot after that, once. Is there some cooling going on? But there are some challenges in the trade. And that's one thing that's amazing is we don't just have to deal with all this technical, you know, tools and cool stuff and equipment. We also have to deal with the customer and do all that in extreme conditions because once it starts cooling, we leave. Once it starts heating, we leave. So, you know, it's sometimes, you know, be pretty rough being able to do all the technical stuff, all the customer service staff, and be able to work in these harsh environments. But that's the other reason that tradesmen, you know, get paid generally more and that's why they should get paid more because they have to understand the customer side, the technology side, and do it in those hot conditions.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, that's a good point. There are so many facets to the job actually. It's not just tactical aspects of the h VAC per se or any other trade. There are just so many aspects. Certainly working with people is a big one. I imagine that's a pretty rewarding feeling once you've succeeded and people are so grateful for the fact that you were able to take care of them. I mean, when it's hot and the AC is not working, it's miserable, right? I mean, it really is horrific and it affects us in so many negative ways. So people have to be incredibly grateful when you can come in and solve the problem.

Ty Branaman: Especially when they've called five or six other companies and nobody cared to solve it or, you know, they just tried to do the quick solve, and then you're actually solving the whole issue. They get very happy. Then they tell their friends and then and then your reputation grows.

Crew Wyard: That's super cool. That's super great. Okay, so we've touched on what a day is sort of like. And we touch on some of the pros and cons. Is there anything specific as far as a pro or con that you think is really important to get out there to people?

Ty Branaman: I think the most important thing is you have to keep learning. And there are several aspects because if I told you a story and you told five other people that story and they told other people the story, would the story be the same? And in fact, there are a lot of people from whom we learn from people. There's a lot of people that I trust that are good friends. And so I've learned I have to double check some things. And even now, I'm still learning stuff. But I realized when I told them I did the wrong thing. Technology is changing and some of the reasons behind doing stuff, you know, kind of somebody made a shortcut or found this little shortcut solution. But as time changes, we get new refrigerants and different types of housing that some of those old rules don't work anymore. And we have to go back to either the original science to it or the technology is changing. And what worked 30 years ago doesn't work today. And so sometimes we trust the person we're working with and we'll do it however they say to do it. But we have to be able to go beyond that. So in our own time reading the installation manual, there is so much information in the installation manual. People say, What do you recommend for the installation manual? Because there is so much stuff in there. And if somebody starts getting defensive about the installation manual, it tells me that they probably don't know. I've learned when there's something I don't know, I'm like, Hey, show me, teach me, let me learn it. Let me, let me drive to be more. A lot of people, we had that initial pride and we don't want to say that we don't know something. And a lot of people get upset when you're reading the installation manual and you say something. So as a tradesman coming in, you have to be very careful because you want to upset, you know, somebody you're working with. But at the same time, you want to continuously learn. And I tell my students, I want everybody to be beyond what I know. I don't want people to, you know, just come up to my level. I want them to exceed me. And I'm so, so thankful I've had that. I've had students come back and they're working on equipment. I've never got the work done. When I started in the trade, ammonia was going out. They said, don't even bother with ammonia. Now ammonia is coming back for supermarkets. And I have students that are working with ammonia, students that are working with magnetic bagless compressors and like all this really cool stuff and they're teaching me things and that's I love that. I love seeing that growth and being successful. You know, we can just come in and just do the minimum or what somebody said to do but to have that drive because you just learn more. That's what's going to set you set you apart from the rest. That's what's going to have, you know, that next job lined up. That's what's going to have those customers calling you back. And that's some of the stuff that's important is making sure that we continually learn. And it's not fun reading those insulation panels. It's sometimes really dry reading, but it's so valuable. It is extremely valuable.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, that's awesome. That's a good another good point you bring up. We don't think about the fact that I mean, technology is changing so rapidly overall and of course, it affects the HPC business as well. And I assume that can be a bit of a daunting and scary thing to some people. And you have to, as a teacher, the fact that you're able to, I don't know, excite young people to be thrilled that there are opportunities to learn more and that as things change, it actually, you know, keeps your brain occupied. You learn you can move forward. I assume it leads to other opportunities in general. As far as experts in the field go.

Ty Branaman: That's exactly right. And it's unlimited. You know, people say, oh, I get bored of the fact and you need to be looking for that next level, that there's something else to do because it's this amazing trait. There's so much to learn and it's right now with technology coming out, it's changing every single day. There's new stuff coming out. I got one of my mentors that's been in forever and he said he is getting ready to retire because these things are changing. And he just does he just to the point he doesn't want to learn anything new. And he said that's not right. So it's time for me to retire because I don't want to learn anything new and have such respect for him because he knows so much stuff. But to be able to admit that, hey, I'm I don't want to learn anything new, it's time for me to retire, to have, you know, the forethought to think that I have so much respect for him. And I hope he doesn't retire. I hope he shares his information, what he does know because it's so valuable. But, you know, to say, hey, it's you know, I don't want to learn anything new. It's time for me to retire. That, to me, was just huge. And I hope where the point where I get there, I don't wanna learn anything more that I can be able to say, You know what? I'm going to step out and let somebody else come in. But it's a great trade. I love it. I love it more than anything when I see a student be successful, when they call me back and say, Hey, I got this new job, I got this new promotion, I'm now working with this new cool thing that to me pays everything. Or when a technician in the trade comes in and says, I understand I've been doing super for all these years and I didn't know why this. I was just told to do it. But now I understand why I'm doing it and it makes my job so much more fun. Oh, that's the greatest feeling when you see people, you know, seeing that that new layer of what we do every day because there's so much science involved in what we do and it's, you know, it's great and it's continually learning like science is. I learn something new constantly and it's so cool understanding the refrigeration and the technology and sometimes it. Technology goes backward like we found a way to use what was once out of date. CO2 was an old refrigerant. Now it's coming back. Ammonia is an old refrigerant coming back, Propane, it is an old refrigerant and it's, you know, coming back. So it's cool. And as flammable refrigerants, people get all scared about it. But if you understand you take the safety precautions in it and that's an opportunity for new people in the trade you get people to say, oh, I don't want to I will refuse to work with flammable refrigerants. Well, hey, somebody new said, Hey, if I do it safely, I can do that. I can do that job nobody else wants to do. And that opens up more opportunities. I'm back in the day. I had an old 1978 Ford pickup with a car rated for 60, but I could pass anything but a gas station. And my mechanic friend, he told me, never get fuel injection well in the nineties he ended up retiring because by that point everything was fuel injected and by the time that he had actually passed away, he was driving a fuel-injected pickup truck with power windows like it was, Oh, the devil. Anthony But, you know, the technology is going to change whether we like it or not, it's going to be changing. So the new generation coming in, they're already used to using the apps and the phones and digital equipment and the stuff that's required now. So it's huge opportunities for them to where, you know, I grew up in the analog days, the analog age that days, you know, and for me, I'm learning and adapting to the new stuff. But for the newer generation coming in tons and tons of opportunities because that's our natural environment.

Crew Wyard: That's a good point. You bring up that we haven't touched on before as far as the fact that there's so much technological advancement coming. Sometimes we are concerned that maybe that's going to take more work away from people. Right? There are not going to be as many opportunities because technology is going to take over on that level. In this field, you find that if anything, there's just more need for individuals to learn this.

Ty Branaman: Yes, absolutely. So technology will remove some jobs and that's natural through time, But it also builds different jobs. It's just a progression of time. You know, we could fight to say that we hang on to the horse and buggy if we wanted. But, you know, technology is there and there are other jobs created, people that used to break horses all the time for a living now do other things. And so really the need for HPC is growing massively. And the environmental impact is changing. And people are aware of this and having to make modifications and changes. So there are more people needed and there's more people needed now to do the technology than ever before. Because I had somebody that day working on a gas furnace and they had to program the control board and said, I didn't sign up to be an IT person. And they were so angry that this technology had changed because they like the old boards, you know, from back in the day. And and it was sad. On one hand, you know, wasn't adapting the technology, but the other hand I was thinking, well, there's an opportunity for somebody else coming in that says, oh, I can do that, not a problem. And so as the technology changes, it actually creates more of a need, more of a need for people and people to diagnose it differently and understand what's happening.

Crew Wyard: Interesting. Yeah. Yeah, that's fascinating for sure. Okay. So you work with kids all the time or. Well, younger people generally who are getting educated in the field and you teach them very noble. And what are some of their biggest concerns when they're getting started? What are they most concerned about that you have to assuage their worries.

Ty Branaman: Well, with Generation Z, there are a lot of differences. And I get so upset when I hear the new generation doesn't want to work because that's been being said all the way back to the twenties. Like, it's just a chore. Every generation says it about the next and people are saying that new generation and they don't even understand there's a difference between millennials and Generation Z. Like, they don't even understand there's a difference in concepts. Sure. But I find that Generation Z are very hard-working people. They really have the drive. They want to learn this stuff. One of the biggest things are afraid of is getting stuck in one position and being, you know, they're the whole time they want to move up. And so there are some differences on the employer side that we can make to bridge these gaps, such as, Hey, I need the grunt work, then I need somebody to run to the attic and pull this ductwork. But how about you do that four days a week and then on one day a week, have you write to the service technician or the maintenance person and start learning those duties? So now you're learning stuff while you're also getting the grunt work done. And the cool thing is if that person leaves the company, well now you already have somebody halfway trained to take that position. So you're not, you know, not in a bind. So it's a great way to help bring people up into the trade and fill the needs they want. Being able to learn and grow in the same way is protecting your company. So it's a win-win situation. Some of the other concerns that people have are how they're being treated. They have people that come in and want to yell at them and you know, Hey, you have to do this and you don't talk back and you just do what I say. And that's really been going on for, you know, a long time. And it's how we were treated. That's how I was treated. So we have to be conscious of, hey, I need to break that. This generation, they're not used to that. You know, they're used to, you know, understanding things differently. So having the respect to say, look, I will explain why I'm telling you all this stuff, but we have to get this job done, so let's get the job done. And then on the way home, then we'll talk about it on the drive back. We'll talk about it or maybe tomorrow. So that way you can meet the needs of having to get stuff done, but still, understand that it's a human on the other side. And they grew up in a different area the digital world, the digital age, and things change a lot. And yeah, so today, I mean, things are changing weekly and we're used to getting an evaluation once a year. Like, yeah, I'm going to work hard that one month for my evaluation. So I get the raise, which never really worked honestly back then. So now if we make some changes, such as giving monthly or even weekly updates, you know, hey, you learn this, you get the certification, I'm going to give you a ten cent raise, a 20% raise, whatever it is. And then now they feel that progress and then they're continuously working hard to learn more because they're continuously getting that feedback. And a lot of people say, Well, I shouldn't have to baby them. Who doesn't like positive feedback? Like everybody I know, if you tell them, Hey, you did a good job, did they thank you for that? Or Hey, you get the certification and I'm going to give you a little acknowledgment for that. As a human, people generally respond well to that. So the new generation is a great way to keep them engaged, keep them motivated, keep them making more money, and the company's winning and the new generation is winning. So that's a way that some of the things I find people are scared about. At the same time, being able to turn that into a profit.

Crew Wyard: Now, who of the young people or anyone actually who wants to get started in the trade, would you say is best suited for HBC?

Ty Branaman: Well, I, once upon a time, used to say you needed to have mechanical aptitude, being able to work with your hands and do stuff. And I've realized that that wasn't true because I've had some students for that I really needed more time because they didn't understand. They didn't grow up using screwdrivers and taking the lawnmower apart because, you know, we don't have that generational, you know, connection like we used to. So the point is a little bit longer for some people to understand that I've had employers get mad. Oh, they didn't know which way to turn a screwdriver, a yell at them to get all mad instead of being like, hey, we end up with a generation now that grew up on phones and computers instead of working with Dad's tools. So it takes them a little bit longer sometimes for people to start understanding that. And what somebody will do is focus on one mistake somebody made not knowing how to use a tool that we use every day for the last 30 years and we just take it for granted and now yell at them, and then now all the things that they can accomplish and can do that we can't now they feel bad about it and then they will look to go someplace else. Yeah. So that understanding, a little bit of empathy in it, and giving the time to have that mechanical aptitude. Yeah. Actually, if somebody has the mechanics to adapt it, it's easy to grow in that, but it still takes time. I got a good friend that's been in refrigeration for a long time, a well-respected man, and he told me that he didn't have any mechanical aptitude when he started and he learned a lot. He said working a screwdriver was actually new to him. And now he's one of the leaders in refrigeration work. So, you know, it's easy to say, well, you need to have this, you need to have that. What you need is a growth mindset and a drive. You need to have goals. You got to have those goals. What are your goals? Because you don't have goals. You're not going to get there. So you got to have goals. What do you want to be in five years? In ten years next month, have these goals lined out and then focus on them, and then have that growth mindset. We want to learn new things, continue to grow, and do new things, and if you have those two things, then you can be successful. And I've had students that I thought, I don't know about this guy, and then I got to see and they're rocking it. They were one of the top leaders in their company. So I've learned over time to not prejudge people. That's one of the blessings of being an educator. So many different ethnic backgrounds and personalities and things that people have and understanding and being introduced to see people that I preconceived that wrongly, that they are being very successful. So now I don't judge anybody new as long as they're willing to listen and learn. I mean, I'm super excited about that.

Crew Wyard: That's. That's awesome, man. That's awesome. How do you feel about trying to bring it? I assume that the majority of your students are men. Is that correct?

Ty Branaman: Are you sure you're men? There are a lot of women that are getting into the trade. I'm a big supporter of women in VC who actually have scholarships to help women get into the trade and not just get women into the trade, but also keep, and retain them. And sometimes it takes a few changes on the employer side. But the women in a trade I grew up with my mom working with my dad, doing sheet metal work and climbing on roofs, and we grew up on a ranch. And so my mom was, you know, breaking horses and all that stuff. So for me, like, a woman could do anything a man could do. I just grew up with that. And then later sort of traveling people would say, Well, a woman can't do air conditioning work. And I thought they were joking and some people were serious about that. I was just appalled. So I've learned now to talk to women and say, hey, look, just let you know that there may be some jerk men. It's an old mindset, you know, and they're stuck in their ways. I want you to be prepared for that. But I do not want that to stop you. I want it to prepare you for it. But I want you to know that you can succeed and you will eventually move beyond that person and you will help other people get in the trade. But don't forget how you were treated. So you never treat anybody else that same way. And it's unfortunate that I have to have to teach that. It's unfortunate are some mindsets out there for that. So it's just a matter of time before we you know, we make those changes, we get that transition through. And I've had some of my first students, my first female student, my very first class, she's running her own HVAC company now. And, you know, that's. Wow. Yeah.

Crew Wyard: Oh, that's super cool. Yeah, we're definitely seeing changes over time and I think we're headed in a positive direction that way. I was curious about how much you're seeing in the classroom as far as that goes.

Ty Branaman: In do education also. And I'm seeing more and more women come to the classes and being right there and asking great questions and, you know, doing all that work. It's I love it that it's definitely exciting for me.

Crew Wyard: Oh, that's super cool. Yeah, we need to break those boundaries in general. So that's these are good things. Well, is there anything else specifically that you would like to add that we missed out on?

