Strong Apprenticeship and Training Programs Build the Skilled Trades

March 15, 2023
Greg Crumpton


The purpose of apprenticeship and training programs is to offer on-the-job training where people can gain a wealth of knowledge in their field of interest. In skilled trades, it is an especially valuable and beneficial program that many trade workers will find themselves in at some point in their career, and every company has their own standards for training potential full-time employees.

Implementing a formidable training and apprenticeship program requires some understanding of trainees. What are the essential basics of that? On this episode of “Straight Outta Crumpton,” host Greg Crumpton and Gabrielle Bar interviewed David Parks, president of PSR Mechanical, about the implementation of training programs and apprenticeship in trades.

Parks mentioned that the demands of a trade job are just as mental as they are physical. Of course, depending on what trade one chooses, they might deal with fewer challenges, but overall trade work asks for some level of body movement. In addition, there’s also a lot of rigorous learning.

“It can be a lot to take on as a technician because the trade itself requires a very focused mindset, and it can be stressful,” said Parks.

He added that the surge of retirees has pushed them into seeking more apprentices to train and expose them to experience for faster development.

Bar, Crumpton, and Parks also explored …

● The amount of self-management and self-training that comes with an apprenticeship

● The importance of instilling a culture of values with staff

● The basis of Parks’ apprenticeship program at PSR Mechanical and how he empowers trainees

“We allow that level of cross-training. Same thing from a tradesman, when they become an apprentice, well, we have an apprentice train that new tradesman,” said Parks. “What I tell everybody is, ‘Hey, your level of accountability is to that person that you’re you training, and if there’s something that after you’ve trained them that’s not quite working out, but maybe there’s a challenge you see from afar, instead of going to your boss, a supervisor or whatnot, it’s your level of responsibility that you train them, to have that conversation with that person and through that building a relationship and a relationship of trust,’” said Parks.

David Parks is the president of PSR Mechanical. He’s been with the company for 18 years and spent most of those years working as a Service Manager. Prior to entering the trade industry, Parks worked as a police officer in Hawaii for three years.

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