In early 2018, Mary Jean Anderson, president of Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air launched the Anderson Career Builder Institute (ACBI) in response to the nationwide critical shortage of qualified candidates for employment in the skilled trades. “At the end of World War II, the majority of the workforce were tradesmen. Today it is just 6 percent. And now many of the most experienced professionals are aging out and retiring,” said Anderson.

Never one to back down from a challenge, Anderson determined the best course of action would be to start the Anderson Career Builder Institute – a specialized earn-while-you-learn trade school to train residential plumbers and HVAC technicians. To date, ACBI has accepted 45 students ranging in age from 18 to 65 including 7 females and 8 military veterans with 5 students in the current session. There are now 39 graduates and 37 have been hired. Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air was founded in 1978 and serves all of San Diego County so you may have seen one of the graduates in their distinctive trucks!

“We are a great match for military veterans seeking a second career and we are seeing a growing number of women thriving in the trades. We want people to know that there are alternatives to traditional college with great earning potential. Many of our technicians make six figure salaries,” Anderson shared with GB Magazine.

At ACBI, there is no cost for successful applicants: tuition, uniforms and instructional materials are included. In addition, students earn a salary during the initial 90-day program. Upon graduation, students have the opportunity to apply for full-time employment with Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air or other great partner plumbing, heating and air companies throughout California.

Once hired by Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air, all employees are provided continuous training and mentoring to help advance their career.