Sole Education Spring 2020: Meet the Student

We are thrilled to launch our third semester of the  Sole Education program! Over the next few months, we will be learning more about our student’s skilled trades program through their blog entries.

The Sole Education Grant is an industry-based education grant sponsored by Saf-Gard Safety Shoe Company. It is for students who are just starting out in the trades.

Over the next several weeks, we will be working with Tod, an  HVAC-R student from Runnels, Iowa.

He will be covering topics related to his industry and hopefully inspiring others to learn more about opportunities in the skilled trades as well.

Let’s meet Tod:

Sole Edu Spring 2020 - Tod Thompson - HVAC-R
Here is a picture of me working on building an 8 X10 supply air duct in HVAC-R in class this week.

Hi! I’m Tod and I grew up and still live in the Midwest. I am a husband, dad, grandfather, and brother. All of which are great roles to fill. Over my career, I have been employed by independent businesses, large corporations, private companies, and I am currently self-employed. A little over three years ago I started my own small business. Regardless of who signed my paycheck over the years, one constant key has always been present in my success, and that is “building positive relationships with my customers”.

I am currently enrolled in the  HVAC-R vocation training program at our local community college in Ankeny, Iowa. I really enjoy what I have been learning during my courses so far. There are eighteen active students in my class, and we are in our second semester. As a group, we have learned to work with and around each other the same as employees at a shop every day. Usually, we form different teams of two to four students during the lab, so we all work with everyone at some point or another. I’m lucky to have two excellent instructors that keep our group on track together to accomplish our daily objectives. I work my business tasks each afternoon after my classes are out at 12:05 PM, and I try to keep up with the bookwork and other office activities on the weekends. It’s a lot to balance, but you feel different when you’re building something that’s your very own business, somehow it just doesn’t feel like work.

The courses I’m taking now will help me service my existing customers in more ways and help me expand my opportunities for sales growth. I believe that hard work pays rewards, that family should always come first, that it’s ok to make mistakes, that bosses who develop your skills are genius, that you can change your life if you want to, and that nothing can take the place of persistence.

Follow along with our students’ progress here.
Learn more about the Generation T movement here.

APPLY FOR THE SOLE EDUCATION GRANT TODAY