Valley Works: Electric Motor Shop

FRESNO, California

Fixing electric motors, and we don't mean the kind in your dryer, is a skill that is in huge demand.

It's a trade where you can make a great salary, have the kind of benefits that are unheard of and we're told the job is stress free. How do you train for this career? Well, not in school.

Dan Gough is the manager of the Electric Motor Shop's repair division, what they do here is highly specialized and very much in demand. They also repair motors in irrigation pumps and alternative power plants.

It's the kind of work few are trained to do. Gough said, "Finding people that are already skilled in this labor is difficult if not impossible."

Gough calls it a hidden trade, not too many people even know about it, because the skills are no longer taught in the schools.

Gough explained, "So quite often we resort to what we call, we grow our own, we find a good solid young candidate that's looking for a career, and we train them with everything we need them to know."

That's how 23-year-old Randy Hughes came into this opportunity; he was looking for a trade, a job, and was referred to the Electric Motor Shop by a community agency.

Randy Hughes is in an apprenticeship program now, starting out as a driver. In a few years he'll be a journeyman making about $35.00 an hour. His skill will be in such demand companies will bid for his talent.

Gough added, "When you do find someone you are interested in hiring their present employer usually ups their offer and keep them on staff and we do the same."

For many young people, repairing electric motors may not be a sexy career, but Hughes calls it a once in a life time opportunity for him, one he wished more people knew about.

"I think at time it can be hard to find the opportunities for these types of jobs so there is not enough awareness out there," explained Hughes.

What does the Electric Motor Shop look for in a good job candidate? You need a clean driving record, have good verbal and written skills, great attitude, and they will teach you the rest.

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