Ty Branaman: The main thing is to keep an open mindset. Never stop learning there. I don't I don't know if you do, you know, promotion. I mean, reading this book called Unlocking Generation Z and I have learned a lot in this book and I've been on chat rooms, stuff, and younger generations learning, and that book's been a really an eye opener for me to help understand how the new generation thinks there. I am saying the new generation. The biggest thing is never to stop learning. There are so many resources out there. I do have a YouTube channel with free educational stuff out there. Some people like it Civil don't. Whatever it is, find out what it is that you need, what fits best for you, and be successful.

Crew Wyard: What is your YouTube channel?

Ty Branaman: It's just my name. It's Ty Branaman. I didn't know it was going to be a thing at the time. It was just watching videos and I recorded some of my classes for students and it blew up. So Tai Brannaman was an odd name. But if you also search on social media for L-O-V-E, the number two AC, you'll find me on TikTok and Instagram and Facebook and all those other things which I'm trying to break my boundaries is that's not natural. So I've been trying to spread the information and a love for VAC by learning how to use some of these new platforms and stuff, whatever it takes to help people learn. And so people that aid tradespeople are successful, people with great careers and they're happy with what they do for the most part.

Crew Wyard: Yeah. It's nice to see you out there with such an open mind, with such an open mindset about where we can head, about the different generations, about different genders working in this field. That's what we need in general, and it's always exciting to see people who are that positive and ready to move in whatever direction we had last time.

Ty Branaman: Thank you very much. Never stop learning.

Crew Wyard: That's we'll stop there. Never stop learning. Take it easy Ty.

Ty Branaman: Thank you very much.

Crew Wyard: Bye-bye.



Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 4 - Joe Sampier, Finish Carpenter
Crew Wyard: Welcome back to The Join the Trades Academy interview series, where we talk to tradespeople to learn more about successful trades straight from the source. Today we're here with Ty Branaman, an educator with 27 years in the field. How are you?

Ty Branaman: I'm doing great. It's absolutely a beautiful day. It's a great day to learn something new.

Crew Wyard: Awesome. Where are you located at?

Ty Branaman: Well, right now I'm in Texas, but I travel all over the country and I've lived in multiple different cities and in states all across this beautiful country. We've lived in Australia for a little bit, so it's been around a time or two, and seen a lot of really cool stuff. And no matter how much you learn, there's always something new and something else to learn. So you just can't get enough of the education and all the things that make the world work. And there's so much science in everyday life that really apply to Vassy. And when you start looking at it, it's kind of like The Matrix where you start seeing how everything operates. It's like Willis Carrier. He invented the psychometric chart before he admitted the air conditioner. He first saw how air worked, and then he thought, I can manipulate this and control the temperature and humidity. And it's pretty cool, that fact. So everything about us, we think about, you know, fixing appliances or parts or helping people, but think about it like such a big, big career. What's crazy is the world is what, 8 billion people now? I can't remember the exact number that's somewhere but that's only possible because of refrigeration and transportation. We can grow food anywhere around the world, transport it and keep it at the right temperature. We wouldn't be able to sustain the population without a VCR.

Crew Wyard: Oh, that's so cool. Yeah, we don't you know, we don't think about that very often. We don't think about what a massive scale is needed to maintain 8 billion people all across the planet. That's interesting. How was Australia?

Ty Branaman: Oh, I loved Australia. I couldn't do direct HBC work because of their licensing and laws. Although I tried, I did work as a fugal mill operator. And understanding how humidity and moisture and stuff works operate at a fuel. And I was able to run the dryer and get the sugar. Just have the right texture and everything. Just understanding what I knew about ABC, applying it to a fugal operator, and it just, it was a great time, it was a great experience for some amazing people, and saw some amazing things. It was awesome.

Crew Wyard: Well, for those in the audience, including myself that don't know what is a fugal.

Ty Branaman: So a fugal is how they, they, they do the sugar. It's it's incredible. They have this whole farmland, they have train systems, they bring all this sugar in and they crush it and they use every part of the sugar. They even have this thing called bagasse, like all the stuff, this leftover, the junk, and they burn that through the generators to make steam. They run the plant and the cell electricity not only for the plant but back to the city. And then they use the leftover parts of all everything leftover to make biodiesel to run the trains in anyway. So I had the good part product, after all the service and done and grown. They have this thing called molasses or it actually had a different name, but it came down to me in this hot sticky stuff. But I had to separate and get the good sugar out of it and I was like a big washing machine. And then it dropped in this belt and I had to dry it. If you made it too dry, it was a fire hazard. It is too wet and it would spoil. And it was just I learned a lot really, really fast, but as just a really neat experience.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, that sounds like a really interesting experience, something that most of us never get to. All right. Well, you're located in Texas, and how did you get started in the field?

Ty Branaman: Oh, my dad is a sheet metal man, and I love my dad. I did not enjoy doing sheet metal work, but everything had to be written like a 16th of an inch. Everything had to be precise. And just sitting in a shop really wasn't what I like to do. So I got into doing installations and that was better because it out seeing stuff and doing stuff that was, you know, super hard on your knees. And the people I worked for, man, they were pretty rough, you know, the old school tradesmen and, you know, they throw stuff and yell at you. But then I saw this guy come by like several times a day in this van. He didn't get out of the van. He had this big old Slurpee cup and he would drink out of and ask questions and then he would leave and then he would occasionally come by and we might not see him for a couple of days. And I, I asked the lead is like, is that the owner is like, Oh, no, that's just a service guy. I'm like, that's a like, how do I get that job? And he says, Well, you have to like, read stuff and learn stuff and understand more about it. And I'm like, sold. And then so from then on, I just kept learning and learning and learning. And I have some learning disabilities, ADHD, and stuff like that that really not a disability. It's more of a superpower if you look at it, right? But I forced myself to read and study and I did. And then the more that I studied and learned, the more questions I had and people couldn't answer, I just had to read more and learn more. And still to this day, it's just fascinating when I learn something new or something that I thought I knew, somebody told me. And then I go and read into it and research and realize it's actually not exactly correct. And then you modify your ways and keep learning and keep changing. And the next thing you know, I'm, you know, traveling all over the world and like, seeing different things and doing differently. Often I get bored easily. So I've done commercial and residential and supermarket and education and like all different realms of it. And there's this industry so big people think HBC, they think of, you know, fixing an air conditioner or fixing a, you know, a freezer. But it's so much bigger than that. Even now, building science in a residential site, and how houses are built differently. They were built 100 years ago and how electricity plays a part in that. So building science is a whole other aspect of HPC that people don't think about. And I got electrification. Whether people like it or not, you can't just take a gas furnace out, but in a heat pump. I mean, you got to think about the whole house system, you know, in the air leaks and blower door testing and, you know, it's just amazing how much science and just the air around us. Everybody talks about being healthy and doctors and insurance plans, but we breathe in. I mean, think how many gallons of air we breathe every single day. The air that we're breathing in is huge but it's even more important than the food that we're eating as far as health goes because the poisons in the air can really affect the long-term gravity of our body. And so understanding that and sometimes it goes a little deep for people, and that's okay. But when you start thinking about the unlimited possibilities and how much is the learn and understand, the more you understand, the more questions you have and the more you want to learn. And, you know, I just think it's cool because I keep trying to learn more stuff, and the more I learn, the more I realize, the more stuff I don't know.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, you bring up several interesting things that I've never thought of. First of all, the air purity aspect, right? I mean, we all worry about diet. We worry about what we put in our body, but quite often we're not considering the fact that certainly what we're breathing in is just as important to our health as what we're putting in as far as food goes or what we're expanding as far as exercise, right?

Ty Branaman: Yep.

Crew Wyard: That's fascinating. And you mentioned A.D.D., of course, and I suppose it's probably a sliding scale that we all fit into this umbrella on some level, you know, you know, the difficulty to sit in and kind of focus on a boring task as opposed to moving around, learning something new, experiencing something new that's interesting as well. You know, I'm someone who's never had a proclivity for sitting at a desk, being in a dull job. I always like to be active, move around, and learn new stuff. So I think I'm probably somewhere in that gray area myself.

Ty Branaman: But I used to go to these office buildings and people would take the same route every day and their same car, the same parking lot, and it worked the whole life to get closer to the window. And, you know, and that's fine. Our biggest change was, you know, a new car. Maybe they moved to a different house. And I just think it meant I have an office with three windows. I got this big front window and two side windows, and my view changes every single day, just being surprised and driving around and the people you meet and some of the stuff in Texas, I had this one remote location and the guy had zebra. I'm driving my service van and there's Ziva running beside me and it's like, what is going on? And in South Beach, Miami, you know, when you're in that, you're on the very top floor. The person owns that whole entire penthouse and you're having views that nobody else can see, or you're meeting authors and famous people. And then, you know, then those people that, you know, barely making ends meet and you're able to help them out and get their system running a little bit longer, you know, or help a restaurant save their business. Because if your freezer went bad today, that's a big loss. But a restaurant, they lose their freezer, they have to shut down. You're talking about employees being out of pay, the money they lose for the freezers of money, of income. I mean, it's a big deal. So when we do this trade, it's great because we're not only working with our hands and making a decent living, we're also helping other people out, whether it's other businesses or people or the survival of the world or air quality. You know, it's really cool to be able to do stuff with your hands. And one thing is, no matter how bad life gets, because I've been through some tough times before, no matter how bad life gets and somebody tries to take everything from you, nobody can take away your skills. I had everything taken away from me and I was able to start over because I had skills. I moved to Miami and from Texas to Miami was a huge difference and a complete culture shock. But because I had these skills, I could apply them and learn and grow and I was able to start over. And then they're from continuing to travel. So no matter where I go, I have skills that nobody can take away from me.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, I'm glad you bring that up. I'm glad you mentioned that. That that seems very important. Certainly, many of us get stuck in one certain area because of the fact we're working for one certain company and that's all we can do there. As a matter of fact, I worked for a company for 15 years. It was fun. I rode horses, but my skills were limited to combat and riding horses, which is a very limited, useful skill. Very few places I can go with that. And quite often I found myself thinking, Gosh, it would have been great to learn a trade or learn a skill where I can move anywhere I want to be, whether it be the ocean, whether it be the woods, whether it be mountains, it be the desert. And I actually utilize that in a productive manner.

Ty Branaman: That's right. And. With these skills. Even if you get into the trades and realize, hey, you know, you don't like this, it's going can be a great stepping stone to something else. A great friend of mine, his whole passion was to be an actor. He got an AC that paved the way so he can actually move to New York and become an actor. Had another friend want to get into music. So he did it to build a studio. And another friend loved skateboarding and stuff. But you couldn't, you know, successfully, you know, pay for it as everything he liked in life. So it had to pay for these other things. And a cool thing is you always have something to fall back on. There's always that needed skill of being able to understand how to use tools and repair stuff and work with your hands, even if it's in your own house.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, I love that. I love that. I love the fact that you brought that up. I think that's something for people, especially young people, who are deciding what they want to do, even if they want to be creative, even if they want to have, you know, a creative lifestyle, they can not only do that within their trade itself, but having a skill does give them something to fall back on where they can head towards their ultimate goal in this creative field, but have some kind of stability in the meantime. That's a really good point. All right, so let's say you're day. You start your day. And how does it begin? What do you do?

Ty Branaman: Well, in my days in the field, I would ideally get the service van near the drive to the shop to get my list of calls for today. But then as time progressed, a lot of people had been dispatched from home and one company had. It was early on was way ahead of its time. There were dispatches straight from home, so I just left the house and went straight to my first service call and worked until I just really a lot of times in the summer, you couldn't work anymore. In the summertime. It was just, you know, as many calls you could possibly do as many hours, you could take it all. That was overtime and I would just put it in a bank. And in the wintertime things would slow down and I would go on vacations. I would go on ski trips or travel or whatever else I wanted to go do. And it was great to be able to have that freedom, to be able to, you know, make the money and do stuff. Now, what I loved is that, you know, being able to go talk to customers, going in and have my tools with me, whether it's a commercial building or residential, you know, going in and talk to the customer and you get that out of the way, that's a job in itself. And then going to the equipment and the customer gives you a little bit of information and then you look at the equipment and you kind of have to be a doctor, but the equipment can't talk to you. So you have to learn how to get the information from the equipment. And instead of just fixing that first problem, what caused this to happen? This may be an issue to get it running again, but it's going to be running correctly. A lot of people just want to replace that first part. But when you stop and think, let's look at the bigger picture, What causes the part to fail? What other things are happening with the system? Then you can go to the customer and say, Hey, we can do this to get your running. Let's really look at the bigger picture here and then you can solve bigger issues with them instead of us having to come back all the time. Let's all these bigger issues that solve these issues. Let's make the system where it's going to be dependable through the summer. So it didn't happen on the 4th of July, and it's really cool when people then want you. They don't just want your company. They say I want you to come back. And they call your company and request you by name. And that's a pretty cool feeling. It's called the superhero feeling. You know, when people like they trust you and they respect you and they want you to come back out, you know, that's awesome. On the downside, you know, there's there's some harsh working conditions we have to do. We have to crawl under houses. We have to crawl up in hot attics. Some days it's so hot that the sweat is running in your eye and it's burning and the tools are so hot they burn your hands. And some of them you have customers that are just had really bad days and they're sitting in a very hot house There have been waiting on you all day and you get there to help them and they're mad cause they know you're going to be expensive. They're waiting on you and you have to, you know, bite your tongue and you have to, you know, be considerate of their feelings and emotions, then get the equipment running. And then you, you know, then they start to usually calm down a lot after that, once. Is there some cooling going on? But there are some challenges in the trade. And that's one thing that's amazing is we don't just have to deal with all this technical, you know, tools and cool stuff and equipment. We also have to deal with the customer and do all that in extreme conditions because once it starts cooling, we leave. Once it starts heating, we leave. So, you know, it's sometimes, you know, be pretty rough being able to do all the technical stuff, all the customer service staff, and be able to work in these harsh environments. But that's the other reason that tradesmen, you know, get paid generally more and that's why they should get paid more because they have to understand the customer side, the technology side, and do it in those hot conditions.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, that's a good point. There are so many facets to the job actually. It's not just tactical aspects of the h VAC per se or any other trade. There are just so many aspects. Certainly working with people is a big one. I imagine that's a pretty rewarding feeling once you've succeeded and people are so grateful for the fact that you were able to take care of them. I mean, when it's hot and the AC is not working, it's miserable, right? I mean, it really is horrific and it affects us in so many negative ways. So people have to be incredibly grateful when you can come in and solve the problem.

Ty Branaman: Especially when they've called five or six other companies and nobody cared to solve it or, you know, they just tried to do the quick solve, and then you're actually solving the whole issue. They get very happy. Then they tell their friends and then and then your reputation grows.

Crew Wyard: That's super cool. That's super great. Okay, so we've touched on what a day is sort of like. And we touch on some of the pros and cons. Is there anything specific as far as a pro or con that you think is really important to get out there to people?

