This article originally appeared in the January 2024 issue of Industrial Projects Report. Read the magazine in full here.
America has convinced itself that the best path for most high school seniors is an expensive four-year degree. As a result, student loan debt is the second highest consumer debt category in the U.S. at $1.60 trillion.[i] Yet, more than eight million jobs are available across the country[ii], most of which don’t require a four-year degree.
Thousands of those jobs are with Day & Zimmermann, where we’re not only creating sustainable pathways to meaningful, good-paying careers that will take workers from high school to retirement, but we’re also putting people to work helping to protect our planet and power and improve America.
Day & Zimmermann is one of the largest family-owned companies in the U.S., specializing in construction, engineering, operations and maintenance, staffing, and security and defense for leading corporations and governments around the world. We maintain our country’s existing power plants and support construction of new nuclear reactors and renewable energy sources like solar. We back some of the largest industrial manufacturers to secure the domestic semiconductor supply chain and build facilities that will make the next generation of electric vehicles here in America.
Annually, we hire more than 15,000 welders, ironworkers, pipefitters, crane operators, millwrights, carpenters, scaffold builders, boilermakers, electricians, insulators, laborers, equipment operators, riggers, machinists, painters, valve technicians, radiation protection technicians, and other skilled workers for projects across the U.S. in the power, industrial, and government markets.
Who is Day & Zimmermann?
For more than a century, we’ve hired, placed, and trained people who bring big ideas to life and shape the modern world.
Starting Out: Earn as You Learn
“Competitive pay, on-the-job training, benefits for my family, and no student debt make the skilled trades a great career choice,” said Travis Krasselt, a D&Z orbital welder, pipefitter, and detailer.
Right out of high school, you can start in an entry-level position as a helper or laborer, building experience and exploring different trades. You’ll benefit from paid apprenticeships and on-the-job training and reach your earning potential faster than careers involving expensive college education and low-paying entry-level jobs. Plus, your annual salary won’t be significantly impacted by student loan debt. The money otherwise spent paying off debt can be invested to start building wealth early.
Seasoned Craft Professionals: Level-up Your Career
“The most rewarding aspect of my career in the skilled trades would be the opportunity to learn and utilize specific skill sets that will provide a lifetime of success and knowing that each day, my professional responsibilities have a positive impact within our communities,” said Nolan Davis, a D&Z Motor Operated Valve Technician.
Whether interested in learning a new skill, stepping into a leadership role, working in a different industry or part of the country, we can help you take your career to the next level.
Our DZ JobLinX mobile application connects you with job opportunities nationwide across all craft disciplines in the energy, renewables, industrial, and government markets. You can showcase your skills and experience by creating a profile and uploading a resume, be notified about new jobs of interest, and connect with a recruiter.
Our “blueprinting” process creates continuous employment by scheduling workers for multiple, consecutive outages and project assignments over an 18-month period. This process is vital to D&Z’s building a loyal, returning workforce.
Leveling-up your craft career also requires training. D&Z partners with trade schools and community colleges on worker-training programs. We’re accredited with and use D&Z-employed National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) administrators to provide ongoing craft training and to standardized curriculum with portable credentials. We use hands-on learning in the classroom, on-site, and online using D&Z’s BetterU e-learning platform.
Building a Good Life: Access Great Benefits and Retirement Planning
Taking care of craft professionals’ health, wellness, and financial security supports our people in their personal lives so they can show up to the job site fully present, at their best, and prepared to work safely.
D&Z craft benefits for 2024, pending eligibility, include:
- Medical & Prescription Drug Coverage
- Wellness Program
- Life & Accident Coverage
- Disability Coverage
Veterans & Transitioning Service Members: Serve in a New Career
We also connect veterans with resources to transfer their military experience to new careers as they transition into the civilian workforce.
“D&Z is a designated ‘military friendly employer’ through NCCER’s Hard Hat Heroes program, which allows veterans to apply their military training to receive free construction credentials,” said Antonio Ruiz (USN-Retired), D&Z’s veteran recruiting manager.
“The most rewarding aspect of my career in the trades is being able to be part of a team and working together toward a common goal, which reminds me of my active-duty days in the U.S. Navy. Plus, the travel and pay are added bonuses for trade professionals,” said Billy Sevier, a D&Z ironworker helper who served 26 years in the U.S. Navy.
We’re Looking for Leaders
“As a black man, I try to inspire other black men and women and other minorities that your place in this line of business is not just performing labor. There's a place for you in supervisor roles and management if you desire it,” said Chris Edwards, a former scaffold builder now working as a D&Z environmental health & safety supervisor.
Significant opportunities increasingly are opening to our craft workforce — not just to land the next job, but to advance their trade, assume leadership roles, travel the country, impact clean-energy and advanced-technology projects, and build lasting, well-paying careers. It's not businesses, governments, or institutions that builds America’s future, it's people.
Download the DZ JobLinX app — scan the QR code in this article or search the Apple and Google Play (for Android) app stores. Visit www.dayzimopenshop.com, follow Day & Zimmermann Open Shop Craft Labor on Facebook, or call 1-888-605-0272.
[i] Total Household Debt Reaches $17.05 trillion in Q1 2023; Mortgage Loan Growth Slows. Last modified May 15, 2023. https://www.newyorkfed.org/newsevents/news/research/2023/20230515.