Trade apprenticeships offer alternative career options

By  | 

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - "We were told for many, many years, 'You've got to go to college to succeed. That's not the case," UA Local Union 172 Apprenticeship Coordinator Broc Buczolich said.

It was a competition inside Local 172, as 21 skilled trade workers competed Wednesday for first place in South Bend.

"Society's starting to take a different look at it. That there are other career options and avenues for both men and women to take," Buczolich added.

Plumbers, pipefitters, HVAC specialists and welders boasted their skills at the 2019 Indiana State Pipe Trade Apprenticeship Contest.

In this field, they work while they learn, and that's something Rashad Turner said is very beneficial.

"I'm not bored at work. I go in, I can figure out a problem. I can solve something. I can build something, and when I put it together and it fits, its the best feeling in the world," he said.

In June, Turner will complete his five-year pipefitting apprenticeship. As a student, he's worked mostly at the University of Notre Dame and considers his experience invaluable.

"I would encourage people to join the plumbers and pipefitters local just because you get to learn a skill and get paid at the same time. You come away with no college debt, and they can never take that skill away from you," he said.

And if you are interested in trade work, contact UA Local 172. The union accepts new applications every January.