NORTH JACKSON – Tri County Tower LLC climbed into the eyes of Jackson-Milton High School students May 23 with a display of a career in tower construction and maintenance.
Jackson-Milton High School invited Tri County Tower to present its business as a career option to students in the junior and senior pre-apprenticeship courses. The pre-apprenticeship course is a relatively new addition to the high school in North Jackson.
Students can earn pre-apprenticeship certificates for trades after graduation. Trades such as carpentry, plumbing and electrical will accept the certificates to go directly into apprenticeship programs.
Derek Joy, a teacher at Jackson-Milton, instructs the pre-apprenticeship course, and it’s focused on carpentry. Students are learning to work with their hands and power tools for wood-building projects. Joy said the class is constructing a shed and building cornhole boards.
Plumbers, electricians, ironworkers and carpenters have visited the students this school year. One of Joy’s objectives is to expose students to job opportunities they may have been unaware of or that are underrepresented at career days.
Tri County Tower was established in 2018. It focuses on constructing, erecting and maintaining telecommunications towers.
“There are always towers being built – especially in the cell world,” said Elyssa Thomas, a recruiter for Tri County Tower. “There are old towers being decommissioned and new ones built to have TV, radio and cellphone services on them. It’s still an up-and-coming industry,” Thomas said.
Tri County Tower brought a sample tower part, a harness, some light bulbs and other equipment that climbers work with on a regular basis. Typically, a 12-foot tower is also present but was unavailable for this visit.
Students were informed of job requirements and benefits. One must be 18 years old and have a good driving record. Wages start at $20 per hour, along with in-house training and certification. Traveling and an emphasis on safety and camaraderie with the team were some bonuses that Thomas pitched to the students.
Brant Simpson, a student at Jackson-Milton High School, volunteered to wear the harness as Thomas demonstrated it to the rest of the students. Simpson said he plans on pursuing video game design, but if that doesn’t work out, something like Tri County Tower would be interesting.
“It was a cool experience, and I learned about something new,” Simpson said. “I would definitely consider climbing towers in the future.”
Pictured at top: Brant Simpson, a student at Jackson-Milton High School, wears a harness as he hooks onto a sample tower part. At left is Lucas Kiesewetter of Tri County Tower.