Ty Branaman: I think the most important thing is you have to keep learning. And there are several aspects because if I told you a story and you told five other people that story and they told other people the story, would the story be the same? And in fact, there are a lot of people from whom we learn from people. There's a lot of people that I trust that are good friends. And so I've learned I have to double check some things. And even now, I'm still learning stuff. But I realized when I told them I did the wrong thing. Technology is changing and some of the reasons behind doing stuff, you know, kind of somebody made a shortcut or found this little shortcut solution. But as time changes, we get new refrigerants and different types of housing that some of those old rules don't work anymore. And we have to go back to either the original science to it or the technology is changing. And what worked 30 years ago doesn't work today. And so sometimes we trust the person we're working with and we'll do it however they say to do it. But we have to be able to go beyond that. So in our own time reading the installation manual, there is so much information in the installation manual. People say, What do you recommend for the installation manual? Because there is so much stuff in there. And if somebody starts getting defensive about the installation manual, it tells me that they probably don't know. I've learned when there's something I don't know, I'm like, Hey, show me, teach me, let me learn it. Let me, let me drive to be more. A lot of people, we had that initial pride and we don't want to say that we don't know something. And a lot of people get upset when you're reading the installation manual and you say something. So as a tradesman coming in, you have to be very careful because you want to upset, you know, somebody you're working with. But at the same time, you want to continuously learn. And I tell my students, I want everybody to be beyond what I know. I don't want people to, you know, just come up to my level. I want them to exceed me. And I'm so, so thankful I've had that. I've had students come back and they're working on equipment. I've never got the work done. When I started in the trade, ammonia was going out. They said, don't even bother with ammonia. Now ammonia is coming back for supermarkets. And I have students that are working with ammonia, students that are working with magnetic bagless compressors and like all this really cool stuff and they're teaching me things and that's I love that. I love seeing that growth and being successful. You know, we can just come in and just do the minimum or what somebody said to do but to have that drive because you just learn more. That's what's going to set you set you apart from the rest. That's what's going to have, you know, that next job lined up. That's what's going to have those customers calling you back. And that's some of the stuff that's important is making sure that we continually learn. And it's not fun reading those insulation panels. It's sometimes really dry reading, but it's so valuable. It is extremely valuable.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, that's awesome. That's a good another good point you bring up. We don't think about the fact that I mean, technology is changing so rapidly overall and of course, it affects the HPC business as well. And I assume that can be a bit of a daunting and scary thing to some people. And you have to, as a teacher, the fact that you're able to, I don't know, excite young people to be thrilled that there are opportunities to learn more and that as things change, it actually, you know, keeps your brain occupied. You learn you can move forward. I assume it leads to other opportunities in general. As far as experts in the field go.

Ty Branaman: That's exactly right. And it's unlimited. You know, people say, oh, I get bored of the fact and you need to be looking for that next level, that there's something else to do because it's this amazing trait. There's so much to learn and it's right now with technology coming out, it's changing every single day. There's new stuff coming out. I got one of my mentors that's been in forever and he said he is getting ready to retire because these things are changing. And he just does he just to the point he doesn't want to learn anything new. And he said that's not right. So it's time for me to retire because I don't want to learn anything new and have such respect for him because he knows so much stuff. But to be able to admit that, hey, I'm I don't want to learn anything new, it's time for me to retire, to have, you know, the forethought to think that I have so much respect for him. And I hope he doesn't retire. I hope he shares his information, what he does know because it's so valuable. But, you know, to say, hey, it's you know, I don't want to learn anything new. It's time for me to retire. That, to me, was just huge. And I hope where the point where I get there, I don't wanna learn anything more that I can be able to say, You know what? I'm going to step out and let somebody else come in. But it's a great trade. I love it. I love it more than anything when I see a student be successful, when they call me back and say, Hey, I got this new job, I got this new promotion, I'm now working with this new cool thing that to me pays everything. Or when a technician in the trade comes in and says, I understand I've been doing super for all these years and I didn't know why this. I was just told to do it. But now I understand why I'm doing it and it makes my job so much more fun. Oh, that's the greatest feeling when you see people, you know, seeing that that new layer of what we do every day because there's so much science involved in what we do and it's, you know, it's great and it's continually learning like science is. I learn something new constantly and it's so cool understanding the refrigeration and the technology and sometimes it. Technology goes backward like we found a way to use what was once out of date. CO2 was an old refrigerant. Now it's coming back. Ammonia is an old refrigerant coming back, Propane, it is an old refrigerant and it's, you know, coming back. So it's cool. And as flammable refrigerants, people get all scared about it. But if you understand you take the safety precautions in it and that's an opportunity for new people in the trade you get people to say, oh, I don't want to I will refuse to work with flammable refrigerants. Well, hey, somebody new said, Hey, if I do it safely, I can do that. I can do that job nobody else wants to do. And that opens up more opportunities. I'm back in the day. I had an old 1978 Ford pickup with a car rated for 60, but I could pass anything but a gas station. And my mechanic friend, he told me, never get fuel injection well in the nineties he ended up retiring because by that point everything was fuel injected and by the time that he had actually passed away, he was driving a fuel-injected pickup truck with power windows like it was, Oh, the devil. Anthony But, you know, the technology is going to change whether we like it or not, it's going to be changing. So the new generation coming in, they're already used to using the apps and the phones and digital equipment and the stuff that's required now. So it's huge opportunities for them to where, you know, I grew up in the analog days, the analog age that days, you know, and for me, I'm learning and adapting to the new stuff. But for the newer generation coming in tons and tons of opportunities because that's our natural environment.

Crew Wyard: That's a good point. You bring up that we haven't touched on before as far as the fact that there's so much technological advancement coming. Sometimes we are concerned that maybe that's going to take more work away from people. Right? There are not going to be as many opportunities because technology is going to take over on that level. In this field, you find that if anything, there's just more need for individuals to learn this.

Ty Branaman: Yes, absolutely. So technology will remove some jobs and that's natural through time, But it also builds different jobs. It's just a progression of time. You know, we could fight to say that we hang on to the horse and buggy if we wanted. But, you know, technology is there and there are other jobs created, people that used to break horses all the time for a living now do other things. And so really the need for HPC is growing massively. And the environmental impact is changing. And people are aware of this and having to make modifications and changes. So there are more people needed and there's more people needed now to do the technology than ever before. Because I had somebody that day working on a gas furnace and they had to program the control board and said, I didn't sign up to be an IT person. And they were so angry that this technology had changed because they like the old boards, you know, from back in the day. And and it was sad. On one hand, you know, wasn't adapting the technology, but the other hand I was thinking, well, there's an opportunity for somebody else coming in that says, oh, I can do that, not a problem. And so as the technology changes, it actually creates more of a need, more of a need for people and people to diagnose it differently and understand what's happening.

Crew Wyard: Interesting. Yeah. Yeah, that's fascinating for sure. Okay. So you work with kids all the time or. Well, younger people generally who are getting educated in the field and you teach them very noble. And what are some of their biggest concerns when they're getting started? What are they most concerned about that you have to assuage their worries.

Ty Branaman: Well, with Generation Z, there are a lot of differences. And I get so upset when I hear the new generation doesn't want to work because that's been being said all the way back to the twenties. Like, it's just a chore. Every generation says it about the next and people are saying that new generation and they don't even understand there's a difference between millennials and Generation Z. Like, they don't even understand there's a difference in concepts. Sure. But I find that Generation Z are very hard-working people. They really have the drive. They want to learn this stuff. One of the biggest things are afraid of is getting stuck in one position and being, you know, they're the whole time they want to move up. And so there are some differences on the employer side that we can make to bridge these gaps, such as, Hey, I need the grunt work, then I need somebody to run to the attic and pull this ductwork. But how about you do that four days a week and then on one day a week, have you write to the service technician or the maintenance person and start learning those duties? So now you're learning stuff while you're also getting the grunt work done. And the cool thing is if that person leaves the company, well now you already have somebody halfway trained to take that position. So you're not, you know, not in a bind. So it's a great way to help bring people up into the trade and fill the needs they want. Being able to learn and grow in the same way is protecting your company. So it's a win-win situation. Some of the other concerns that people have are how they're being treated. They have people that come in and want to yell at them and you know, Hey, you have to do this and you don't talk back and you just do what I say. And that's really been going on for, you know, a long time. And it's how we were treated. That's how I was treated. So we have to be conscious of, hey, I need to break that. This generation, they're not used to that. You know, they're used to, you know, understanding things differently. So having the respect to say, look, I will explain why I'm telling you all this stuff, but we have to get this job done, so let's get the job done. And then on the way home, then we'll talk about it on the drive back. We'll talk about it or maybe tomorrow. So that way you can meet the needs of having to get stuff done, but still, understand that it's a human on the other side. And they grew up in a different area the digital world, the digital age, and things change a lot. And yeah, so today, I mean, things are changing weekly and we're used to getting an evaluation once a year. Like, yeah, I'm going to work hard that one month for my evaluation. So I get the raise, which never really worked honestly back then. So now if we make some changes, such as giving monthly or even weekly updates, you know, hey, you learn this, you get the certification, I'm going to give you a ten cent raise, a 20% raise, whatever it is. And then now they feel that progress and then they're continuously working hard to learn more because they're continuously getting that feedback. And a lot of people say, Well, I shouldn't have to baby them. Who doesn't like positive feedback? Like everybody I know, if you tell them, Hey, you did a good job, did they thank you for that? Or Hey, you get the certification and I'm going to give you a little acknowledgment for that. As a human, people generally respond well to that. So the new generation is a great way to keep them engaged, keep them motivated, keep them making more money, and the company's winning and the new generation is winning. So that's a way that some of the things I find people are scared about. At the same time, being able to turn that into a profit.

Crew Wyard: Now, who of the young people or anyone actually who wants to get started in the trade, would you say is best suited for HBC?

Ty Branaman: Well, I, once upon a time, used to say you needed to have mechanical aptitude, being able to work with your hands and do stuff. And I've realized that that wasn't true because I've had some students for that I really needed more time because they didn't understand. They didn't grow up using screwdrivers and taking the lawnmower apart because, you know, we don't have that generational, you know, connection like we used to. So the point is a little bit longer for some people to understand that I've had employers get mad. Oh, they didn't know which way to turn a screwdriver, a yell at them to get all mad instead of being like, hey, we end up with a generation now that grew up on phones and computers instead of working with Dad's tools. So it takes them a little bit longer sometimes for people to start understanding that. And what somebody will do is focus on one mistake somebody made not knowing how to use a tool that we use every day for the last 30 years and we just take it for granted and now yell at them, and then now all the things that they can accomplish and can do that we can't now they feel bad about it and then they will look to go someplace else. Yeah. So that understanding, a little bit of empathy in it, and giving the time to have that mechanical aptitude. Yeah. Actually, if somebody has the mechanics to adapt it, it's easy to grow in that, but it still takes time. I got a good friend that's been in refrigeration for a long time, a well-respected man, and he told me that he didn't have any mechanical aptitude when he started and he learned a lot. He said working a screwdriver was actually new to him. And now he's one of the leaders in refrigeration work. So, you know, it's easy to say, well, you need to have this, you need to have that. What you need is a growth mindset and a drive. You need to have goals. You got to have those goals. What are your goals? Because you don't have goals. You're not going to get there. So you got to have goals. What do you want to be in five years? In ten years next month, have these goals lined out and then focus on them, and then have that growth mindset. We want to learn new things, continue to grow, and do new things, and if you have those two things, then you can be successful. And I've had students that I thought, I don't know about this guy, and then I got to see and they're rocking it. They were one of the top leaders in their company. So I've learned over time to not prejudge people. That's one of the blessings of being an educator. So many different ethnic backgrounds and personalities and things that people have and understanding and being introduced to see people that I preconceived that wrongly, that they are being very successful. So now I don't judge anybody new as long as they're willing to listen and learn. I mean, I'm super excited about that.

Crew Wyard: That's. That's awesome, man. That's awesome. How do you feel about trying to bring it? I assume that the majority of your students are men. Is that correct?

Ty Branaman: Are you sure you're men? There are a lot of women that are getting into the trade. I'm a big supporter of women in VC who actually have scholarships to help women get into the trade and not just get women into the trade, but also keep, and retain them. And sometimes it takes a few changes on the employer side. But the women in a trade I grew up with my mom working with my dad, doing sheet metal work and climbing on roofs, and we grew up on a ranch. And so my mom was, you know, breaking horses and all that stuff. So for me, like, a woman could do anything a man could do. I just grew up with that. And then later sort of traveling people would say, Well, a woman can't do air conditioning work. And I thought they were joking and some people were serious about that. I was just appalled. So I've learned now to talk to women and say, hey, look, just let you know that there may be some jerk men. It's an old mindset, you know, and they're stuck in their ways. I want you to be prepared for that. But I do not want that to stop you. I want it to prepare you for it. But I want you to know that you can succeed and you will eventually move beyond that person and you will help other people get in the trade. But don't forget how you were treated. So you never treat anybody else that same way. And it's unfortunate that I have to have to teach that. It's unfortunate are some mindsets out there for that. So it's just a matter of time before we you know, we make those changes, we get that transition through. And I've had some of my first students, my first female student, my very first class, she's running her own HVAC company now. And, you know, that's. Wow. Yeah.

Crew Wyard: Oh, that's super cool. Yeah, we're definitely seeing changes over time and I think we're headed in a positive direction that way. I was curious about how much you're seeing in the classroom as far as that goes.

Ty Branaman: In do education also. And I'm seeing more and more women come to the classes and being right there and asking great questions and, you know, doing all that work. It's I love it that it's definitely exciting for me.

Crew Wyard: Oh, that's super cool. Yeah, we need to break those boundaries in general. So that's these are good things. Well, is there anything else specifically that you would like to add that we missed out on?

Ty Branaman: The main thing is to keep an open mindset. Never stop learning there. I don't I don't know if you do, you know, promotion. I mean, reading this book called Unlocking Generation Z and I have learned a lot in this book and I've been on chat rooms, stuff, and younger generations learning, and that book's been a really an eye opener for me to help understand how the new generation thinks there. I am saying the new generation. The biggest thing is never to stop learning. There are so many resources out there. I do have a YouTube channel with free educational stuff out there. Some people like it Civil don't. Whatever it is, find out what it is that you need, what fits best for you, and be successful.

Crew Wyard: What is your YouTube channel?

Ty Branaman: It's just my name. It's Ty Branaman. I didn't know it was going to be a thing at the time. It was just watching videos and I recorded some of my classes for students and it blew up. So Tai Brannaman was an odd name. But if you also search on social media for L-O-V-E, the number two AC, you'll find me on TikTok and Instagram and Facebook and all those other things which I'm trying to break my boundaries is that's not natural. So I've been trying to spread the information and a love for VAC by learning how to use some of these new platforms and stuff, whatever it takes to help people learn. And so people that aid tradespeople are successful, people with great careers and they're happy with what they do for the most part.

Crew Wyard: Yeah. It's nice to see you out there with such an open mind, with such an open mindset about where we can head, about the different generations, about different genders working in this field. That's what we need in general, and it's always exciting to see people who are that positive and ready to move in whatever direction we had last time.

Ty Branaman: Thank you very much. Never stop learning.

Crew Wyard: That's we'll stop there. Never stop learning. Take it easy Ty.

