Our industry is predicted to have 40% of the workforce retire in the next 5 years. We already have a labor shortage and this statistic just shows how much worse that shortage will be unless we figure out a way to share the “best kept secret” of what a great career a job in the trades can be. Heavy Metal Summer Experience was created to try and help with this challenge. The students that attended learned how to use their hands to make projects, they learned how to use the tooling in the shop and earned the sense of pride of accomplishment when they graduated with their certificate. Cyrus, Harvey, Mike A and Randy created amazing projects for the students to make which required them to braze copper, rivet sheet metal and pound together laser cut pieces of metal.
The students were given Red Wing Boots the first day of camp, PPE that included vests, safety glasses, gloves and hard hats all donated by Milwaukee Tools. They worked during the classes with our great instructors to make an Ipad holder, a lamp out of copper, a tool box, a dust pan and a pooper scooper. Many of them even did extra credit and learned how to weld. At the completion of camp, the students got certificates, medals, letters of recommendation as well as a tool bag donated by Milwaukee Tools. The most exciting result from camp is that, out of the 6 that have graduated high school, 5 have already expressed genuine interested in joining the trades!
That is the perfect example of the impact we all can make, and that impact will still be felt even if just one of those kids ends up in our field. We don’t always know what things we do will make that type of impact on people, but it can happen at anytime. For me, that moment was when I completed my first project and the sense of accomplishment and pride that what we had built was a team effort and we could see it, feel, and touch it – I knew that I wanted to work in this industry. That I still remember it all this time later goes to show just how much it meant to me. Western Allied continues to make an impact on this world by engineering better environments and helping others and I could not be more proud of our company.