FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHCC ORSB PROVIDES EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENTS THROUGH RIDE AND DECIDE PROGRAM AND PHCC ORANGE COUNTY TRADE SCHOOL
ORANGE COUNTY, California (August 28, 2017) Under the leadership of President Mike
Barker, contractor and owner of Barker and Sons Plumbing & Rooter, the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association of Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino (PHCC
ORSB) continues its mission of providing quality training and education to the next generation
of plumbing, heating and cooling professionals.
Though many schools advise students the next step after high school is college, of those that
enroll, just over half graduate. In addition, for every four construction industry professionals who
leave the field, only one enters. As a response to this need, PHCC ORSB has implemented the Ride and Decide program, a highly successful initiative which pairs high school juniors and seniors with trade industry contractors during their summer break, enabling them to try the trades – while getting paid – and see if it’s the right fit.
Ride and Decide demonstrates that the trades are an excellent alternative to college. Students seeking to participate in the program choose from a list of trades, ranking their first and
second choices they would most be interested working during summer vacation. Then, based on the availability of participating businesses, students are matched with local contractors and spend one week as apprentices, accompanying professionals to job sites, all while being paid for the experience. At the end of the week, students have the option to pursue an additional three weeks paired with another contractor if they choose and if the availability exists.
Barker has had the opportunity to take the Ride and Decide message beyond high schools and into the community, recently presenting the program for Big Brothers Big Sisters. “We’ll go
anywhere the kids are,” he says. “This is a great hands-on opportunity for these kids. They need
to know the trades are a great option when looking at their future, at their possible career.”
For those students who choose to pursue a career in the heating and cooling industry, the PHCC Orange County Trade School is an excellent option. Alongside classroom instruction, students work as apprentices, gaining valuable hands-on experience. “Throughout my four years it was Thursdays, 6-10pm. After work, go straight to school,” says Frank Vega, PHCC ORSB Trade School graduate and team member at Barker and Sons. “It was tough, but it was worth it.” Currently, PHCC Orange County Trade School has over one hundred students enrolled, motivated by the potential a career in the plumbing and heating industry offers.
“I went through the training and I know what a difference it made in my life having that education,” says Mike Barker, founder of PHCC Orange County Trade School. “Now, the value for me is that I know I’m giving my customer the best that’s available by training these students.”
The mission, overview of the pilot program, enrollment procedures, and other valuable
information are available on the CAPHCC website.
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The Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association of Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino (PHCC ORSB) is affiliated with the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association, which represents approximately 3,500 plumbing and HVACR contractors and 70,000 technicians nationwide. Founded in 1883, PHCC and its members are dedicated to advancing the industry to protect public health and safety, and the environment.
*Article submitted by Brenda Endres
If you would like more information about the PHCC ORSB, please contact Doug Allen, Education Director at (714) 896-0153