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New approaches to hiring skilled trade workers

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(239) 688-4072

Apprenticeships, scholarships and career development plans among innovations

It’s been more than three years since the COVID-19 pandemic’s drastic disruption of how and where we work. Even now, the nationwide labor shortage persists – especially when it comes to recruiting trade workers.

The national unemployment rate for May was just 3.7%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That’s a slight increase from the April unemployment rate of 3.4%, the lowest tally in more than 50 years.

Among the skilled trades, jobs such as construction workers, electricians and more sit unfilled. It’s a symptom not just of the Great Resignation but also an aging workforce. And those older workers are being replaced by a Generation Z with little overall interest in such work.

At Pro-Tec Plumbing & Air, we are laying the foundation for the next generation of skilled trade workers. Our secret sauce? We invest in these talented employees from the outset – and in some cases, even before they come work for us!

Here are some of the ways we are recruiting skilled trade workers:


Our Technician Apprenticeship Program provides employees with paid training. Unlike college students, they literally earn while they learn with both on-the-job training and job-related instruction. Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to recruit trade workers.

Each apprentice is teamed with an experienced mentor who can guide that individual with hands-on, personalized training.

As an employer, we are able to equip these apprentices with general industry knowledge as well as company-specific policies and practices.

We can address deficiencies before they become habits while providing assistance and instruction in a supportive environment.

Career development

Our Career Progression Plan clearly defines the steps and skills needed to progress from entry-level jobs into positions with greater responsibility. A defined career path is another essential element of our approach to recruiting trade workers.

These career plans are spelled out in writing and provide interested employees with a defined path to advance, including into management roles.

Our goal: grow and nurture talented trade workers who will similarly make their own investment in Pro-Tec Plumbing & Air. If not, those workers will inevitably seek greener pastures when no further path forward exists.

Laying a foundation

Pro-Tec Plumbing & Air’s roots are in Naples, but we opened a Fort Myers location several years ago with an expanded service area. That territory now includes Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres, as well as Ave Maria, Babcock Ranch and Marco Island.

To support the next generation of trade workers, Pro-Tec serves on the advisory of Fort Myers Technical College, consulting on curriculum, training and other matters. Investing in the next generation is just one more way to recruit trade workers.

The school’s 10-month plumbing certificate program covers tools of the trade, drainage systems, residential and commercial repairs, irrigation systems, blueprint reading and more.

The HVAC/R track is a 12-month program that covers the fundamentals and science of air conditioning, A/C and refrigeration systems, heat pumps, system design and industry practices.

Both programs prepare graduates to immediately step into entry-level roles and progress within their respective fields.

Come join the team!

Want to work with a dedicated team of professionals who provide both technical skills and expertise and superior customer service?

Pro-Tec provides a generous compensation and benefits package that includes health insurance, a retirement savings program, opportunities for advancement, and paid training and certification programs. Job opportunities are outlined at

(239) 688-4072

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  • Our Story

    A family-owned and operated business based in Naples, Florida, Pro-Tec Plumbing & Air is co-owned by brothers, Rick and Brandon Hume. Together, they have been serving Southwest Florida for more than a decade.

  • Our Mission

    Our mission is to provide the best plumbing systems and air conditioning services in our community, and we guarantee our work. We believe in establishing lasting relationships with our customers, ensuring peace of mind when it comes to their homes.

  • Our Values

    We live by our five core values: teamwork, loyalty, reputation, high expectation, and family. At Pro-Tec Plumbing & Air, we consider our staff to be like family — let us introduce our family to yours!

  • Our Experts
    We care about people and their property. Holding every member of our team to the highest standards, we put our customers first. Our experts get the job done right the first time.