Ty Branaman: Thank you very much.

Crew Wyard: Bye-bye.



Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 3 - Christoper Scott, Co-Founder & Developer
Welcome to the JoinTheTrades.com interview series, where we delve into the fascinating world of trades careers. From plumbers to electricians, welders to HVAC technicians, we talk to successful tradespeople about their career paths, the benefits of working with your hands, and the importance of vocational education. Today, however, we're shifting gears a bit and talking to Christopher Scott, the coder, and developer behind the JoinTheTrades.com website.

As we know, pursuing a college degree is not the only path to success. Trade school offers an alternative route for those interested in skilled trades, offering hands-on training and apprenticeship programs to give students the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in high-demand trades careers. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many trade occupations are projected to grow in the coming years, making job training and hands-on experience more valuable than ever before.

Trade school programs are offered at vocational schools, community colleges, and local trade schools, providing more specialized education in a particular trade. Unlike traditional colleges and universities, trade schools offer practical and applicable training without the need for general education courses. This allows students to gain valuable hands-on experience in their chosen trade, preparing them for a successful career as a dental hygienist, HVAC technician, or any other trade that piques their interest.

One of the biggest benefits of trade schools is their apprenticeship programs, which allow students to work with skilled professionals in their field while they learn. This hands-on training provides real-world experience and the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a professional setting. In addition, many trade schools offer job placement services and connect students with employers in their area, providing even more opportunities for success.

If you're interested in pursuing a career in the trades, trade school may be the right path for you. With many schools offering affordable tuition and flexible schedules, it's easier than ever to gain the skills and experience you need to succeed in a high-demand trade. So, whether you're just starting out in high school or looking to make a career change, consider the benefits of a trade school education and get started on your path to success today.

Crew Wyard: Welcome to the JoinTheTrades.com interview series, where normally we talk to tradespeople about their successful career paths. Today we've got something a little different for you. We're joined by Christopher Scott, who is the coder and developer of the JoinTheTrades.com website. Hey, Chris.

Christopher Scott: Hey, how are you doing?

Crew Wyard: Good, man. How are you?

Christopher Scott: Doing well Happy New Year.!

Crew Wyard: Right back at you, brother.

Christopher Scott: Yeah, right.

Crew Wyard: All right, so bear with me. I'm going to be a little out of my depth here with the technical jargon, but get us started with how you got involved with coding.

Christopher Scott: Oh, wow. Coding. That took me back. So back when I was 13 years old, they were more giving my age away, but many, many eons ago. My dad was in college at that point in time and he was working on his final project, which was kind of cool and everything like that. I was a youngster and decided I wanted to play a video game while he was working on his project. Come to find out, I destroyed the computer as well as his project for his final thesis, which is kind of crazy.

Crew Wyard: Oh, now.
Christopher Scott: Normally you know your parents or, you know, people like that get real angry real quick. But he didn't do that. It's actually kind of amazing. You know? But what he did was he actually sat down with me and showed me how to fix what I broke. And that's what kind of started the whole situation. So basically we had to rebuild that entire computer from scratch pretty much because I destroyed the entire operating system somehow. I don't even know how I did it back then, But we lost a lot of his project. But he made me help him with his project and he gave me parts of it to retype and we learned it was in C++. Definitely one of the legacy programming languages, and that's how it all began, was him just having me type out the program that he printed out because he had a printout, of course, and I was making a million errors, of course, and that's how it all began, literally, when I was 13 years old, started programming because I messed up my dad's thesis. And being the great dad that he is, he decided not to get angry, but to actually teach me a life lesson and learn responsibility for my actions as well as to teach me a trade. Which was kind of cool.

Crew Wyard: Yeah. Sounds like you had a nice upbringing and a well-supported father.

Christopher Scott: Yeah, he had his moments. He still does have his moments, of course, But he's one of those he's weird one. He's a CEO of a company where he does all the cybersecurity and stuff like that for a major payment processing company. And you would think of him being a suit-type man, you know, wearing a suit and a tie. He goes in to work wearing holy jeans and wearing a Chevy t-shirt and sometimes a backwards hat. You know, he's that type. He's on the farm or like a little tiny little farm and everything like that and goes to town on that stuff.

Crew Wyard: Which is great. Super cool, man. Yeah, super cool. Well, happy New Year to your father.

Christopher Scott: Oh, yeah. He was here, actually, a little while ago and is actually coming to see my son, which is kind of cool.

Crew Wyard: All right, So for those who don't know, Nicole Bass is the mastermind and creator of JointheTrades.com. How do you and Nicole know each other?

Christopher Scott: So we actually work together, which is kind of crazy. Um, she, um, for a while I was working with the Patent and Trademark Office, and I was looking for a new opportunity because I was just doing a support for them type situation, dealing with networks and network stuff as well as application stuff. And she had a job posting for service professionals for a customer success representative. Now, when you read the description of the job, it was more technical writing, more software-related and stuff like that, and dealing with ESP Academy. So I was like, okay, this might be something new. Maybe, you know, something to try something different, see what happens. And it all started from that. Literally, everything happened because of that. I joined Service Professionals 2021 and we worked at ESP Academy together. We worked on ESP Connect together, and we worked on all these different applications. And she has become one of the most powerful influencers in my career as well as my personal life as well. I mean, she's all in the making. She asked more about my son than most people like my parents do most times. So. Right. And she's just one of those people that just amplifies what a true leader and a true friend can be.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, she's great. She actually is a lot of fun.

Christopher Scott: She's a lot of fun. A lot of fun. And she found out that I could code. This was an eye thing because with ESP Academy it's scalability, right? When I came in was not right there yet. It would take a long process. It would take about a week, maybe two weeks to onboard one technician. And I was like, I was like, This isn't going to work. I can't be taking this much time to onboard one person. So I developed an application that did it for us where we could have the people that actually want to register, the technicians actually go online, they register, pay the fee, and all that stuff like that. It comes to me. So what took weeks now only takes minutes. And as we progress even further, we're actually now taking seconds because I think we got it down to 20 seconds, which is kind of crazy.

Crew Wyard: Oh, it's impressive, brother.

Christopher Scott: Yeah, it was a lot of fun, but that's how she found out I could code and she's like, Oh, oh, we got to talk. I was like, Okay.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, she speaks very highly of you.

Christopher Scott: Oh, yeah. She's just so amazing. When she came up with that idea with me, at first I didn't understand. I was like, What are you talking about? I was like, What's a trade? Right? What's what do you mean? Like, like a like, I don't know, like a welder or, you know, somebody that working in the farm.

Crew Wyard: Sure, sure.

Christopher Scott: I didn't understand it at first. And then she's like, well, it could be anything. A trade can be literally anything. It could be a plumber, it could be a contractor, it could be a dancer, it could be an actor, anything could be classified as a trade. And her biggest opportunity that she saw in her mind, of course, was how do we make these employers the spotlight, you know, make that because we want we want these people to have a great earning, great lifestyle and everything like that. But how do we make the employers? Come out and reach these people. There are careers out there that can be hundreds of thousands of dollars within your time span. And most of it's paid for. That's the craziest thing, right? Like, I didn't even know about this stuff like you do four years at an apprenticeship type situation, and you're making 110, 128 years. That's debt free. That's you know, you've got the skill, you've got the experience and it's there. I followed on the tangent there but she just blows my mind.

Crew Wyard: No yeah we've talked about this before. We talked about it on the interview series before, but for a long time it appeared that there were two options for people, the military or college, and everything else was kind of like out there in the stratosphere. And to have an opportunity to organize that and give people direction it is cool. So when she first brought you the idea, you were just stunned by it.

Christopher Scott: At first I was like, this has an opportunity to be really, really big if done correctly. You know, a lot of developers or a lot of, you know, you'll see individuals. They like to cut corners, you know, just get the thing done, you know, push it along. Another project. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Type situation. But literally starting from square one on this, we both decided that this was not going to be an overnight success. This is going to be something that grows and grows and grows. And we want the foundation to be there, that it can support the scalability that we're protecting. Privacy. That's another big thing, right? We're not selling anybody's information. That's the key thing, right? Yeah. Well, you got Facebook, you got all these other things that offer free services, but free services at a price rate where it's normally your privacy is that price where we're encrypting your data even at the field level. So that means even if I'm looking at the database, it's encrypted to me and I can't even decipher it, which is, Wow, Yeah. So that's where a lot of this information is protected. And that's what we're it's just another big thing that we're doing. But that whole thing was when she brought it to me. She's like, This is what it's going to be. This is what it could be in another year. This is what it could be in five years. This is what can be in ten years. And I was like, Oh my God, you're right. This is awesome. Yeah. And it's just something I've never seen out there before. I mean, I've seen like a deed or monster, but they've always focused on the, you know, the recruiter or the person itself.

Crew Wyard: Right, right, right, right, right.

Christopher Scott: And these companies, these HPC companies or trade companies. Right. They're kind of old-school methodology, Right? They just you know, they want to get the job done. They want to get done correctly. They want to be as efficient as possible. They're not really focused on marketing or their brand out there a type of situation. Right. They're just focused on getting that job done for that client and making sure that they are satisfied, satisfied to the best of their ability. Now, let us take that for you and actually let me show you what your company can do. Let me post it out on the world that your company has these benefits that offer for a1k that, you know, you've been 100 years in the service type situation, right? All these veterans coming into it, right? It's just it's everything that can possibly be great for these companies. And they're going to just it's going to explode because now we're focused on them to get these people right. Jobs. It's going to be great.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, that's super, super cool, man. Super motivating. You bring up a good point. An interesting point that I haven't touched base on, which is the privacy issue because as time goes on, we're more and more aware that all these companies are selling our information. And do we want to sign up for another site? Do we want to download another app that's going to be taking our information? So you've programmed it in there, you've developed it, so that does not happen.

Christopher Scott: Yeah. So the key thing here is the data stays encrypted until you're actually like like even the information we're retaining, we're not returning retaining socials, we're not retaining date of birth or anything like that. Nothing, you know, nothing pivotal type situation. We're retaining maybe the first name, last name and, you know, a brief summary of yourself type situation. Right. But even that information is being encrypted. And Nicole and I discussed in great detail how much we want to protect people's data. That's the key, is to protect the data. We don't want to sell it off to Google or, you know, sell to Facebook or whatever. We want it to be as secure as it can possibly be, of course. Right. You know, nothing is 100% nothing in this world is 100%. But we're going to try our best to make sure that we keep it that way.

Crew Wyard: That's awesome. That's awesome. Thank you.

Christopher Scott: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. That's a that's one of the coolest things. I actually had a conversation with my dad the other day about it, and he was amazed that actually encrypted it at the field level. He's like, You're doing what? Yeah, It's like it's that deep.

Crew Wyard: So the student has become the teacher?

Christopher Scott: Yeah. Yeah. Where? It's actually funny. It's hard to ever get a compliment from him, like, ever. Yeah. And he finally he's like, You know what? You're a pretty good developer. I was like, Oh, Oh, you know.

Crew Wyard: Thanks, Dad. Thanks.

Christopher Scott: Thanks, Pops. Finally said something amazing.

Crew Wyard: So tell us, what do you feel that is going to be unique for job seekers and employers about the site?

Christopher Scott: Ease of use is going to be how it's going to be unique, right? We're not looking for you to provide a million different things to us, Right? We don't want you to have to upload these resumes, these 5000-page resumes. Right. We're going to make it as simple as possible, especially for employers. Right. Tell us what your benefits are. Tell us what you know, and what your area of expertise is. What do you what are the perks to be with you? Right. What is the most important thing to be with you? Is it about, you know, tenure? Right. How long is your staff staying on board type situation or are you turning over people left and right type situation or are you actually have that legacy type format in there? We want these employers to have the easiest life experience that they could possibly have, but then we want their career seekers to be even easier. Right. I want you to be able to just you could search by how far it is away. Right. So if you want within 25 miles of your home or if you want five miles of your home. Right. What is it that these career seekers are looking for? What do they want it paid for? Right. They want their education paid for. Do they want in-house education? All this information is going to be at the tip of their fingers and it's going to be right there for them. And it's going to be simple. Click, click. Search Loads of results Hit one button to submit your information to the employer, and it automatically notifies them that say, Hey, this person is interested in you. You should definitely reach out to them. And it's really that simple.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, that's an extraordinary idea. With our busy lives that we all have and so many people working with different gigs than the gig economy, doing other jobs as concisely and clearly as it can is going to be useful for people.

Christopher Scott: Absolutely. And that's a that's one of our prime directives, is, you know, follow the kiss. You know, keep it simple.

Crew Wyard: Right, right, right, right.

Christopher Scott: Don't make it so difficult that nobody can use it. Let's just go with one button, click it, apply, you know, and send your information. You're good to go.

Crew Wyard: Oh, it sounds great. So what are you most excited about?

Christopher Scott: What I'm most excited about is the opportunity for people to actually learn something new or change their lifestyle. I mean, those two right there, I mean, I focus on the knowledge base, right? I love learning, right? That's my thing. If I'm not learning, it's not for me, right? If I'm not learning something new, whether it be coding or DevOps or whatever, you name it, right? That's what I love. But giving these people the opportunity to change their lifestyle within one, two, three, four years at most rate type situation to better their family, better their, you know, their opportunities. That's what I'm the most excited about. And, it just makes me so passionate to be part of this. Because of that, we get to make an impact in somebody's life.

Crew Wyard: Yeah. Yeah. We've touched on this before, but when Nicole first informed me of the plan, that's what I found the most inspiring. The fact that something that seems so simple and seems like it should be so accessible could make such a difference for so many families, particularly in this country when we're in such an odd place. Obviously the pandemic. And then there's a divide between people and then there's a lack of communication for something to actually be able to make a concrete difference. Remind us all of ours. Consistent desires that we all have. I want to provide for my family. I want to spend quality time with my neighbor. I want to have free time to make the world a better place. It's very, very cool. And we've kind of lost touch with that. So the opportunity that this site may have to bring us together, and give people, again, the options where they can remind themself what's important is incredibly cool.

Christopher Scott: Very, very cool. I was actually talking to my wife about that the other day and I was just like, you know, it's nice to be able to just spend time with family and I want to give that to anybody, like everybody and anybody. I just want them to be able to have that security that they can be with their family during the holidays, that they have the capability that they have, you know, the financial you know, what's the word I'm looking for financial freedom. Freedom, Right. To actually.

Crew Wyard: Have security.

Christopher Scott: And security right there. You know that. Definitely. And that's it's so impactful. It just hits you right here, you know?

Crew Wyard: Yeah. It's nice when we get reminded of what's actually important with all the noise out there. Just brings it back a little bit to go. Right, right, right. The people we care about and our. Our community.

Christopher Scott: Yep, absolutely. And if we can get back to it any which way we can, we're going to do it. An absolutely.

Crew Wyard: Cool man. Tell us about the. Tell us about what the most difficult part of developing this has been.

