Roto-Rooter finds new way to train apprentices

While some trades businesses have frozen apprenticeships during the pandemic, others are pushing through.

Posted: Jun 30, 2020 4:49 PM
Updated: Jul 1, 2020 3:41 PM

EUGENE, Ore. – While some trades businesses have frozen apprenticeships during the pandemic, others are pushing through.

Roto-Rooter continues to train apprentices with a few adjustments.

The first change is that most of their schooling is done online and completed remotely.

Apprentices also have to comply with safety and health guidelines while on the job, which makes things difficult.

Rocky Silva just completed his apprenticeship at Roto Rooter and Silva said there’s talk of this new way of operating sticking around.

“They’ve kind of talked about it being permanent,” Silva said. “Because it’s not going away. Customers were being leery about letting us into their homes. They’re nervous, and same with us because we have families at home and we don’t want to take anything home to them.”

When someone graduates from the program to become a journeyman, starting wages are around $65,000 a year, Silva said.

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