Powerful Words: Real Talk From Real Pros

By Arkansas NEXT on Friday, September 25, 2020

Across five major industries in Arkansas, these ten young professionals offer advice on what makes their trades tick.

Lead Tool Maker, Central Moloney Inc.


On his passion for the craft

“I get to work with my hands and create a finished product. I get to hold the accomplishments of my hard work in my hands.”

Substation & Transmission Technician, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation


On researching cool trades careers

“Research as many trades as you can. Walk up to that plumber working under the sink, or the lineman reading the meter at your house and ask them about their job. Most tradesmen will love nothing more than to talk to a high school student about their career. When I graduated high school, I had no idea how many career paths were out there other than going to college. If I had known, I probably would have gone to work sooner.”

HVACR Technician, Powers


On the best part of his job

“The best part of my job is figuring out how all of the equipment works together to get you to the end result, and being able to drive by a building and say that I played a part in getting the site where it is today.”

Commercial Truck Driver, Maverick Transportation


On life on the road

“A day starts with a pre-trip inspection of my truck and trailer to make sure that everything is safe and in good working order. Then follows a nice long and quiet drive to my destination where I unload my freight. Then, I will receive another load, drive to go pick it up and make sure it is safely secured. I will then start the process all over again.”

Industrial Maintenance Mechanic, Tyson Foods


On a day in her life

“When I arrive at work, I go on the computer and go through my work orders to see what others want me to get done for the week (mostly if something needs to be replaced or has been damaged during the week). I try to get those orders done first and then I start my PMs for the weekend.”

Diesel Technician, Paschall Truck Lines


On why his job is so important

“[We] need to be precise with [our] work. When someone leaves in that truck, it needs to be done correctly to prevent accidents.”

Offal Attendant (electrician), Tyson Foods


On opportunities to get ahead

“I get a chance to have growth development within Tyson. There is room to move up and gain opportunity; that’s what I strive to do with my education and experience.”

CNC Service Technician, Haas Factory Outlet, a Division of Phillips


On making good money

“I entered into this industry with no debt. By the time someone who graduated high school at the same time as me graduates college, I will have three years of experience in my field.” And “with only one year of formal education, I’ve been able to obtain a higher than average income for the state I live in.”

Plumber, Kimbel Mechanical Systems


On fast-tracking his career

“I had my high school diploma. I did not have any additional schooling to get hired on with Kimbel. I was hired, and then they enrolled me in their plumbing school. This allows me to work during the day (and get paid) while [at] school. [The] school runs like a college course and is offered one night per week, two semesters for four years. When I have the required number of classroom hours and the required number of on-the-job hours, I will be able to sit for my journeyman plumber test.”

Diesel Agriculture Technician, Greenway Equipment


On loving a good challenge

“I like the challenge of diagnosing tractors — the challenge [of] going to a customer’s location, and not knowing what the problem might be, [then following] the steps [to fix it], and using what I learned during my internship and my hands-on experience in school.”