Between 2010 and 2012 things couldn’t have gotten much worse for Pete Brown. Starting in 2010, he found himself on probation, unemployed, and in two motorcycle accidents in a six short months. Those two accidents didn’t sit well with his probation officer who revoked his probation, sending Pete to prison for a year. That was pretty close to rock bottom for him. When Pete was released on June 1st of 2012 he was determined to turn his life around.
It wasn’t long after his release he was in the Lexington location of the Kentucky Career Center – Bluegrass and saw a flyer saying “Electrify Your Future” with the Amteck Quick Start training program. Pete took those words seriously and completed the online application. It wasn’t long after that he got a call from WIOA Business Services Specialist, Randy Johnson, about attending the program. After a few short questions he found out he qualified to attend.
He showed up for orientation with 21 other people knowing he was competing for one of only 6 vacant positions. Pete was concerned about his chances; he was older than the other people in the class. At 53, he was convinced Amteck would be looking for younger people who would provide them a lifetime of service. The voice of worry kept at him the first week of class until he decided to speak to the instructor. Jon Dougherty, Education Director, told Pete it wasn’t about age. Jon told Pete, Amteck was looking for people who put forth the effort, showed up on time and had a good attitude. Pete chose to take Jon at his word. He was half way through the class already and knew if given the chance he could do the job. Pete’s work ethic, great attitude, and candor worked in his favor, because on September 27th, 2012 he was offered one of the first positions available.
Getting hired with Amteck started Pete on the long road to become a licensed electrician, gaining several certifications and awards along the way. Among those accomplishments are his apprenticeship training certificate, his attendance certificate, and his OSHA training certificate. His most recent is accolade is of Certified Electrical Instructor. Not everyone can be an instructor; it takes a certain kind of person who can not only do the job, but communicate to others on how to do it. Jon saw that ability in Pete though. Pete had gone from worried about even getting hired to learning to teach the class himself.
In just a little more than four years Pete has gone from student to teacher, as well as, assisting on several major electrical contracts, including the new Shriners Hospital at the University of Kentucky. None of those things were expected, but when asked to do them, Pete, despite his reservation, said “yes”. He took the risk and it paid off. Sometimes it seemed like Jon and Amteck had more faith in Pete than he had in himself. Encouraging him to expand his abilities and to lead others. That’s probably why when he was asked about working for Amteck he said, “They (Amteck) have been good to me. The teachers are great…great company and benefits. You’re paid for time and travel. It’s a family-oriented company. I really like working for them.”
Hear Pete talk about his story in his own words. Tune in to WLXU 93.9FM on Thursday, March 2nd from 3pm – 4pm for a broadcast of an “Interview with Pete Brown & the Power of a Positive Attitude.”
Amteck is always looking for more guys like Pete. In fact, they are scheduling two pre-apprenticeship trainings, one in March and the other in June. The company’s focus is on the individual, not on their past or their barriers. They say if you have a good attitude, like working with your hands, a problem solver, and drug-free, then they can start you on the road to employment in just a few weeks. Pay, if you’re hired starts at $12.50 an hour and goes up twice per year, until you reach $22.50 an hour. Jon added, “Electricians are in very high demand and that demand is growing. It is one of the few fields where you get a job and decent pay, as you’re in training. Plus, the training is free for those accepted into the program. Amteck invests in the trainees that are accepted by covering the cost of the training.”
What happens if you are not hired with Amteck at graduation? If you successfully complete the training you still receive the certificate and a letter of recommendation from Amteck that can be used as a major incentive to other electrical employers in the area. These credentials show you are coming in ready to work as a journeyman with documented knowledge that many other applicants’ lack. There is also the opportunity to be hired with Amteck later. If additional contracts are signed, you may get a call back from Amteck to see if you are available.
If you would like to learn more about the services available to job seekers, including training for a high demand career please visit: www.ckycareers.com or visit a Kentucky Career Center – Bluegrass location near you.
These services are funded by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and administered by the Bluegrass Area Development District, under the guidance of the Bluegrass Workforce Innovation Board and 17-county Local Elected Officials of the Bluegrass Region. For more information on this story or the services of the Kentucky Career Center