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CCS Students Work in the Field with Atlas Butler Internship Program

Jasir Smith

June 27, 2022 -- Jasir Smith, a Northland High School rising junior, likes doing work that gives him the opportunity to move around and stay active. He’s interested in learning a skilled trade for his future. Through the Atlas Butler Ride to Decide internship program, he did just that. He spent three weeks learning about different careers in the HVAC Service, HVAC Installation, and Plumbing fields to see if the work was a good fit for his future.

This is the program’s first year, and eligible students from across Central Ohio were encouraged to apply. Six were selected; two of them were CCS students.

Interns spent one week working in each of the trades. They worked alongside mentors - professionals in each of the respective fields. With their mentors, they went on-site for client calls and had the chance to gain professional experience. Jeanne Hoffman with Atlas Butler says that for the interns, much like the professionals, every day was different.

“The customers, geographical location, the work needed, and the weather always ensure that the day-to-day constantly changes,” Hoffman said. “Each intern experienced what our employees experience daily – you never know what the day has in store, and you must be able to adapt.”

Smith will continue to sharpen the skills he learned with Atlas Butler at Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School in the fall where he will be in the HVAC program. He says working on-site through the internship gave him a chance to start learning outside of the classroom.

“Actually being involved in the day-to-day and watching my mentor conduct business and interact with the customer was a cool experience. I've enjoyed being hands-on and learning all three departments,” Smith said. “ This program gives me a head start, and I will take some knowledge to Fort Hayes this fall.”

Smith’s experience in the program helped confirm his interest in the HVAC field.

“This program has definitely made me want to pursue HVAC as a full-time career. During our service visits in the field, I felt comfortable speaking with the customers about the issues they are having,” he said.

Hoffman says prior to launching the program, they spoke with school counselors to ensure the program best fit the needs of the students like Smith.

“One of the goals of the program is to provide an avenue for students uncertain about what they want to pursue after high school or wanting to learn more about a career path, specifically in the trades,” Hoffman said. “This program opens the door to students unfamiliar with the opportunities in the trades and to those students who already know college is not their choice but want to learn potential alternatives.”

The program recently wrapped up, and Hoffman says the feedback from students and families has been very positive. They plan to offer the internship program in the future so students can continue to gain hands-on experience while exploring future career paths. Interested students are encouraged to speak with their guidance counselors to learn more.