By Erika Germer
Congratulations to our 2021 Apprentices! CareerWise is celebrating the graduation of 41 apprentices this June.
Kevin Rhodes is one of the phenomenal graduates from our Colorado Regions communities, and he has been offered a full-time position with his employer DH Wholesale Signs in Fort Collins. Three years ago, as a high school student at Colorado Early Colleges Fort Collins, Kevin was interested in exploring a manufacturing pathway. DH Wholesale provided him with plenty of incentive to come onboard, although he had competing offers from other NoCo companies.
“I really liked the atmosphere of the place when I went to the interview,” Kevin remembers. “At first, it was pretty strange for me to be working alongside only adults. But I am good at connecting with people, and before long, it felt completely normal to be on the floor.”
One of Kevin’s proudest moments was when he was assigned a project to make a sign for Colorado State University’s College of Business. “I had to learn to build a sign from scratch and make it look absolutely perfect,” he said. “And I only had 3 weeks to get it done.”
Kevin’s successful efforts culminated in a job offer from the company’s general manager Paul Vanderspek this spring. “I made the decision to stay on with the company, although over time, I think my path may be more in the area of law enforcement,” Kevin said. “I hope to continue to learn what I can here while saving up money to get my Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.”
Kevin draws a parallel between making signs and public service: “Above all, you need to be a strong problem solver,” he said. “I’ve had to think on the fly, and am able to see how my decisions have consequences in the real world. And I’ve also realized that it’s perfectly fine to rely on other people and ask questions if I need help. We are all on the same team.”