CHAMPION, Ohio (WKBN) – Carpenters have a long tradition in the building trades. Their work is important on each and every job site and involves more than just hammering nails.
The traditional hammer and nail has been replaced with the nail gun. Carpenters now have equipment to do the job faster because they’re doing so many things.
On Tuesday, Rob Wilt was framing a new administration building connected to St. William Church in Champion.
Rob’s been wearing a tool belt for over 20 years. He started by building houses with his dad and uncle.
As carpenters go through a four-year apprentice program, they also spend four weeks a year learning things away from the job site.
“During that time, all I was doing was pounding studs, and rafters, and stairs so when I was in school and had those classes, it was very easy to me,” Rob said. “Then when it came to the concrete framework, the scaffolding, stuff I had never put my hands on my entire life, you were learning.”
Carpentry can be physically demanding but Rob believes there’s something for everyone.
You don’t have to be the person that hangs the drywall. There are lighter things to lift, like acoustical ceilings.
Rob said at the end of the day, there’s always something to look at to track your progress. He is taking great pride in the St. William project.
“Me and two other guys in two days, we have all the walls up and are ready to set trusses. When you pull in, you’re seeing walls up when the day before, it was nothing. You tend to want to snap a picture and show everybody what you did.”
Studying under a journeyman paved the way for Rob. Completing the apprentice program includes getting every qualification to show you’re a certified carpenter.
“It’s a very good career, very good-paying. If you look at what we get paid compared to going to college — and we are technically going to school for four years — and you look at the wage you’re going to make, and it’s hard to beat in this area.”
The Carpenters Union offers a journeymen leadership and superintendent training programs.
To connect with and find more information about the carpentry apprenticeship program, visit OhioMeansJobs.com.