When Rob Nance began work as a plumber in 1997, he couldn’t have imagined he’d one day be leading others to careers in construction.
Back then, he was focused on growing his family and his business. And even though he enjoyed working alongside his sons at his plumbing company, he steered them toward college and careers outside of the trades.
“I liked that the work I did was hands-on and the impact was permanent,” Rob says. “I can still walk through buildings where I helped put in the plumbing, and there isn’t another feeling like that pride.” But then he adds, “I also knew there were better-paying jobs out there.”
Nonetheless, one son, Matthew, not only went into the construction industry but ended up as executive director of the BY Program. And Matthew knew exactly where to turn when he needed a BY Training course instructor: to the man who taught him.
Rob eagerly seized the opportunity to help others enjoy the sense of accomplishment he got from his work. “There’s something about that self-satisfaction of completing a construction job that I wanted to share with other people,” he says. “BY Training seemed like a great place to start.”
Now Rob is excited every day he gets to work with students in a BY course. “This is a program designed to help people get a second chance at their life and to pursue a real career.” he says. “All you need is to have a good character, be a good person, and this program will help you learn how to support your family with good work.”
Rob is constantly amazed by the ways the BY Program makes construction work both accessible and engaging for its students. “It’s not just about the class time,” he says. “BY graduates also receive long-term networking and job fairs from BY Training. And through our connections, these aren’t minimum-wage careers!”
At the same time, Rob sees his work as going well beyond teaching building trades; he also helps students build lives. “Construction involves skills we do every day, including math and measuring and putting pieces together.” He says. “When I sit down with each of my students, I get to make that truth relatable to their experience. And that’s how they are set up for success.”