Apprentice Success

Nick Carroll started as a technical sales apprentice at Edro. Today, he works in outside sales and manages the company’s northeast accounts.

Related Topics:

Last year I met Nick Carroll, who at the time was a technical sales apprentice at Edro Specialty Steels in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Nick and I discussed his background and perspective on the apprenticeship program, which was new. What stood out to me was how Edro encouraged him to participate in crafting the program as he advanced through it. This past June, I bumped into Nick at Amerimold. I learned that he is employed full-time now at Edro working in outside sales and managing the northeast accounts. Because this month’s feature is on supplier-based training programs, which includes a snapshot of Edro’s current efforts, I thought it was appropriate to share with you where Nick is today.

“Coming out of college, I knew it would be tough learning a new industry and starting a career. This program gave me the ability to learn the moldmaking industry from every angle over the course of a year and a half before working alone on outside sales. When I finally took over a budgeted territory for sales, I felt very prepared,” Nick says.

While the program has been restructured a bit and uses some new training materials, the philosophy remains the same. They maintain an open program that introduces apprentices to every part of the business as they work with all team members and develop projects they would like to work on that could help the company. This gives each apprentice a chance to structure his or her own program with the help of management. 

Throughout his time in the program, Nick submitted weekly reports detailing what he was learning and which parts of the program needed improving. Mike Guscott, who continues to manage the program, actively listened to his suggestions. “I believe the best aspect of our program is that management is always listening to the ideas and thoughts of our apprentices. This makes everyone feel part of the team right from the start,” he said. 

Today, Nick attends career fairs at local universities to hire new apprentices. He conducts initial interviews and takes apprentices on sales trips. Although his apprenticeship is over, he still receives regular training when he travels with other members of the sales team and visits mills, sister companies and attends trade shows.

When I asked him about future plans, Nick noted it was a difficult question to answer. “I am still learning what I enjoy doing the most. The nice thing about this program and working with Edro is that I am free to explore opportunities within the company. So, for now, I will continue to enjoy my work in sales and see what the future holds,” he said.

If you have a successful apprenticeship program or apprentice, reach out to me at cfuges@gardnerweb.com so we can continue to share what is new and what works in training and workforce development.