Heavy Metal Summer Experience Provides Career Exploration in Building Trades

Jul 12, 2021 | Source: Hermanson Marketing | Community Involvement

"Today's tour was amazing!  I feel so fortunate to be a part of this program," wrote Alejandra R., a 2021 graduate from Auburn High School.  





Alejandra and nine other students make up the inaugural cohort of upcoming high school juniors, seniors, and recent graduates participating in the Heavy Metal Summer Experience (HMSE).  


Hosted by Hermanson Company, HMSE is a six-week-long hands-on introduction to careers in the building trades.  Focusing primarily on plumbing, piping, and sheet metal apprenticeship opportunities, students interact with working professionals for an introduction to the skills taught at local training centers.  


During a recent trip to the Seattle Pipefitters Training Center, HMSE students learned to solder copper pipe and assemble plumbing fixtures.  A tour of the facility sparked interest in refrigeration and welding and students made connections with the very instructors who would be teaching the skills during an apprenticeship.   


"We often take for granted just how siloed the whole trade apprenticeship process is," notes PJ Moss, Seattle Area Pipe Trades Apprenticeship Coordinator, "If you don't have a family member to guide you, the process can be daunting."   


Eric Peterson, Admin Coordinator for the Western Washington Sheet Metal JATC, outlined career opportunities in the sheet metal apprenticeship program including fabrication, installation, service, test & balance, and the newly minted Controls specialization.


Students now have the name and phone number of someone they have actually interacted with at both training centers, making the application process (and wait!) much easier.  


HMSE would not be possible without the assistance of knowledgeable and dedicated volunteer instructors.  Working alongside students, the instructors offer tips and tricks and offer insight into their own career paths.  


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