Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16do small repairs on my own. I’m on call once every two months. I like to pick up the extra hours, and the journeymen are more than happy to pass it on to the younger guys. Last week, I worked a 60- hour week, so that was 20 hours of overtime, so that was sweet.” Kevin stated that working with the UA’s highly skilled journeymen is just the best way to learn. “Johnson Controls really focuses on safety,” he said, “and working with knowledgeable techni- cians who understand that so much of this equip- ment is under a lot of pressure and can be dangerous is very reassuring.” Aer graduating from the program, Kevin continued his appren- ticeship at Local 208 and attends classes two nights a week. He said, “e class stuff really in- terests me. ere is a lot of physics and science, so if you like that, or if you are a guy who likes to work on cars, you are going to love pulling wrenches on this equipment and learning about this stuff. Even if you’re not mechanically in- clined, you’re going to learn, and if something goes wrong at your house, you’re going to know how to fix it. You will feel completely comfort- able taking care of a lot of things at your house. If you understand the science and physics behind it, you can figure things out.” He continued, “In class, electricity was a chal- lenge for me. e teachers were so great, and they were journeymen. Everyone I had as a teacher was a 20-year guy, and they just knew a ton of stuff. You’re not just learning out of a book. e instruc- tors teach from their real-life job experiences. e electrical side and the refrigeration side can be in- timidating, but it’s very important, and the in- structors just go out of their way to make sure you fully understand it all. If you have the will, they will help you find the way.” Kevin has worked on big projects in the Den- ver area with Johnson Controls—from work at universities and airports to hospitals and data centers, and more. He describes the work as more than satisfying. He said, “I love the independence of this job. We are not shi workers. e job starts when you get there. A lot of the accounts that we maintain are 24-hour operations, so I could start at 6:00 a.m. if I wanted and be done by 2:00 p.m. e common start time is 7, so you’re done by 3:00 p.m.” Rob Gardner, Service Manager for Johnson Controls, described why he feels transitioning mil- itary members make perfect job candidates. He said, “ese guys are not afraid of hard work. ey seem to thrive on it. ey’re very reliable and can be trusted. I’ve noticed that our folks who have been in the military tend to be a little bit older. ey have the maturity from their time in the service. Given the choice, I would choose a veteran every single time, and I think upper management at Johnson Controls believes that too. We are a very supportive company. Some vets need the time to work through some things—we get that. We’ve helped with that. If a guy needs to go to the VA (Veterans’ Administration) or see a counselor in the middle of the day, I say, ‘Do it!’ I tell everyone, ‘If you have something going on, you just need to tell me. If I don’t know, I can’t help.’ ere are so many career paths with our company. Our Vice President of Service started as a chiller mechanic. I came from the controls side, started in an entry- level position and am now a Field Manager. If you’re the type who will go aer it, there’s tremen- dous opportunity! Kevin is just at the very begin- ning of his career. I sit on the upgrade committee, and I have nothing but positive things to say about this program and veterans in particular.” Kevin had the same sentiments about the VIP program. He added, “I can’t say enough about how great the program was. You have a job. I went home aer I graduated from the program, took a two-week vacation and stepped into a job, and that is really important for military guys. It’s a self- worth type of thing. If you get out, and you’ve got nothing going on—I mean, you went from being a soldier, a protector of your country, to not having a job—it can lead to disaster. I knew going back to school wasn’t going to work for me. e trades are hot right now, and they like us for the qualities we bring to the table. Integrity is important in this job, your work ethic. You tell us to do a mundane task, and we do it. We have the ability to take di- rection—one time—to perform multiple tasks. You can task me out for the whole day—that’s how I was trained. Journeymen like that. ey can say, ‘Do this and this and this,’ and I’m good. It’s training. We’ve been trained to take that kind of direction. ose are some examples right off the bat that I can think of that make us so valuable as employees.” Kevin finished by saying, “I feel really fortunate that I have this career. I will be at a higher pay scale than what I could have gotten if I had stayed in the military. It was rough in the beginning, be- cause I had gotten up to E4 in the military, and I initially felt like I was going back to E1 or 2, so you have to prepare for that, but that was going to happen no matter what I would have done. I’m right over the edge now as a third-year appren- tice. e pay scale caught up, and it’s only going to get better.” Career Opportunities in Piping for Transitioning Veterans | Fall/Winter 2016 11 “I’ve noticed that our folks who have been in the military tend to be a little bit older. They have the maturity from their time in the service. Given the choice, I would choose a veteran every single time, and I think upper management at Johnson Controls be- lieves that too. ” – Rob Gardner, Service Manager, Johnson Controls