Steve and Ryan – Painters-Turned-Friends


Steve and Ryan – Painters-Turned-Friends

A lot of friendships are formed in school. Whether it’s the kid you ride the bus with, the person who sits with you at lunch, the guy from your baseball team, sharing a formative experience creates a special bond. The same holds for Steve and Ryan here – two painters who’ve formed an awesome friendship during their three years of union apprentice training.

But these guys are more than friends and painters. Steve runs a puppy rescue with his fiancé, and also helps her manage a supper club in his evenings. Ryan, meanwhile, builds demolition derby cars in his free time. And when it comes to their day jobs, Steve’s working on a contract at Mayo Clinic while Ryan works residential jobs with his dad and uncle.

These guys were also on the same page when it came to pursuing a career in the building and construction trades. Both Steve and Ryan appreciated hard work, and they were good at it. So when the end of high school came, the careers that made the most sense were the ones that would require hard work, bring a variety of work environments, and teach new, practical skills.

Enter the union apprentice program career track! In their case, the Finishing Trades Institute of the Upper Midwest, which not only prepared them for the specific requirements of their trade, but also provided training on occupational safety, Infection Control Risk Assessment, professionalism, communications, leadership, healthy living, CRP and First Aid, general business, and much more.

And, union apprentice training programs are earn-as-you-learn, meaning no college debt and a career that pays well. Including benefits, from day one. And they’re privately funded, meaning taxpayers aren’t making these critical investments in tomorrow’ workforce – the unions are through dues and other private sector partnerships. Learn more about Ryan and Steve’s union – the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades – here.

So, how are these guys both feeling now that three years and 6,000 hours of training are behind both of them? They’re just excited that training is over so they can get back to working more. That’s the union spirit! Good luck and congratulations, guys!