Christopher Scott: Okay. So you have two individuals. You have myself and Nicole, Right? And we're perfectionists at heart. Right. And sometimes she wants to go this way. Sometimes I want to go this way. Right. But in the midst of things, you know, for the sake of perfection. Right. That's where it becomes difficult because, you know, there are parts where it can be a little off, right? Like even a set, like the tiniest, tiniest two millimeters off. It'll irk both of us. Still, no end to getting it fixed. Now, of course, there's a lot of it that's mainly on the front end side of it, you know, just making sure it looks amazing and simplified for everybody use. But the hardest part of developing this right now is what's called geofencing. Geofencing is the capability for an employer to actually set a location of where their boundaries are, and where they work within. Right now, you would think it would be simple, right? A square, a radius. Right. But these companies don't work in squares and the radius is right. They work in other shapes. Trapezoids make their own maps. Right. Going from down, left, right, right, whatever. Okay. Okay. Finding that area that you're what you're looking for, such as your zip code, right? Or your actual address, does it fall within those parameters? And that's where the geofencing comes into play, Right? That's where we're saying that your location fits within that employer's region or that trade schools region where they actually offer these opportunities for you. That right there probably took I would say a good solid month to figure out that formula to get that working. And it works. And we're still in the process of developing it. But that's definitely an extremely difficult thing because we're having to use multiple longitudes, multiple latitudes reason, you know, a lot of to max let's say the minimum and you're talking an array of data that is so vast. So for example an employer could have 20 points on that map right within 50 square miles within a hundred square mile. And we got to make sure that we pin that with accuracy, pinpoint accuracy, that they fall within that location. Now, what's cool about it is it does sound difficult and, you know, a little bit more, you know, extravagant, but the employer won't see that. They're just doing you and that's it. They're done. We do everything else on the back end and make it so that their lives are simplified. But it is a very technical process.

Crew Wyard: Wow. Yeah, that's that's fascinating way, way beyond my pay grade. But it's nice that someone out there is doing it to make it as simple as possible for not only job seekers, but the employers themselves.

Christopher Scott: Absolutely. And because we're we're doing that for the seekers as well as the employers, but we're also doing it for schools as well. Right. So you got these right. You got trade schools, you got schools that offer these opportunities. And we're if we once again, we got to keep it on that. Keep it simple, right? Make it as simple as possible. The back end looks like a mess of just nothing but code and lots of arrays of data. But they don't see it. They only get to see that it actually works.

Crew Wyard: It's very impressive, man. Very impressive. We covered a lot and you and you showed us how complex this law is. Is there anything else that you'd like to do? Ad?

Christopher Scott: Um, I just there's a true opportunity here, and I think the biggest opportunity we're going to have is with the employers. It's like, who wants to dive in first-rate? Who wants to, you know, be that first employer, who wants to be that sponsor of the site-type situation, Right? Who wants to actually, you know, try to change these career seekers' lives or change your life so that you don't have to work your technicians 100 hours a week type situation when you actually have that capability to have multiple technicians that can back each other up. Right. It's this opportunity here of whoever takes that first leap of faith that is going to be a huge impact and it's going to be immortalized with enjoying the trades forever type situation. Right. So and I think whoever that is or whoever employer that is or whatever trade school that is right, is really out for the benefit of the people as well as their company and organization. And that's where it's going to be impactful for the world.

Crew Wyard: Yeah. So that first company that makes that first leap is going to have the biggest payoff.

Christopher Scott: Exactly. And we're not talking thousands of thousands of dollars to do this. Right. You can have one branch for an employer and it's $20 a month. Right. It's nothing. It's nothing extravagant. We're not charging thousands of dollars for it type of situation. We're making it so that it's simplified, but also cost-effective as well. We want that return on investment for them as well. That's the key thing, right? We want them that $20 you're spending our $40 pay or how many locations we want them to get the return on investment based on how many people they're bringing into their trade or how many people they're bringing into the business. And not just, you know, people that are, you know, just job hunting or job searching type of job, but people that can actually make an impact in their organization.

Crew Wyard: Very cool. Hey, give us a rundown. Let's do a thought experiment. Let's say that I'm a job seeker and I come to join the trades. AECOM. What should I expect?

Christopher Scott: The first thing that you should expect is being able to not just apply, you know, reach out for these careers and stuff like that, but get a knowledge base, get a resource, something to learn, something to grasp for, something that maybe you didn't know about in the past. Right. For example, I'm still new to the HPC industry, right? I'm only maybe a year and a half, two years, and I'm learning new things every day about, you know, heat pumps, sub pumps, you know, hydraulics, air compressor, all this stuff. Right. You will what you're going to expect as a career seeker is to come out of this with something new, something that's going to just sit there in the back of your mind. I think, you know, that would be cool. You know, I like to build models, right? You know, I like to build Legos or something like that, right? I like to take apart computers. Right. What other things that are out there that can do that and I can actually enjoy, Right? Sure. So, for example, if you have a computer technician. Right. Just an example here that you know, adds hard drives or ram price, you know, stuff like that. And they've been doing it for years and they're kind of just in the mindset, but maybe they want to work outside, maybe they actually want to get outside. Maybe they hate sitting at a desk all the time type of situation, right? You don't want to be sitting there for 8 hours a day, you know, doing this stuff anymore, Right? You want something new and something exciting. HPC industry, you can be on somebody's roof, like so high up in the air and looking at the skyline and, you know, seeing the sunset as you're working on an air handling unit. It's life-changing and that's why career seekers are going to be able to have the opportunity for something new.

Crew Wyard: Yeah. I've always been someone who has a difficult time sitting still for too long. So the idea of being at a desk has always been unpleasant. But yeah, the opportunity to find something that is tailored fit for your interests and that can also give you some freedom. It's exciting.

Christopher Scott: Oh, yeah.

Crew Wyard: In that same vein, what should a company expect when they sign up? What should they be expecting to gain?

Christopher Scott: Here's what they're expecting to gain. I know I can feel it in my heart that this is a guy they're going to be expecting for it for once or for finally sometime in their life. Right. Their company or their organization is going to be just blasted out there. Right. About everything great about this company. You know, not like, you know, Glassdoor or indeed, or something that way, like a job description in a post-type situation. We're going to tell them, you know, with their employee's information, we're going to say what is great about your company and what the benefits are right for that company. And it's going to be life-changing for these career seekers, but it's also going to be life-changing for these employers as well, because they're going to have that capability of really showing what is great about the organization and why you should join their organization versus a job description that says, hey, you're 9 to 5, you make about 40 K a year starting out. You know that stuff right there, that very basic information, and go anywhere to find that. But let me find out about that company. Let me find out about that organization. Let me know what is actually going on there. Let me know why I want to work for this company. And that's what employees are going to get from it, is we're going to make them that shining light. We're going to make them what you know, what they've struggled to show people for the last 100 years. Right. That they are a great organization. They make they give great customer service. They really strive for excellence. And now we're going to show them the world what they can do.

Crew Wyard: So the website should end up being the perfect one-stop shop for tradespeople, job seekers, and employers.

Christopher Scott: Absolutely. We're just we're going to fit it all in one little ball and just make it work and make it simple for them and it's just going to be great.

Crew Wyard: Oh, that's awesome. Chris Yeah, that's something that should do well and should be highly in demand. Thanks so much for coming out and talking to me.

Christopher Scott: Oh, no, thank you. Thanks so much for your time and I'm so excited every day I'm working on this thing, man. I'm just like, Let's go, let's go, let's go, let's go. I want to get it done faster. I mean, there are nights I'll spend like 14 hours a day on it and didn't notice the time-type situation. So it's the passions there and we're going to fire it up and get it going.

Crew Wyard: All right, man, Congratulations on everything.

Christopher Scott: All right. Thank you so much, man.

Crew Wyard: Take it easy, brother.

Christopher Scott: You, too.



Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 2 - Michael Pieson, Commercial HVAC
Welcome to another exciting episode of Join the Trade XCOM interview series, where we delve into the world of trades and learn about successful careers straight from the source. Today, we are honored to have Michael Pieson, a seasoned field development manager with 19 years of experience in the field, join us.

For those who are interested in pursuing a career in the trades, this interview with Michael will provide valuable insight and inspiration. With the increasing demand for skilled trades, trade schools and vocational schools are offering a wide range of programs for students to choose from. From electrical and plumbing to welding and HVAC, there are numerous trade jobs available for those who are willing to learn and work hard.

For those who are unsure about attending a traditional 4-year college, trade schools offer hands-on training and practical experience in various fields. Many schools also offer financial aid and scholarships, making it easier for students to pursue their dreams and enter high-demand trades careers. Some of the programs offered by trade schools include plumbing, welding, HVAC, and electrical, just to name a few.

Trade schools offer a wide range of vocational programs, including dental hygiene and other healthcare fields. Whether you want to work with your hands, build, fix, or create, trade school careers provide opportunities for individuals to use their skills and knowledge in practical, hands-on settings. So, whether you're a high school graduate or an adult looking to change careers, consider exploring the world of trade careers and the programs offered by trade schools.

Crew Wyard: Welcome back to the Join the Trade XCOM interview series, where we talk to tradespeople and learn more about successful careers straight from the source. Today I'm here with Michael Pieson, a field development manager in Pennsylvania with 19 years of experience in the field. Hey, Michael, how are you?

Michael Pieson: Good, how are you doing today? Thank you so much for having me on your show.

Crew Wyard: It's my pleasure, brother. Thank you for being here. How are you? How's the weather there right now?

Michael Pieson: The weather's actually better than it was. Christmas just passed here and the 23rd was pretty nasty and cold. And then it got down to about 12 degrees, which is unseasonably cold typically for a Pennsylvania side of Pennsylvania right now. But that's all right. We'll float. We'll take it. It wasn't too bad. And, you know, not too much damage. So it was pretty nice.

Crew Wyard: Good man. I'm glad that you guys had a safe, warm holiday overall.

Michael Pieson: Yeah, it was. It was very it was very pleasant. Yes.

Crew Wyard: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Michael Pieson: Okay.

So I am 42 years old. I started in the trade when I was 21. I started when I was in college. I met my wife. We decided that I was that we were she was a senior. I was a freshman. She was graduating. I was not. We decided that we were going to start a life and that I'd find another way to complete my education. I wanted to be a history professor. I wanted the summers off so I could lifeguard and have a good time in the summer and not have too many responsibilities and only have to, you know, deal with kids every now and then. And my mom and my girlfriend and everybody else were like, Dude, you don't want to do that. You're going to be miserable all winter and you're going to lose yourself all summer.
Like you need a little bit of discipline in your life, and this is not I this doesn't sound like a good plan for you. I was like, All right, well, I'll figure it out. And I started to go to Moravian College. I worked there as a crew person. And when you work there, you get to go to school for free. That was my whole goal was to get my education as free as I possibly could get it. I started in the facilities department, helping out the electrician, changing outlets, and changing wires out thousands and thousands of dollars in their library and their common buildings. Learned a whole bunch about electricity from him. He was amazing. Got to work in the dorms, got to change out breakers, got to change out entire panels. And that was a really great start there. And I also got to work with the plumbers. You'd be amazed what those kids can flush down the toilet. We have an entire teddy bear's cell phone. Oh, my gosh. There's an entire booklet of pens, like in a little zipper pouch. Entire zipper pouch of pens. Man, we pulled so much out of those pipes. It was. It was. It was. I learned that. That I did not want to be a plumber because of the places they have to go and some of the things they do. It's a great trade and it pays very well. But I'm a little bit too squeamish for it.

I got to work with the SBC guys. Yeah, I got to work with the HBC. Guys and they have a lot of like P units like through-the-wall units and got to clean all those out. They taught me about how the compressor works in the refrigeration cycle and all that other really neat stuff. And I thought it was pretty neat. But the day that I realized that I really wanted to do this is I went into their science building and they had a big common return. The whole building is piped together. They have this giant return room where they take all the lab air and they force it through filters before they inject it outside. And it's probably 20 by 30 by 40-foot tall room and the whole walls, the walls, they're all filters. I'm like, How are you going to change this? And it's like, Oh, it's easy here. You put this little thing on the bottom and start cranking. Crank the filter right down the wall. I was like, Oh, that's really nice. Like foam. That's pretty neat. He's like, You want to put the new one up? I was like, Yeah, how do I do it? He's like, Just put it there against the bottom and roll it up. And it was like when you throw a roll of toilet paper in it, it's kind of like unrolls as it goes through the air. It just sucked it, it just sucked that filter right up to the wall. And I was like, That's it. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. This was so cool. And you get to go places that nobody else ever gets to go. So that's how I started in the trade. I went to a bunch of different companies after that, went to the feeder school for Meridian College. Meridian Academy. I went there as an HPC technician for them. He actually paid for most of my educational training for HPC. He got me my indoor environmental controls degree and also without knowing it paid for my electrician's license and training as well. Because I was like, hey, you know, I was like, Hey, I really want to be an electrician. He's like, No, you don't want to be an electrician. You want to be an easy guy. I need to be a guy. So you're going to do that. I'm like, All right, well, like, I need to know a lot of electricity. Being an AC guy is like, Yeah, absolutely. I'm like, okay, so like, they go to go him, him go like this. And my father-in-law actually was like, don't be upset these days not to do that. Just do it. Anyways, it's fine. You have to know both or you can't. You can't. You're not going to be successful in it. As an HPC person, everything runs on electricity. So I got my education there and stayed there for a couple of years. They didn't have a lot of equipment and when you're maintaining things properly, things don't normally break unless it's a major breakdown. And then if it's a major breakdown, he was calling other people in.

Michael Pieson: That was kind of disappointing because I wanted to do my trade. It was like, I want to do this. I know this stuff now. I'm good at it. I want to do these things. So I ended up going to one of my professor's companies at that time applied energy management. They went through like seven different games. So it was one of those companies every year they changed their name. But we did do a lot of really neat work that they did a lot of. Really neat work. They did public work. I got to be on a lot of rig jobs, which is very nice when I was a younger individual. Great work is basically the Davis-Bacon Wage Act. Davis-Bacon Wage Act makes it fair for union and nonunion companies to compete on the same job. So a union company has to pay their guys a certain amount of money. It just prevents public companies from coming in and underpaying their guys and giving the job super cheap. So it kind of levels the playing field there on the labor side a little bit so that everybody's got a fair shot at it. So the nonunion people have to pay their employees union wages, which is great for us. It was wonderful. One job was making like $97 an hour. My total package was like 120. It was fantastic. For a 24, 25-year-old kid. You know, that was really nice. You know, at that time he had a baby. Everybody was super happy about that. So I went through those companies that I managed a little bit at another company. That was okay. I learned that management without education and structure is a submarine with screen doors. It is doomed to fail and will cause tons of problems for everybody and everything. And so I decided that I'd leave that role. And I was in our convenience store like gas station our gas and go type place called Wawa out here in P.A. And I saw this technician in line at the counter getting ready to check out. Tall Guy, a little bit older, super happy. I'm like, What is up with this guy? Where does he work for? I want to be like him.

