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Shortage of trade school instructors means fewer industry workers

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Posted at 2:52 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 17:27:06-04

HENDERSON (KTNV) — When the A/C goes out, they're the ones you call. Servicemen and women make lifesaving repairs every day.

But 13 Action News anchor Tricia Kean spoke with one Las Vegas expert who says there's a serious problem when it comes to training the next generation.

NEVER SLOWING DOWN

"Even during the pandemic when things shut down, we still had to fix air conditioners. We still had to fix people's plumbing and making sure people had electricity," says Jeremy Anderson with Express Home Services.

Through it all, Anderson says work has never slowed down. In fact, his company needs help.

VACANT POSITIONS

"We are hiring for plumbers, electricians and HVAC technicians... It's been really tough trying to find somebody who actually knows what they're doing and is qualified," says Anderson.

He says some positions have been vacant for more than six months.

CAN'T TRAIN FAST ENOUGH

"I don't want to hit a panic button, but it is kind of dire right now. There are in some cases people waiting weeks for air conditioning service," says Anderson.

The Henderson trade school, National Technical Institute or NTI, says it can't train students fast enough.

HIRED BEFORE GRADUATING

"There's a huge gap in the skilled trades right now. HVAC, electrical, plumbing, some of the other trades... The majority of our technicians are hired well before they graduate," says VP of Enrollment Russ Gill.

He says, the problem is they don't have enough instructors to train their students.

ALARMING NUMBERS

"The numbers are alarming. Obviously, trying to track the right people who are willing to help others to learn to get into the trades. That's nerve-racking," says Gill.

Being so short-staffed, NTI Electrical Instructor Jake Nielsen says, everyone including himself is working overtime.

HELPING FILL THE GAP

"When we do have instructors call out or something like that, I have to pull a triple shift. It just takes a normally 10 hour day and turns it into a potentially 14 hour day," says Jake.

To help fill the gap, Jake is reaching out to tradespeople in the field, encouraging them to apply for a teaching position.

"Because a lot of our projects will get remodeled in 15 years. But the students' lives that we're changing… There's something magical about it," says Jake.

RECRUITING INSTRUCTORS

NTI is recruiting new instructors with at least five years of experience. Gill says the school is also offering a major signing bonus!

"You can earn a bonus of up to $10,000 based on your experience and the number of hours you're willing to teach," says Gill.

BONUS OFFER

Anderson with Express Home Services supports the effort. Facing a desperate need for new hires, Anderson hopes the bonus is an offer, some will find hard to refuse.

"If we're shorthanded on teaching tradespeople, it's only going to exasperate an even bigger problem and really create problems down the road," says Anderson.

NTI has a number of positions open for all of the trades; including HVAC, plumbing and electrical.

Send an email to David@NTITraining.com if you're interested in a full-time or even part-time position.

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