SLU Offers Maintenance Career Opportunities to Tech Students
January 18, 2022 - North Tech High School construction students attended a presentation in early January about maintenance career opportunities at St. Louis University. Representatives from the school informed students about a dozen specialized positions in carpentry, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and general maintenance – all of which receive full time benefits and tuition remission. In these roles, staff service over 130 buildings across three campuses for nearly 17,000 students and staff.
“SLU coming out is a great opportunity for all the students,” said North Tech HVAC Instructor Matt Adams. “They are going to gain hands-on experience working at the university in the maintenance department and meet their educational goals by getting free tuition.”
Before students in Adam’s class graduate from the construction program, they learn how to read gauges and the basics of how to use handheld tools like torches and screwdrivers. They also operate different types of machinery such as stomp shears, which cut through sheet metal, and pipe threaders, which thread gas field pipelines.
“Everything needed in a professional industry is learned here in the shop and taught to these students,” said Adams.
Following the SLU presentation, Senior Ta’Shaun Beck decided to take the next step and apply for the open positions. He says he’s prepared to take on the work because of what he’s learned at Tech and because he grew up around electricians. He would like to gain experience at residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
“My father does insulation and my stepfather has his civil engineering degree and owns his own business,” said Beck. “Being around electricians, I believe I went down the right path. I’m enjoying it and hope to further my career with it.”
Students were encouraged to apply for the positions in the next three months, about eight weeks before they graduate from high school. Senior Hayden Foust wants to be an equipment operator and has already signed up for trade school. He will be a part of Operating Engineers Local 513. Senior Demonte Haley planned to work right after high school, but will now consider going to school and working because SLU pays for its employees' college classes. For Adams, the best part of his job is seeing his students succeed in the workforce.
“What I enjoy most is teaching and seeing them come back after they have succeeded in life,” said Adams. “When they get the chance to go out into the world and grow, and I see their growth – it’s amazing.”
SLU representatives and North Tech teachers are currently working together to schedule a day for construction students to visit the university’s maintenance site.