Michael Pieson: And it was the testing group, the company that I've been working for for the past nine years now. And they actually I called them and I had a job, you know, went outside when he was leaving. I tried to talk to him in line, but he was too quick. I followed him outside, dropped my food, fell outside, wrote down the number on the side of the van, got back in my van after I paid for everything and called him. I had an interview a week later and I was hired two weeks later. So the rest was history there. I started as a regular technician doing regular service and maintenance and repair for a chassis, all commercial. In fact, all of my career has been either commercial or institutional. And that's been pretty, pretty nice. I only have ever done residential on the side and for friends and family. But touchstone was great. They actually had an h.r. Department. They really took care of their employees. They gave you a vacation. They cared about your health and safety, which was a real surprise and a learning curve for me after the companies that I worked for in the past and that they do a wonderful job they recognize and reward people that go above and beyond. You know, I like to say now that it only takes 10%, it takes 10% to be a little bit better than, you know, what you could be or not somebody else. But you know what they're expecting. And that 10%, it's so easy too. To make way. For me, It was picking up the phone, helping other technicians with their difficult service calls, doing the Googling that, you know, other people didn't know how to do or intimidated to do or didn't know how to look up the resources and being there for customers that are having a really hard time. So being there, being able to talk to them, talk them out of really difficult situations, reassure them that they were going to be okay and that we've got this under control. They promoted me to Field Service supervisor, which was great. I got a title for what I was doing already, and then one day I was in a soft skills class that one of our executives had put on, and Doug would tell us this person worked so hard on this program. And then, you know, there's a bunch of technicians in the room, so everybody's in the heart and I just want to be on work. And now we got their hats down or like not paying attention. And they're saying one guy sleeping in the back.

Michael Pieson: She's trying so hard, she's charismatic enough. They're like blowing up and throwing and can hear people. We go up and try to get everybody to participate, and I'm one of the guys shooting my hand up, answering questions and trying to participate in my are CEO at the time saw me and he's like, yeah, that guy. I want him to run our apprenticeship. So I got in front of the apprenticeship after they scared me. They called me into the office, and they had a piece of paper face down on the table. They're like, Mike, you need to sit down. I was like, Oh, man, what did I do? I thought everything was okay. So what's going on here? And apparently, my general manager and service manager are very upset to lose me. And I was able to. Well, they did that because they didn't want to let me go. They wanted it. They wanted me to be like, oh no, no, no, no. I don't want to go. But I did. I end up going and starting to manage their apprenticeship. I managed that through another company that was hosting it and they were good. For people that need apprenticeship, have no idea how to do it for themselves or, or, you know, or doing it for legal requirements. But we had some issues with teachers and the education the technicians were getting and the reliability of the education they were getting.

Michael Pieson: In doing this I learned a ton of stuff about digital curriculum and how to put a curriculum together and what it takes. And, you know, I said, can I take a stab at it? And he was like, sure, yeah, go ahead, build something. So he let me build the curriculum, make it, and put it all digital. I got it all laid out. Got it all, got it all digital, got it all mashed together. It's like eight different textbooks, it's pretty robust.

Michael Pieson: One textbook will be really strong in a bunch of areas, but really weak and a bunch of the other areas. And I was like, that's not good enough. So I just kept adding things on to it and rearranging the chapters and putting this stuff together so that it all fits flowed and so that it was sort of appropriate, you know, for the learning level at the time. And, you know, over the course of the four years I worked with the Department of Labor, eventually got it approved. We brought it to Nicole and Nicole Bass of Speaker, and we're like, Hey, Nicole, can you want to do anything with this? And she absolutely took a hold of it. It was very emotionally involved, ran with it, in fact, you know, really took ownership and has changed it from what I thought was a really amazing program into something that I could not have even imagined. Have even imagined the program that it is today. When I built it through the experts that we've tapped to help us critique and to build out our supporting systems and, you know, really add substance and backbone to everything that we had put her on a platform that everybody can access and will record time and education and, you know, education level, how they're doing on tests, where they are in the system, you know, how often they're accessing the system, what engagement level they have. And it's really, really, really amazing. And now I always liked helping people and I get to help people every single day. Now I get to help people come up into the trade and, you know, a trade that I think is an amazing opportunity. And I think that it is a really great way. To make a living, have a career that can take you from being a helper at a college that knows nothing to somebody that's writing curriculum and can really have really mastered that as much as I can master what I have mastered.

Crew Wyard: Wow. Michael, I mean, I'm truly impressed. You're clearly a very passionate person and you've risen through the ranks, through your dedication and your desire to work hard and to learn and to now at this point, clearly to help other people, which seems like you find very rewarding.

Michael Pieson: Yes, I do. That is what gets me moving. That is what motivates me. That's what's special about our program. We are recognized as a high-quality apprenticeship on the apprenticeship cycle, recognize a high-quality apprenticeship. That means that we hire equitably, and promote traditionally disenfranchised people. We make sure that we are tapping low-income sectors of the population and inner city sectors of the population. We are making sure that we are targeting females in the trade and trying to make all of our educational information and all of our the way that is accessed as well. Easy and accessible for anybody that has a smart device. Most people have smart devices today. If they don't, I mean, we can always work something out. I know that there are programs that we can work with to get that. And that's another thing we are not afraid to work with the veterans' programs, with the Cell phone programs, the technology, education programs, and safety programs. We really care about what goes into this and that Everybody has a chance to at least experience what we have to offer.

Crew Wyard: Wow. Really, man, that's actually really beautiful that you have such a passion for helping people and making a difference because it would appear that you started as a young kid, got involved, always had a big heart and a whole lot of passion, found a niche, started helping other people, and you really, really increased, you know, your education and the amount that you were able to affect people. It's pretty incredible.

Michael Pieson: Oh, thank you. Thank you. Sure. I don't know if I need congratulations, but I do appreciate that very much. I believe that education should be free for the people that are willing to do the work. If you're willing to do the work, it should be given freely and you should be able to reap the benefits from that. I have concerns with the way that our society has put value, and monetary value to educational systems that lead you down a path that sometimes is inappropriate for you. If you're going to be a doctor, that's awesome. You know, you need as much education as you can get, and the best place to get that education is in an institution. If you're going to be a plumber, you probably don't need to go to a two-year college. You probably don't need to go to a four-year college. You probably need to find a company that has an apprenticeship that's going to hire you on and give you structured training on the job and association with helping you train for your plumber's license. And that is that's the key right there to the earn and learn model instead of the earn and pay model, it's 100% different.

Michael Pieson: The benefits that you reap out of it are amazing. You, instead of having to wait four years to actually start your trade, you're starting your trade right away. You're experiencing it, you're getting that educational, you're getting that educational backing on it right away. You're working with experts in the industry, which is priceless. You know, I know I talk to people. I have friends that are still in college and they and they're like, you're going for like psychology or they're going for something like that. And they're like, I just wish that I could talk to somebody, you know, on a regular basis about what they're doing every day and how they run their practice and this and that. Like what it actually it's like in not what I'm reading in the textbook here. And it's exactly what that is, for us. We get to ride around with the senior technician. The senior technician shows them all the little tricks and neat little things that we do in the trade and the easy ways to do it because what we do is dangerous. You can, you know, find yourself in a really bad position if you're not careful walking around, working around electricity, working around, you know, high-pressure water and fire and, you know, steam. Steam is one of the most powerful forces on earth. And so, yeah, so it's great to have somebody there that is an expert.

Crew Wyard: I think. Yeah.

Michael Pieson: I imagine a tangent there.

Crew Wyard: No, that's fine. It's a pleasure. It's nice to see someone who's passionate about what they do. Yeah, I imagine that is very, very helpful for younger people to have that mentor right there that's able to give them immediate feedback.

Michael Pieson: Mm hmm. Yes, that is correct. So on the mentor side, we actually have a program right now for companies that don't have a lot of knowledge or don't have the time to dedicate to helping an apprentice out, but still want to have an apprenticeship program. Right now we've got, we've got a program that actually allows them to tap me or one of our other senior technicians in ESP Academy. To Check in with, you know, give help to and be available for, you know, calls and support and things of that nature for an apprentice that doesn't have a journeyman in the company. And we think it's well it's the responsible thing to do. And also without somebody guiding you through some of the educational material can be pretty confusing. You know, trying to learn about I mean, static pressure, even if you're learning about inches of water columns, you say inches a water column, somebody and they kind of look at you like you got three heads inches a water column. What do you how do you get water in the column? You measure in. You know, it's it's 27.7 inches a water column for one, you know, PCI. What? So, you know, without having somebody explain, the technical stuff and exactly how it applies to what we do every single day. It can be pretty difficult.

Michael Pieson: So, yeah, our mentor, our mentorship program is pretty, pretty awesome and I'm very excited about that. That should be I think we're rolling that out very soon here if it's not already started.

Crew Wyard: It's excellent. Pretty great. You've told us about a lot of the pros of your field. Are there any cons that you'd like to talk about?

Michael Pieson: Sure, absolutely. I mean, there are always cons. Like, You get to be on the roof when it's beautiful out, and the sun is shining. There's a nice breeze, and all you have to do is watch coils all day long. The con is that you're on that same roof when it is 12 degrees out and it's not snowing because snow is not that unpleasant. Like freezing rain, freezing rain is really unpleasant. 12 degrees. Freezing rain that's unpleasant. Um, also that same roof in the middle of August when it's, you know, 99 degrees air temperature and the sun radiating its rays off the black roof. You know, the roof area right there, probably 130 degrees, if not more than that. You put your wrench down for a couple of minutes while you're doing whatever you do and you go to pick your wrench back up and you drop it real quick. It gets hot.

Michael Pieson: Also, there is a lot of independence, and you are kind of left to your own devices more or less. You're, you're treated responsibly and expected to do a job. For some people it's a positive, for some people it's a con. I find it very awesome to have a little bit of freedom and anonymity. And as long as I was doing my work and getting my job done and my customers weren’t complaining about me and not getting calls from other drivers. Then you know, it was all good. It was great to have that freedom. You know, you can decide gosh, I'm really hungry. After that service call, I want to stop and grab a bag of fries or whatever. And no one's going to be like, What are you doing? It's okay. You know, you get to make up your own day. Cons is if you don't want to make a lot of money. Probably going to you're probably going to hate the job. No, that was a fake on cons, other cons. Sometimes customers can be a little bit difficult to work with. You're there and they're in a stressful situation. They're the best thing that needs to work. And if it doesn't work, they could be losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. If they've got a printing press that goes down because you have to they have to work on an intercooler that cools the oil, that keeps all the bearings cool, that cools, you know, the press that presses everything in. And if that goes down, they can't run the press and they've got like seven guys standing around waiting to put out that Rolling Stone magazine that that, you know, they're just union guys and they're just sitting there and we know how union guys get paid and they get paid no matter what they're doing. They're already there. You can't send them home. So you'd better get that machine up and running or figure something out quickly. So that can be stressful. On the other side of that, if you work on your skills, you work on your skills, and you get good at that and then you're a hero. And that's right. That's amazing. To be able to walk into a situation, and reassure a customer, you're like excuse me, you're going to be okay, I got this. Give me a couple of minutes. I'm going to look at the problem, figure it out, come back to you with a solution and I'll either have it fixed or we'll have a plan to get it fixed today or as soon as possible. And to be able to have that skill and that confidence behind you, to be able to do those things and then actually do them is amazing. I have walked into situations where there have been customers that like putting their finger in my face and why weren't you here half an hour ago and more? And when I'm leaving, they're literally hugging me. They're hugging me and so happy that I came, so happy that I was able to help them. I still get Christmas Cards from some of my customers. You're helping people out. You're helping people do things that they're passionate about by doing something that you're passionate about.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, I can imagine it's nice to have a very clear-cut result that you can stand back and say, Oh, I've seen this affect people's lives in a positive manner immediately.

Michael Pieson: Yes, It's amazing. It really is.

Crew Wyard: Yeah. So as so many of us have worked in other jobs that so many of us have worked in careers where you don't have that tangible sense of reward immediately, you know, you just kind of like, Oh, I think I'm working on this. And there's some paperwork that may be accomplishing something somewhere. But this like you had actually gone into a situation that's heated and actually put the fire out.

Michael Pieson: Yes. Yes, that's exactly right. And that instant gratification is definitely very, very rewarding and an amazing part of the job. And my ex-wife used to make fun of me about that all the time. You know, if you had to wait three weeks for this to like for this to actually come to where it's supposed to be, I think you'd probably go crazy. Like now I need a fix now. But yeah, no. So instant gratification is pretty nice. It's not always like that. Sometimes you're on, sometimes you're on really long jobs, but then you get to go back like, and you drive by that school that you built and you're like, Yeah, I put all those rooftop units up there on that roof.

Michael Pieson: See that? You will see that one right there. That's where, that's where, you know, I got to cut the pipe and brazen this and do that. And you know, it's really neat.

Crew Wyard: Yeah. You know, working in a field where you can actually feel like you're making some kind of substantial, significant difference where you can honestly step back and feel like, wow, that really mattered is, is a nice thing for sure.

Michael Pieson: It really is. And the things we build, the things we build, help the economy move, help people get educated, help you know, products get made, help, you know, call centers run more efficiently for everybody like those phone calls. You know, if you don't have enough fresh air coming into a place. Everybody's breathing out, talking all the time. The CO2 in the air makes everybody drowsy. They don't want to make phone calls. And we make sure that they've got the proper amount of airflow so that the CO2 levels are exactly where they’re supposed to be. And they feel energized and ready to make those phone calls.

Crew Wyard: Excellent. So listen, obviously, you're obviously you were cut out for this job for sure. But give us an idea of what characteristics are useful in an individual who is going in this field, and who is best suited for it.

Michael Pieson: Someone that has the drive to solve problems, someone that cares about what they're doing. I like to say that this job is like 90% customer service and 10% work because it really is. If you can't deal with the people, it doesn't matter how well you can clean a coil. If you go in, and you irritate the customer to the point where they're like, get off my job site. You know, they probably don't want you there to do anything ever again. So, yeah, you know, customer service, you know, 90%, 10% is, you know, actually doing the work. The work is not difficult. The work is not difficult at all. If you find mechanical things interesting at all, if you are if you get pleasure out of taking something that's, you know, dirty and caked up with, you know, dirt and and and like leaves and whatever else, and getting it back to a place where it's able to breathe again and flow air through it. And if you like to see if you like to like, you know, see the difference in how equipment runs from being dirty to clean or from being broken to fixed or if you're a fixer, if you're someone that likes to fix things or fix people, you know because really sometimes the people are more hurt than the machines that the machine's not working.

Crew Wyard: Right.

Michael Pieson: So someone that's got a little bit of empathy, someone that's got a little bit of care and, can get enthusiastic about the little things in life is someone that would really succeed in this trade because it's all little stuff that adds up to an amazing end result.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, I feel that that's very useful. Very many people have a lot of those traits, though, and they'll find, you know, find a way to incorporate it in. You're clearly just perfectly cut out for, for the career itself and for the ability to work with people. You're a people person. I can tell you have a great personality and clearly a desire to help people. So it's worked out very well for you. What is, let's say, someone who is starting out, What would they want to begin? Where did they look? How did they take those first steps?

