Episode Description

In this week’s episode of Beyond the Wrench, we are joined by Allie Libby, School Counselor, and Linda Murray, Youth Apprenticeship Advisor, both from Merrill High School. Allie and Linda share with us how the perception of working in the trades has changed in high schools, the importance of youth apprenticeship programs, and communication gaps between different generations in the industry.

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The Changing Perception of the Industry

  • In the early 2000’s, if students weren’t going to a four-year school they were looked down upon.
  • There was a lot of externalized pressure for students to go to a four-year school, and they were told if they didn’t get a Bachelor’s degree, they wouldn’t be successful.
  • Students today are making better decisions and thinking about the finances when it comes to schooling. They are open to different opportunities, whether it be a four-year school or a two-year school.

Youth Apprenticeship Program

  • Employers are dying for employees. Businesses appreciate the youth apprenticeship program because students continue to work at the shop after they graduate.
  • A lot of local businesses will bring in youth apprentices after they graduate high school and will pay for them to go to school and get more training if they stay and work at the shop.
  • When a school hosts a career fair, local businesses need to take advantage of those opportunities, get involved, and build relationships.
  • Businesses fill out evaluations on what they need to teach their apprentices and how the student is doing. Some businesses are more engaged than others, and half of the student’s grade is based on those evaluations.

Communication Gaps Between Generations

  • The way kids communicate these days is completely different from how some of the older technicians in the shop communicate.
  • Kids don’t like to read their emails. Finding a new way to communicate with them that will be most effective for the student is very important.
  • It’s good to find different avenues for communication, but when these students get into a job they have to learn how to communicate in a way the business does.

Show Notes


Learn more about WrenchWay School Assist

Download the free WrenchWay app in the App Store or on Google Play:

About Our Host:

Jay Goninen
Co-Founder & President, WrenchWay
jayg@wrenchway.com | 608.716.2122

About Our Guests:

Allie Libby
School Counsler, Merrill High School

Linda Murray
Youth Apprenticeship Advisor, Merrill High School


RepairPal connects consumers with certified trustworthy repair shops. RepairPal’s network of over 2,700 shops nationwide undergo a rigorous certification process to ensure they are high quality, offer at least a 12/12 warranty (or better), have a high customer satisfaction rating, and guaranteed fair prices.

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