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October 2020 • Florida Pool Pro




competition getting into the trades I didn't have the qualifications of those who

made it in. Keep in mind this was 38 years ago. The next year I was able to

get in the apprenticeship program because I was working for an employer

who participated in the program and they were my sponsor. This particular

program was a four year stint because that was the same amount of time

required to qualify to take the Journeyman's test.

During that time, I was not allowed to quit and go to work for another

employer in the program without the written consent of my current employer. I

actually did that one time. If my employer no longer needed me, the program

managers would connect me to another employer in the program. This also

happened one time and I had another job the next day. My employer was

required to pay me a specific amount of money, or more, based on where

I was in the program. There were also required classes. Two years after I

finished the program and had my Journeyman's license I was able to go back

and teach the third-year class and did so for eight years.

I had several of my own employees go through the program years ago but

it got harder and harder to find people willing to make the 45 minute drive

to where the classes were held; especially when the requirement for the

Journeyman's license was removed. We didn't have PC's yet and Zoom was

just something on a Mazda commercial on our 19" TV.

We have a decent amount of leeway on the curriculum that we want to

implement in our program and I'm sure it will be an ever-evolving one. What

we need now is to get member companies signed up to participate. This does

not require you to participate until you are ready, but may help you find a

potential employee quickly. FSPA can then advertise the program and start

getting applicants. The ability to use an online forum to have live classes

makes this much easier for the entire state to be part of the same classes.

Please call Mary at the office to get more information and get signed up!