Michael Pieson: First, talk to your parents. If you're young, you're still at home. Talk to your parents. Tell them that you're interested in the trades, that you need them to go with you to see your guidance counselor so that you can figure out all of the appropriate pathways for you in your school district. If you do not, the way that our society is right now, the standard is to go to college. That is the ultimate goal. That is the ultimate goal in a lot of the way that they wait there the way that they wait for their education rates, their graduation rates. I'm sorry, but most schools in the United States right now have a responsibility to make sure that the populations that they are graduating from are either gainfully employed or going into a trade, going into post-secondary school, or going into an institution of some sort. If they don't have those things, if they have a high rate of people that are unaccounted for, they can lose a lot of funding. So they're very motivated to hear from companies like mine, hear from the academy, hear from apprenticeships and the education that we have to give them. So, yeah, first, start with your guidance counselor. Tell your guidance counselor that, hey, I want to start exploring the trades. There are so many apprentices of all trades, so many apprentice trades that you don't have to go to college for that people really get wound up in the boot camps and the two-year programs and the 18-month degrees, they're doing that to sell you. You don't want to be sold. You want to be educated. You want somebody to take you under their wing. You want somebody to show you exactly how it's done in the field. And that's what apprenticeship does. So talk to your parents. Your parents, I'm sure know a tradesperson and your parent tell your parents is, you know, does Uncle Johnny still do electrical work? Can I talk to him? Are there any unions in the area? You can go on Google and you can do an apprenticeship search. So if you go on Workforce Navigator, it's a Web page through the Department of Labor. I'm sorry, is it Workforce CPAs or Workforce Navigator? Is it okay if we put the link later in the show?

Crew Wyard: Sure.

Michael Pieson: So that website, you can go on there. You can put in your zip code. You can actually search your area, you know, 50 miles, 100 miles, 150 miles from your location, and search for a trade that you're interested in. Any kind of apprenticeship trade. And if there is a company that is hosting an apprenticeship for that trade, they'll pop up on that. They'll pop up on the hosting side of it. And you can give them all their contact information, You can contact them. You can tell them that you're looking for a chance at an apprenticeship and, you know, get in contact and start the conversation that way. Also, while you're in school, don't be afraid of a trade school. It's not like it was back in the day. Trade schools are very, very challenging. They're held to very high standards. The information that you're learning is going to be it can be the foundations, the building blocks of your career for the rest of your life. And now that we have now a lot of schools that have to have occupational advisory committees to maintain their programs, their trade school programs in the industry, people like myself go to these schools and we advise them on what their curriculum should look like, what we want from a graduate, you know, what skills we want from a graduate when they're graduating. How many people were looking for what the industry looks like right now? You know, new technologies that are coming out that they should be teaching in the classroom and always soft skills, always soft skills. Showing up on time, saying what you're going to do, and then doing what you say. And believe it or not, that is what I get from most teachers, those are the hardest things to teach somebody. So if you've got those things, yeah, come and see me. But yeah, no, definitely, definitely talk to you or talk to your teachers. If you have a trades program in your school, talk to the director of the trades program. Make sure that they know your name, make sure that they know you're interested. If you're out of school and you're looking to get in, you're looking to get started. Definitely use that website putting your location. If you know anybody that that that if you know anybody that is a tradesperson, talk to them or go on to our site doing the trades. Which should be should be the first thing that I say here.

Michael Pieson: AECOM is going to be absolutely fantastic. The idea that they came up with is so cool. We'll have companies on there that are looking for apprentices and not just for HPC, for all trades, all trades are welcome. It's going to be a great way to get people involved and it's going to be a great way to get the young generation excited about the trades again.

Crew Wyard: So basically it seems like the younger generation at this point basically seems like it's been laid out for a long time with and correct me if I'm wrong with two options, the military or college, and has felt that they either have to have one direction or the other and then there are so many other options. There are so many other options. More and more I'm finding out about trades that I didn't even realize were in the trade category. So the fact that there are people out there like you, the fact that there is join the trade XCOM, it actually should start to make a real difference to the younger generation. It appears to me that so much of the younger generation is interested in sort of that freedom that you're talking about, not sitting in an office, not being confined by someone nonstop, looking at your shoulder, but successfully accomplishing your goals, feeling good about yourself and proud about what you've accomplished, and then moving on, getting lines and moving on to the next gig, you know, maybe having to be maybe the experience of being able to listen to a podcast on the road while you're headed to your next job, make a couple of phone calls to family. There's so much freedom.

Michael Pieson: There is. There is, and from what I've read about the generations coming up right now, is having a sense of purpose, having a sense that they're doing something good for their community or for people or for a system that helps people is huge. And that's exactly what we do. That's exactly what we do. We do that. Another thing that keeps me going is that every person that is on Social Security and that Social Security unemployment's about $16,000 a year isn't that much when you think about it. But that's just the raw cost. That's the raw cost of what it cost to have somebody on unemployment. Now, think about all the people that need to handle their keys, all the people that are getting paid by the government that is directly linked to their check, the people that have to sit in the unemployment office, all of the advertising and development and everything else that has to go into the systems that feeds the unemployment. Now, every person that we're able to take out of that system and make a gainfully employed person will literally turn our communities around. It literally will turn our communities around, making giving people pride and ownership over what they do f their own life is is is amazing. And the trades have. That and we can give that to these people, to anybody that's willing to do it. And then the benefits, the benefits that come with having somebody that's gainfully employed and is happy about their job are tenfold. They're able to coach Little League if they have free time. They're not going to be working five different jobs. They're going to be able to have a family. They're going to be able to enjoy their kids. They're going to be able to put themselves into their kids. They're going to be able to, you know, inject their personality and their way of thinking into their life.

Michael Pieson: Our goal is that everybody is gainfully employed and has a trade or a career or something they love to do, some kind of art or whatever it is. And we'll be living in some kind of utopia at that point. You know, being able to give back to your community is huge. And being and having the capacity to be able to give back is even bigger. So that's for sure.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, Well, absolutely. Well, it's been an absolute pleasure talking to you, Michael. You had so much information and so much passion. Is there anything else that you feel like you'd like to touch on real quick?

Michael Pieson: If you are an employer starting an apprenticeship, go to join TRANSCOM.

Michael Pieson: We will guide you on how to do it. If we don't have an apprenticeship in your section already, we'll figure it out. We will feed you with people that want to do the job that you are hosting. We will be super happy to give you any kind of advice. If we don't go to schools, if we don't go to the young people, we don't go to career links. If we don't go to the one-stop shops if we don't go to any of the job places and we just sit at our desks and expect those people to come to us and expect these these these these changes to happen just because you know they're going to happen. It's not going to happen. You need to go out, make friends with the instructor at the trade school, and become part of the Occupational Advisory Committee. Volunteer to go and help them with testing at the end of the year. Graduating testing like Noctis is one of the ones that we do here. Help them out with testing the students on the skills that they've learned through their four years. Go to go to your community colleges. They have trades programs. They have occupational advisory committees to go start a club, start a club for each business. Start a club for hairdressing, start a club. For nail technician. Teach kids how to do it on the side, and get them involved. Because if we don't do these things, these things don't. Get done and people don't get these experiences. And then somebody that's probably the best nail technician in the entire world. Is never going to be able to work with acrylic. And discover that new way of doing something that is going to make you millions. So I hope everybody makes millions.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, that would be nice. So if anyone would want to get a hold of you, Michael, if anyone wants to get a hold of you, is there a way that they can contact you?

Michael Pieson: Yes. I am on Twitter under my name. I am also on Facebook. If they are looking for me, they can go to join the trades. And I think my email is going to be on there. And that would be probably the easiest way to contact me if you want to I don't know, I'll give my contact information and if it needs to be, if it can be at the bottom, like my work email, I can put my work email down there and I'll entertain any emails from anyone.

Crew Wyard: That's very kind of you. Thank you, Michael. Thank you so much for being here. Your passion is contagious, to say the least.

Michael Pieson: Thank you. Thank you, crew. I had a really great. Time talking to you, and I can't wait to meet you in person at some point.

Crew Wyard: Absolutely, brother. Thanks for making a difference.

Michael Pieson: You, too. Thank you very much.


Join The Trades Interview Series Episode 1 - Nicole Bass, Founder
Hi everyone! Welcome to the JointheTrades.com interview series, where we delve into the world of skilled trades and the various pathways available for those looking to pursue a career in this field. We have a very special guest with us today who will provide us with valuable insight and information about trade school programs and their benefits.

Nicole Bass, creator, and founder of JointheTrades.com, is joining us today to talk about her experiences and the importance of trade schools and vocational programs in today's job market. With the demand for skilled trades workers on the rise, trade schools are becoming an increasingly popular option for those looking to gain hands-on training and real-world work experience in their chosen field of study.

For those who may not be familiar with trade schools, they offer a different type of education compared to traditional colleges and universities. Trade schools focus on providing students with practical, job-specific training that prepares them for the workforce. This is in contrast to the traditional four-year college route, where students focus primarily on general education.

In this interview, we will explore the benefits of trade schools and vocational programs, and how they differ from traditional colleges and universities. We will also discuss the various trade programs available and what schools offer to those seeking hands-on training and work experience. Whether you are a high school student looking to enter the workforce after graduation or a seasoned professional seeking to pivot to a new career, this interview is sure to provide valuable information and insights into the world of trade schools and vocational programs. Welcome, Nicole!

Nicole Bass: The drama, the drama. Thanks for having me Crew.

Crew Wyard: It's my pleasure. Nicole, thanks for being here.

Nicole Bass: Absolutely.

The Birth of Join the Trades

Crew Wyard: All right. So as we get started, why don't you tell me a little bit about the initiative, and how this began?

Nicole Bass: Sure, so I work with commercial HPC service companies. I've been in commercial HPC service for ten years now; and part of our job, what we do is get people to develop the resources to help them hire, recruit, and train more technicians. But we also train their salespeople that we just kind of are an ecosystem for this industry. And in the recruitment strategies, we offered interview strategies, recruitment tactics, and where to find these people. We offer an apprenticeship program, all this kind of stuff. And one of the things that we've realized as we've gotten more and more into this is that, you know, it's not so much that people don't want to join the trades is that they don't really know how to get started. And I work with all of these contractors who are trying to use the resources that are available to them like Indeed.com. I hate to call out because those are all wonderful sites for more of a corporate model, but for a trades model, it just doesn't. It doesn't it's not the same. You know, trades careers aren't built off of these like flowery resumes and all that. Anyway, so I created the TikTok channel first and we are doing a TikTok live right now. So I kind of want to do a shout-out, but it's crazy to TikTok to him first. And I thought, Well, obviously there are these people who don't know about trades careers and how they can make six figures and be debt free and have someone else pay for their education, otherwise they'd be jumping on it in this TikTok channel. It really it took off, and one of the things again that I reaffirmed was that, hey, people want to join the trades. They want these six-figure careers that are no debt. They're having a hard time finding how to get started. So that's the whole jointhetrades.com initiative is just making those connections because it shouldn't be that hard. It shouldn't be all word of mouth.

Crew Wyard: Yeah, very cool. That's one of the things that is the most interesting about the platform in general and the trades in general. We spend so much money on college, you know, and degrees that sometimes we don't end up using. And when you would first mention that so many trades will actually pay you to learn and direct you in a perfect direction where you can earn six figures, take care of your family, and have a lot of freedom. It's pretty cool.

Nicole Bass: Yeah, it really is and there's a lot of information on how to get started at college and I'm not anti-college, I'm really not. Look, there are three solid career paths: Two of them are recognized as solid, successful career paths out of the gate or they have been over the past several decades, right? But that's college and the military and in the trades these days, it's not as bad as I think it was maybe ten years ago. Now, you know, you're starting to see sign-on or signing days with people joining a plumbing apprenticeship, where at the high school they're setting up the same like you would for somebody who's decided to sign and go to a college, go to university. Okay. Knowing that signing days are for some trade people as well. So that's the kind of stuff that we want to see is just kind of changing that narrative as to what a trades career means. It means a fast track to a stable, high-earning career without debt. That's it, right? And everything else, all the other narratives that are out there, the whole well, people do want to work hard and get dirty. More like forget all that, forget all that. These are just solid careers. And, you know, we just need to educate more on it.

Crew Wyard: Yeah. Part of the thing that I've been surprised by talking to so many people so far is how many different careers fall into this umbrella of trade. So I think I think generally to the layperson, the trade seems like, oh, Carpenter or HD, AC and it seems limited to that. But I just talked to a woman named Deirdre, who's a professional hairstylist, and we have many more interviews lined up with all kinds of different varieties.

Nicole Bass: Yeah, it's people I think the construction industry has done a better job of recruiting and trying to get the word out there. And so now people associate trade careers with construction careers. So plumbers, electricians, carpenters, masons, all of that, but a trades career is really any skill that you can learn. Now that does not require a college education, it requires a different type of education because it's a skill, usually a hands-on type skill. It requires a type of apprenticeship. You can't just go book study, you can't just go read books. And now all of a sudden you can do this skill. That's a trade. You have to do the book part and do the hands-on part in order to learn a skill so they can be aviation pilots or tradespeople that can be culinary arts chefs or tradespeople, or coders for software. You know, it's the same thing you have to do the hands-on piece with the educational component in order to be skilled at a thing so skilled at it that people pay you good money. People just throw money at you. So yeah, that that is the definition for us of a skilled trade. So it's a very broad definition, not broad, but more accurate.

Crew Wyard: Well, I'm taking notes of all those careers so I can decide what I want to be when I grow up.

Nicole Bass: Yeah, you know, the one that surprised me the most recently in my sister is a commercial pilot. And I, as we were putting the site together, we thought, okay. For commercial pilots, this is really a pay-to-learn opportunity. No pay, learn opportunity. You got to have money to go be a pilot, and that's actually not true. So this is me needing to educate myself on it. Having talked to my sister, and having spoken with a few of these schools like the airlines are so desperate for pilots, all trades are desperate for tradespeople that they are funding people to go through school as long as they commit to working for their airline afterwards. Like there are just a lot of really great opportunities out there.

Opportunities Galore: The Benefits of Joining the Trades

Crew Wyard: Yeah, that's that's super cool and super cool to bring that to the attention of everyone, I think so many people are looking for a change or looking for their first career path and they don't realize that really there are a plethora of opportunities out there. And if the right people can go to the right place during the creates that com, yeah, they can find out the information they need to really get their life rolling.

Nicole Bass: Absolutely. I think it said there were numbers that someone else shared with me. One in five people reported through the pandemic that they were able to through a pandemic actually, but one in five people reported that they were unhappy with their current career and wish they had a better career path and understood where they were going. I mean, add that to the millions of high school students. The people are out there; it's just the connections that need to be made.

Crew Wyard: Yeah. There's something nice about the trades in the sense that they have real security and they seem to do well with job security in the midst of different things that may be happening. There's always going to be a need for that. Recently, of course, we have we were starting to be more aware of A.I. and the concerns of A.I. and how that may affect certainly some white-collar jobs. You know, they're typically discussed as white-collar jobs. And the idea that there is no way I that's going to be able to make up for hairstyling, there's no way I that's going to be able to make up for a shift. There's no A.I. that's going to be able to make up for Vasey. These are really top-tier, decent jobs, and careers where people can make a really good living and not have to be concerned about like, oh, what's going to happen in the future? What's going to happen? A few of these are going to be here.

