Ride and Decide Program

What is a Ride and Decide?

Your Day in the Trades

Ride and Decide programs are a fun way to explore the world of residential plumbing, heating/cooling and electrical (PHCE) service. You know, the plumber that comes to your home when your drains aren’t working or the HVAC technician who fixes your broken furnace when it is 0 degrees outside. 

Businesses in residential service offer ride alongs/a day in the life as a way for individuals considering the trades to experience the work first hand. On your ride along day you will job-shadow a skilled tradesperson and experience what it is like to work with the customer.

A Typical Day

A typical day will include starting at the business, preparing the service vehicle with the necessary tools for the day. Most businesses start with a morning meeting that gives these workers the opportunity to feel a part of a team.  Once this is finished, you will hit the road, driving to your first customer’s home. 

The fun and unique thing about residential service is that you never know what you will experience when you drive up for a service call. It may be a simple problem, such as a homeowner that doesn’t know how to restart their furncance, or it may be a complicated, messy and extensive job that requires hours of work to solve the problem. You just never know what is waiting around the corner.

You will also experience the professionalism of these careers. You will see a skilled tradesperson working with the consumer, helping them understand technical issues they are inexperienced with.  It is rewarding to meet new people and help them with their emergencies. Trades professionals help keep people safe through healthy water systems that keep dirty and clean water separate, effective heating and cooling systems during extreme weather and they literally keep the lights on!

You will not just be a casual observer, but will get to help the technician, assisting them with their duties and learning from them as they share their knowledge. Oftentimes a business will pay you for your opportunity to learn about this career. 

At the end of the day, when you have finished your day of service to clients, you will return to the business to drop off the service vehicle and debrief from your day. This is when you can discuss whether or not this career is for you. Because each trade business is unique in its operation, you may want to do more than one Ride and Decide with different technicians before determining your final job place.

Your Day in the Shop

Another way to learn about the trades is to do a shop visit. It is an excellent way to learn about the operation of a residential plumbing, heating/cooling and electrical (PHCE). Did you know many existing businesses were started by an experienced technician who had built a reputation for excellence.

A Typical Day

A typical day in the shop will include arriving early. Most trades workers will start by stocking and cleaning their supply trucks, making sure they have what they need for the day, before heading over to the morning meeting. The meeting gives employees an opportunity to share ideas, learn new information, compare their service goals and discuss what it means to be a part of a thriving business team. 

Once the team meeting is finished, staff disperse to their various duties – running service calls, answering customer service lines, managing stock and inventory and other typical business duties such as marketing, accounting and sales. You will be given the opportunity to explore all the roles inside of a PHCE business.

In addition, most businesses will arrange for a in the shop hands-on experiences. This might include a lesson on working with a particular piece of equipment, such as a furnace or air conditioner. You will also get to hear from someone who has in the field experience. Perhaps the service manager will share their experience of moving from technician to managing technicians. Throughout the experience you will learn what it is like to work in this business environment. Most often employees report a sense of being a part of a family with shared goals and an atmosphere of support. 

Of course, every business operates a little different and has its own unique atmosphere. Visiting more than one shop can allow  you to see the range of experiences within the industry. 

High Level-Pathways into the Trades

Become Part of Our Ride and Decide Program

Is your shop prepared for people to try on the trades for a day?  Can you allow them to ride in the field for a day?  If not, can you have them sit with different people in departments to educate them on a “day-in-the-life” of a skilled tradesperson in your company? Young people need to understand what a job entails.  A ride and decide program will allow them to get a hands-on experience of the job they may want to pursue.  If you would like to be listed as a company that offers a ride and decide program to attract local candidates, let us know. 

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