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By Lanna Hernandez | CareerWise communications apprentice
Working on cars initially sparked Nathaniel Henton’s interest in technology and provided a great opportunity to bond with his father. When he thought about his future, the high school junior didn’t see himself working as a maintenance technician apprentice for the Estes Park School District. However, thanks to the time spent with his dad, Nathaniel had the background experience necessary to be more prepared for the tasks he would be assigned to take on.
“My dad taught me how to work on automobiles; I got to know a lot that relates to heating, HVAC-wise.” Nathaniel’s days as an apprentice have him manually changing, replacing, or fixing the heating and cooling systems for school buildings in Estes Park.
Covid-19 has had a major impact on many employees around the world, but for Nathaniel, his job was in fact made easier. With schools being partially empty this past fall, Nathaniel found that working without students crowding the halls allowed more room to work conveniently and safely with no distractions: “It’s generally easier to do things inside of empty buildings with no students.” Nathaniel has been using his apprenticeship in HVAC as an opportunity to increase his technical skills to be successful in his dream job of working on vehicles. However, he knows that by gaining these useful HVAC skills, his three years of experience as an apprentice in a professional environment is only setting him up for future success.
Dave Coleson, Nathaniel’s supervisor at Estes Park School District, readily praised Nathaniel’s dedication to his apprenticeship. “We love having him,” Coleson says. “Nate is a hard worker, and he’s innovative. In facilities and maintenance, there’s always something that needs doing. There’s also quite a bit of turnover in that department, so Nate’s presence helps with all that.’ Nate’s work clearly does not go unnoticed, as he continues to grow, learn, and fix problems; he is a part of a team that helps Estes Park schools thrive.