Evan Little graduated from Prince Edward County High School in Farmville,VA and the Fairfax County Public School Technical Program . SkillsUSA  is the recognized student organization for trade and industrial programs in Virginia. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives, working together to ensure America has a skilled work force. Learn more.
How did Covid-19 affect your Apprenticeship?
My in-person classes were cancelled. One pro was that our teacher gave us quizzes to get done during the week. I liked this because it gave me more time to spend on each answer. That helped me navigate through the code book better. When we were meeting in class, I felt rushed. The extra time gave me more confidence in myself.

What were your favorite courses in the program and tools to work with?
The first and fourth years. In the first year, we got to learn all of the basics of plumbing and the fourth year we focused more on the code book! I liked working with the bandsaw, pro-press, soldering torch and my no hub torque wrenches.

Do you feel like you have a head start in your career compared to some of your peers that took a different route?
Yes! I am already working in my field of study and get to continue even after my technical education is complete. I do not have to search for a job like a college student has to. Also, with no student debt I feel free to start my future. 

Zhordyn Johnson was inspired to get into the construction industry by watching her brother over the years. In March 2019, she participated in " She Builds " with Rebuilding Together Montgomery County, using the skills she learned to help rebuild unsafe communities. She graduated from Associated Builders and Contractors Metro Washington in HVAC. The ABC Craftmasters program is fully approved and accredited by the:

  • National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)
  • U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
  • Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Council (MATC)
  • DC Apprenticeship and Training Council (DCATC)
  • Veterans Administration (VA)

Learn more about the program here.
What was your favorite part of the Apprenticeship Program?
Troubleshooting. It made me think outside-the-box. Finding the problem and then solving it.

Favorite tools to work with?
My drill, bandsaw and welding machine.

Why did you choose Shapiro & Duncan to start your career?
They were willing to help me work on things that I’m not strong at doing. They made me feel super welcomed when I joined the team. 

How do you think the industry will change moving forward?
There will be more safety precautions. New and better ways to do my job.

Basilio Zapata also graduated from Associated Builders and Contractors of Metro Washington's apprenticeship program. Before he came to America, he received a bachelor's degree in commercial engineering from Ibero- American University of Science and Technology in Nicaragua . In addition, he achieved an associates degree from Westwood College and many auto mechanic certifications in Los Angeles, CA.

What are your thoughts on virtual training vs. on-the-job training for the future?
For this trade (HVAC), it's required and indispensable to have on-the-job training. The theory part is workable, but I see more convenient and safe to have one-on-one training since you’re dealing with power, refrigerant and other elements

What was your favorite course in the program?
Building Automation System. For me, this is the result of all of your effort during the whole period of construction. It shows the hard work and time invested by the S&D team by producing a beautiful orchestra.

What did you always have with you?
A multi-meter and something to take notes with.