Student Success Stories

Samantha Mayberry

Where you are from? I am from New Castle, Pennsylvania

What sparked your interest in a career in the skilled trades? It was my FFA advisor at Laurel High School that got me interested in welding. I took welding in his shop class and I enjoyed it and he said I had a "knack" for it that was back in 9th grade and I continued with welding/shop classes until I graduated.


Tracy Wilson

Tracy's Story

Where you are from? Reinholds, PA

What sparked your interest in a career in the skilled trades? I’ve always enjoyed staying active and working with my hands, so electronics engineering seemed like an obvious choice. As a kid, I would tinker with light switches, light bulbs, wires, and whatever else I could get my hands on in my dad’s workshop. As I got older, I started thinking about retirement and realized I needed more sustainable income for my two boys and myself.


Seamus Ian McGuoirk

Seamus's Story

Where you are from? Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

What sparked your interest in a career in the skilled trades? I needed to work with my hands and also the fact that my father has always been the handy man of the family. He helps out the whole family with cars, electronics, plumbing, rebuilding a bathroom for his mother. I truly skilled man that has inspired his son to walk in his footsteps.


Kyle A. Kralick

Kyle's Story

Where you are from? Coplay, Pennsylvania; a small borough in the Lehigh Valley of eastern Pennsylvania.

What sparked your interest in a career in the skilled trades?Since I was a kid, I was always fascinated by how things worked in our world. I loved watching the process of how things were made and put together on TV shows and videos like that. I was also interested in science as I progressed further and further through grade school. As I got older I found I was pretty decent at working with my hands. So, I ended up taking an Electricity and Electronics course...


Shawn Claypoole

Shawn's Story

Where you are from? I'm from a small town called Marienville, PA

What sparked your interest in a career in the skilled trades? After looking at all the options out there a realized that going for a trade was the best route for me 


Jarek Wasko

Jarek's Story

Where you are from? Gap, PA

What sparked your interest in a career in the skilled trades?  I like being hands-on and did not want to work at a desk.


Jason Taylor

Jason's Story

Where are you from? Bunola, PA / residing in Carnegie

What sparked your interest in a career in the skilled trades?  After working in the physical plant at Penn State Greater Allegheny for years, I decided to pursue a degree in Facilities Technology. That quickly changed to H.A.C. after observing the field in action. Keeping a campus comfortable and running smoothly seemed to be very rewarding.


Riley Kerr

Riley's Story

Where you are from: Murrysville, PA

What sparked your interest in a career in the skilled trades?  I have always loved heavy equipment ever since the days I played in the sandbox. I remember reading picture books about the different types of equipment and watching videos of Mega Machines as a kid. My Mom would take me to construction sites to watch the equipment in use, and that got me hooked.  I have also always loved being outdoors. In school, academics were not my strong suit. I found that I had a learning disability that made math hard to learn, but scien...


Travis Jumper

Travis's Story

Where you are from?   Carlisle, Pennsylvania

What sparked your interest in a career in the skilled trades?  I got interested into the trades, because I would help my grandfather fix things around the house when I was younger, and that was something that I enjoyed doing.


Kristen Suhan

Kristen's Story

What sparked your interest in a career in the skilled trades?  What sparked my interest the most is the amount of opportunities the trade has to offer. I enjoy a challenge, learning, and working on new equipment daily, all while getting my hands dirty. There are so many possibilities in the HVAC trade, and a high demand for good workers. I wanted to go in this trade knowing that I can make a difference helping people, all while enjoying the challenges that come with it.

What school will you be attending?  Currently I am enrolled in my second year at Westmorel...


Will Urquhart

Will's Story

Where you are from? Guys Mills, Pennsylvania (about an hour south of Erie, Pa)

 What sparked your interest in a career in the skilled trades?  I have been interested in heavy equipment from a young age, and was exposed to working with various sized tractors, a skid steer, and a mini-excavator in middle and high school. I enjoyed the work and the variety of tasks that could be completed, and running heavy equipment is a lot easier than using hand tools. In general I prefer to work outdoors and to have variety in my day to day routine/work so operating heavy eq...


Ryan Flynn

Ryan Flynn

Ryan's Story

Where you are from?  I am from Clarks Summit, Pa., which is a suburb of Scranton, PA

What sparked your interest in a career in the skilled trades?  My interest in trades was sparked at an early age. I have always loved construction equipment, tractor trailers, and cars. Since I was only 4 at the time, the closest I could get to the real deal were the numerous Tonka trucks in my sandbox. It wasn’t until eighth grade when I had to do an extensive research project on a potential future career, that...