Washington Plumber’s Innovative Training Program Supports Future of Skilled Trades

Since 2022, Harts Services’ in-house apprenticeship program has aimed to meet the needs of the industry overall and transform how younger generations think about the trades

Washington Plumber’s Innovative Training Program Supports Future of Skilled Trades

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Harts Services, a Tacoma, Washington-based plumbing company founded in 2013, is doing its part to urge job seekers to consider the many rewarding, high-paying career opportunities available in the skilled trades. 

“Whether you’re just entering the workforce or you’re frustrated in your current job and want to make a mid-career change, we encourage everyone to think about the trades as a meaningful alternative to the traditional career path,” says Rich Hart, co-owner of Harts Services. “Many of us have been taught that attending a four-year college is the only way to have a successful and satisfying career. But we’re starting to see that college doesn’t necessarily pay off for everyone. That’s leading a lot of young people to look for other options.” 

As the cost of a college education continues to rise, the long-term financial value of a four-year degree is steadily declining. At the same time, an ongoing shortage of skilled labor is driving up demand for trained workers in home service industries such as plumbing, electrical and HVAC. Experienced technicians in those fields are highly employable and can demand premium salaries as well as signing bonuses, paid training and opportunities for rapid advancement. 

“Instead of treating trades as a fallback, we want people entering the trades to be energetic and enthusiastic,” Hart says. “Being a plumber or electrician requires training, focus, problem-solving and people skills, just like any other profession. It’s a dynamic and engaging field with a lot of upside, especially in today’s labor market.”

In 2022, Harts Services launched Harts Academy, an innovative in-house apprenticeship program that prepares motivated trainees for immediate employment.

The Harts Academy program includes four weeks of comprehensive classroom education and immersive hands-on experience in the Harts Academy plumbing platform. Classroom sessions are followed by two to three years of supervised field training with licensed plumbers, with pay raises to match experience, testing and skill level. Harts Academy also provides preparation assistance for the plumber licensing exam.

“We created Harts Academy to help meet the needs of our industry overall and transform how younger generations think about the trades,” Hart says. “We’re investing in the creation of a truly trained and expert team not only here at Harts but throughout the Pacific Northwest. It’s part of a major disruption that we expect to unlock new opportunities for young people, drive economic growth and ensure that homeowners have access to the services they need.”

Harts Academy apprentices support plumbing leads in the warehouse and on job sites while actively learning core skills. A valid driver’s license and clean driving record are required. Apprentices must be able to lift up to 50 pounds and are expected to work in crawl spaces, operate machinery, climb ladders and stairs, and other physical work in the warehouse and on job sites.

For more information about Harts Services, call 253-470-8766 or visit www.hartsservices.com.

For more information about Harts Academy or to apply, visit hartsservices.com/academy-apprentice-program.

Harts Services was previously profiled in Cleaner magazine in October 2019.


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