JUNCTION CITY, Ore. -- Students who think college may not be the answer for them should do their research to find the trade that might be best for them, one industry leader said.
KEZI 9 News spoke to Jordan Adams, the president and owner of Paramount Ironworks, a company he started himself that focuses on custom welding and fabrication.
Adams said growing up he wasn’t the best student in school, but with other tradesmen and blue-collar workers in his family, he knew there were other routes he could pursue outside the classroom.
With that mindset, Adams said he faced some pushback early in high school from one of his teachers.
“I remember one class in particular, about how the teacher was going on and on about how you’re not going to be anything unless you go to college,” Adams said. “And I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut anymore because I know a lot of families are supported by blue collar workers. He kind of laughed at me and goes, ‘Mr. Adams, if you don’t go to college, you might as well pick up garbage.’”
Adams said at the time it was discouraging and frustrating, but he didn’t want to let that dictate his future.
He said he loves his job because it’s physically demanding, he gets to work with his hands and he gets to be creative. His job has taken him to work all over the country.
In addition to his advice about doing research into different trades, Adams said whatever you choose to do, make sure you have a good work ethic and drive to achieve your goals.
Employers throughout western Oregon are losing qualified employees to retirement and struggling to find skilled replacements, which is why KEZI is partnering with industry leaders in the Skilled to Work campaign.