Nicole Bass: Yeah, absolutely. And I work in commercial HPC. Some of the best years of these companies I've ever seen happened through the pandemic and happened during the 2008 recession. Like they don't they are not impacted by a recession or by the pandemic. And, you know, they say that the Gen Zers are the most fiscally responsible of the four generations in the workplace now. Yeah. Given that I'm not a Gen Z, I want to push back on that and be like, are you sure? But Gen Z, their parents went through that 2008 recession, and they got a kind of front-row seat to that recession and how it impacted their parents. So they make some smart financial decisions to include how the college decision. And that's why college attendance, attendance is down by quite a bit. And I think it's these Gen Zers who are taking a step back and saying, oh, what are my other options before I just sign on the dotted line for all that debt?

Crew Wyard: Yeah, Yeah. These are very savvy kids.

Nicole Bass: Yeah, they are.

Crew Wyard: They're very smart and they seem to be aware of like, okay, I really want to accomplish something in my life and how do I do that? How do I really do it where I can count on it, where I can see a clear-cut path that's going to lead me to what I want to accomplish? And that's it's very cool. Yeah. So how long have you been working on Join the Trades Econ?

Nicole Bass: The idea has been doing in my head for a couple of years now. Yeah, it didn't come to life until I met a guy named Chris Scott, who I know you're going to interview as well. He's the coder developer. I had sketched out all of how the site would work and what the flow would be for the user of the site and the benefits that, you know, employers would get, schools would get. I hadn't figured out how to get it made. There are a couple of really complex parts to it that have to do with GPS locations so that people can look for opportunities around them. But yeah, but we want to make sure that the employers, you know, an employer may have an office that's north of Georgia, for example, north of Atlanta, but if you just did a radius and said, okay, here's where they do work, that's not accurate because the employers, all their customers may be south of them. So there are some a little bit complex parts of the site that I didn't know how I was going to get built out until I had met this gentleman. And he's just brilliant, absolutely brilliant. And his number one priority is cybersecurity. So I just felt more comfortable knowing that I can go into a partnership with somebody who was going to make sure that the users are taken care of and safe and knew how to do some of this complex stuff. And so he's really the catalyst to get this thing going. And so we really only started this then. Gosh, two months ago, I think. Yeah, two months ago he started cutting it out. We rolled out the informational site, which is up right now. You can see it on jointhetrades.com. About three or four weeks ago. So. And then in two weeks, we had the H.R. expo in Atlanta, Georgia, where we are going to roll out the live employer search site. So this is demonstrating to employers, especially all those employers who are going to be at this expo, how they can have their listing on the site. So if somebody is interested in their trade, they can then look in their area, see which companies are hiring, because all of them are, and then reach out and request an interview.

Crew Wyard: You mentioned privacy. Yeah. And I think we're all aware nowadays of how much of our information is being sold without our permission on some level. And that's something that's been very important to you with this.

Nicole Bass: We have it in big, bold letters on the terms of service. We will not refuse. We refuse to sell anyone's data. It's just it's not our model. That's not what we're looking to do here. And so we wanted to make sure everyone felt really comfortable with that.

Crew Wyard: So that's one way that joined the trade school scheme really stands out from other options. What are the other ways?

Nicole Bass: You know, I think being able to have all of the ways to get started in one centralized location, along with the educational component and along with the assessment test. So if you haven't been to the site yet, just to explain the workflow, it is, I as a visitor can come to the site. I can take an assessment. It's only 20 questions long, but it's going to help us help them determine what their preferences are for which trade would be the best fit. For example, are you afraid of heights? Okay, well, if you are, you shouldn't be a pilot and you shouldn't be in camouflage. You know, some basic questions. How do you feel about working outside? How are your math skills? Because that does matter to a lot of trades careers. And once they've finished the assessment, which is optional, then they can go and learn about the different trades that might be a good fit for them. So we tell them what is a day in the life pros and cons, and then you might be a good fit if once they narrow down which trades, they think they might be a good fit for, we will. They can do a search for their zip code and they'll find all the employers and schools and unions that are in their area so that they can reach out, and request an interview. Maybe it's because they want to interview for a job, or maybe it's because they want to pick someone's brain and learn more about that career. Right. It's not there's not a commitment here. There's no job posts, there's no resumes. You know you look at that employer search and the way it works is you've got all these employers in your area, but maybe you only want to filter out. You only want to see the employers that offer health benefits. It's important to you to have health benefits for your family. Well, you can filter that out. And now you're left with just those employers who offer health benefits. Oh, yeah. So maybe it's important to you, too, that an employer offers in-house training, that you want to continue your education where you can filter out those employers. So there are ways to kind of filter down through all the perks and benefits and even earning potential there. There will be a filter for if you have a criminal record. Only certain employers are able to hire people who have a criminal record based on the kind of customers they work with. Right. So being able to filter these things out means that you don't have to hunt and peck through job posts to try to figure out how one employer compares to another one. So then, yeah, it's a pretty seamless way for a career seeker to narrow down how to get started. And for employers in schools and unions, it's a passive recruitment tactic, right? We're going to do all of the advertising, all the marketing, we're going to draw people to it. They just have to be there. Just they just have to be listed whenever we lead people to them.

Crew Wyard: And for someone who comes to the site and is looking for careers, is there a cost to them?.

Nicole Bass: No, no, no, not at all. The career seekers. Thanks for asking that. Career seekers don't pay anything and we do ask for a listing fee from employers and schools. The idea is that the site and the advertising and eventually going to high schools to speak all of this stuff is going to be funded by the employers in the schools who benefit from the work that we're doing, right? So we ask them to pay a relatively inexpensive fee to be listed on the site. So for employers, it's 20 bucks a month. And so it's very reasonable and that is what continues the ongoing advertising on their behalf.

Crew Wyard: Okay. So employers spend $20 a month for this and the job seekers spend absolutely nothing.

Nicole Bass: Nothing, nothing.

Crew Wyard: So it's a one-stop shop where they can get all the information they need. They can use it as much as they want. They can look at as many careers as they want, and it's no cost to them, right?
Nicole Bass: None at all. Yeah.

Joining the trades: Hands-on Training

Crew Wyard: That's excellent. Excellent. What about. So let's put it this way. You've got a pretty comprehensive list of specifics that the companies are actually going to address. Obviously, you talked about PayScale, and You talked about education. What else will they be addressing?

Nicole Bass: Well, you know, one thing to note about PayScale is that. This real-world environment is that you make more in your first year, I'm sorry, in your 10th year than you're going to make in your first year. So we do break down the payscale for each employer to say, Hey, what is the minimum and maximum that you're paying for somebody who's got less than one year of experience? Nice. Tell us about 2 to 4 years, 5 to 9 years, and ten-plus years, because that is a difference and it's a problem on these online job search boards that are out there that if you offer the okay, the average HPC technician makes $65,000 a year what it says on these boards.

Crew Wyard: Okay.

Nicole Bass: Okay. Yeah. You average two first-year apprentices who can, you know, barely do anything at all with a senior chiller technician. You know, this average is not a realistic capture of what an overseas technician is making. I work with a combined over 5000 HBC technicians. All of the senior journeymen make six figures, period. That is it. So once you are a licensed journeyman or equivalent, you are going to be making good money. So you can't really go off these job boards. So we will have the pay scale broken up so you can see what each trade makes by the level of experience. And as far as other things that they can search for, we have all of the benefits. So things like medical, dental. Whether it's for you or you and your family, we have retirement benefits, you know, 401k everything that you would want to know is offered by a company. But then we ask each employer to pick the three reasons why somebody would want to work for them. And we give them a list to choose from. One of them, for example, is a smart family, owned and operated, which is a wildly different culture than a corporation that's nationwide. Right. One is employee development, right? Which is also a perk. But if you identify your culture with employee development and talent development, then that is a value proposition that is kind of sellable for these companies. And I do feel like a lot of these contractors aren't really good at selling themselves. They're like, Hey, I have a job. Like, Well, yeah, I'll give me more than that. You don't like to put a sticker on a truck that says, now hiring, that's not a sales pitch. So we do include that in there. There are just a million ways for a career seeker to be able to really fine-tune what it is that they care about. Maybe they're not even sure what trade they want to get started in, but they do care about these perks and benefits and they're open to really anything as long as it meets these needs. Well, they can do that. They don't have to start with the trade search and then narrow it down. They can just say, in my area, who's offering, you know, family medical and in-house training, you know, and kind of go down that route.

Crew Wyard: Well, that's exciting. That's something that you and I haven't spoken about. Yeah. The idea that someone could come there and say, hey, my top priorities are this. I want to make sure I got insurance. I'd like to be paid to learn. I mean, a lot of people have many different interests. And if they're able to find out, like these are my absolute necessities, oh my gosh, I plugged in my absolute necessities. And there are 14 different careers that can, you know, that offer. Yeah, offer. That's really exciting.

Nicole Bass: Yeah, I'm very excited about it. I think it'll help a lot on both sides of the house. I think it'll help employers recruit and it'll help career seekers have a better picture of the crew. When you grew up, did your parents do the thing to you where it was like, okay, you can be a doctor or a lawyer, pick one.

Crew Wyard: No, they didn't do that. I was such a handful. I think that they were just like, Hey, don't fall off a cliff today, please. You know, I had to lower the bar for me.

Nicole Bass: So my parents gave me those two options. And it was a joke, right? It was obviously a joke. Be a doctor, or a lawyer, pick one. And I got that. It was a joke but being a kid, like, honestly, I had if you asked me at the age of 18 years old, what career options are out there? I would say a doctor or a lawyer or college. That's all. That's it like that. It's only three. But I mean, I don't even think at the time military would have registered in my head. It was doctor, lawyer, or college. So when I first went to college, I was pre-med.

Crew Wyard: Wow.

Nicole Bass: Yeah. No, I'm terrible at that. So it's not that.

Crew Wyard: You discover that that was not the field for you.

Nicole Bass: No, no, Nicole does not do pre-med. That's a lot of memorizing stuff. My gosh.

Crew Wyard: Hey, let me ask you something. What's the deal with Mike Rowe?

Nicole Bass: Oh, my gosh. Okay. I'm like, oh, gosh, you know, we're on tic leave right now. Mike Rowe, if you're listening.

Crew Wyard: Hey, Mike is trying to have you in.

Nicole Bass: Touch with you and Warranty.

Crew Wyard: Mike doesn't go anywhere without his TikTok app.

Nicole Bass: I know. He's like, just checking to see if I'm going to be alive. I don't even think he's on TikTok I. You look. I'm passionate about this. I know it's going to help a lot of people who have a voice that can help me get this out there because I am I don't have that audience that he has and I know he's passionate about this. And I thought, well, if he's passionate about it, if I could just get him to hear what it is that we're doing, I think that he would hear the value that it would bring and possibly, I don't know, maybe, maybe invite me on his podcast as like an extreme or maybe just comment on my TikTok as Mike Rowe just says, Hey, this sounds like a great idea. Like if you just did that right, but that wouldn't get me so far, you know, or maybe even want to be more, more involved than that. Look, he's a so I started making these videos for him. If you've seen any of my TikToks, you know that I heckle him a lot. But just trying to get it. Yeah, I just want 5 minutes of his time. He hasn't responded. I do believe he's going to be at a conference that I’m at in March and somebody asked me recently, Hey, do you think he's seen any of your videos yet? I was like, I don't think there's a world where he hasn't seen them because there are so many of my website who have posted on his page or tagged him. And so at this point, he thinks I'm that crazy lady. And I bet you he recognizes my face as that crazy lady. Right? But yeah, he'll be at this conference and I'm out in March and I'm going to be front row that crazy lady and see if I. Just 5 minutes. Mike, Mike, Mike, Just 5 minutes.

Crew Wyard: Mike and Mike's team.

Nicole Bass: Mike's team.

Crew Wyard: Contacting us. We're trying to make a difference here.

Nicole Bass: Yeah, at DiscoveryChannel.com hashtag. Dirty jobs.

Crew Wyard: All right. So talk to us about the plans moving forward.

Nicole Bass: Yeah, we're moving quickly with our small team here, and we will be rolling out the employer search and a lot of the final functional components of the site at the H.R. conference. If you're going to the H.R. conference, this little shout-out here, then come see us. We're at booth B 4777. And our goal is going to be to get as many contractors on this as possible. Now, that conference is specifically for heating and air conditioning, but following that, we're going to just broaden our kind of marketing and just get more and more employers on it. We're also talking to a lot of unions. A lot of unions are very interested in getting on this because they represent a school. And, you know, the unions have wonderful training in their respective fields and they also are great at placing people in quality organizations and then ensuring that they get, you know, the right benefits and all that. So I am pro-union, pro nonunion, I am just pro trades, just want to put that out there. But yeah, it's just growing the database. My biggest concern is getting all of this attention from people and getting people to go to the website. And then there are just no employers listed.

Crew Wyard: Micro.

Nicole Bass: Micro, you got so many followers, so we've got to get the database built up. Otherwise, it's just an informational site on trades and at last step, which is getting people, you know, connected.

Crew Wyard: Yeah. Is there anything that you'd like to mention to whoever's listening as far as, hey, go check this out? This is a good way to, you know, get the ball rolling or do this and it can get you started.

Nicole Bass: Yeah, absolutely. Go to WWE, join the trade, XCOM, go to the get involved tab. And if you're an employer, you can go ahead and pre-purchase your listing. It'll be live in two weeks. If you are a school, you can pre-purchase your listing, it'll be live in four weeks or if you just want, if you like what we're doing, you think that it's a worthy cause and you want to go buy a hoodie or buy a hat. Every dollar goes straight back into this initiative so that we can get more of the word out there. So, yes, go support us. And we are bootstrapping this. We are not backed by anybody and just, you know, getting it done with some elbow grease and hustle.

Crew Wyard: Nicole, I've known you for quite, quite a few years. We've been friends for a long, long time. 20-plus years. And you've always been an incredibly hard-working, passionate lady. We call you the business lady. I know you've accomplished so many things going across the world, accomplishing so many things. When you talk to me about this. I was really inspired. I mean, honestly, honestly inspired by your passion for this. This is something that you seem to really care about. It's something that you seem to believe can really, really make a difference. And I appreciate you working so hard for it, and I can't wait to see where it goes. Honey.

Nicole Bass: I appreciate you coming along on the journey and doing these interviews for us. You know, I think you are just a ton of fun to watch with all of these trade school programs, people who I know are out of their element in an interview setting, and you just get them comfortable right out of the gate. So I'm so glad to have you along for the ride.

Crew Wyard: Oh, it's been such a pleasure. I mean, it's been such a pleasure meeting all these incredible people.

Nicole Bass: So, yeah, they're incredible people, for sure.

Crew Wyard: Hey, any last thoughts?

Nicole Bass: No, I think we covered just about everything if you can. Like I said to everybody, go to the site. Tell your friends at a very minimum, share the posts that you see from us online just to help us spread the word on our start-up budget. And we appreciate all of you guys for listening and participating.

Crew Wyard: Thanks, everyone, for joining us to join the drop. Thanks, everyone for joining us and jointhetrades.com Interview series. We'll see you next time with some other extraordinary guest.

Nicole Bass: Bye bye.


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