Family Footsteps Along a Career Path: Aaric’s Story 

Aaric in Freedom Plumbing WarehouseAaric is an employU client who was referred through the Brevard School District for the Pre-ETS program. Pre-ETS is a “fast track” program for high school and college students that allows them to access services to build employability skills while in school. Services are typically available much sooner through Pre-ETS than the traditional Vocational Rehabilitation route for students, making it a great option for students looking to build skills right away. 

Aaric was very clear on the career path he wanted to take from the moment he came to employU. He expressed to Transition Coordinator, Jeff that he wanted to follow family tradition and become a plumber. Jeff set Aaric up with a Work-Based Learning Experience (WBLE) at Freedom Plumbing where he helped to expand their inventory warehouse. During the pandemic, Freedom Plumbing began a huge expansion of their crew, growing from less than eight field crew to over twenty. This meant they needed to store more inventory for the greater number of clients they were now able to serve.  

During this time, they also discovered that the supply chains were less reliable than they had previously been. In order to make sure they had everything they needed for their customers at all times and avoid shipping delays, Freedom Plumbing needed to keep a larger back stock of items. employU customers working on-the-job trainings (OJTs) at Freedom Plumbing, like Aaric, worked directly alongside the Freedom Plumbing crew to inventory, sort, catalog and expand their supplies from a small corner to an entire warehouse. Millions of pieces of plumbing supplies needed to be inspected, categorized, and relocated to their new position in the warehouse.  

Everyone worked hard, but Aaric went above and beyond at Freedom Plumbing.  He helped the business establish a new way of storing parts while also assisting with building shelving, sorting parts, and pulling parts for the trucks as needed.  He also helped the plumbers stock their trucks in the morning and unload them at night.  He was always punctual and never complained about doing any task that was assigned. Staff praised Aaric’s work ethic and enthusiasm, “He works so well and quickly that I have to find things for him to do… He is doing an awesome job.” They even made him a name tag with the title “future plumber” written on it.  The staff was not ready for his OJT to end and wanted to keep Aaric on longer.   

Aaric was also not ready for the WBLE to end. After completing this OJT, he expressed an interest in returning for another WBLE to learn more about the plumbing trade. Freedom Plumbing, instead, decided to hire Aaric to work with them full-time while he continues his college education.  

Since being hired, Aaric has truly become a part of the team at Freedom Plumbing, who we would like to thank for their support in fostering an inclusive workforce. We are excited to see Aaric follow in his family footsteps and build the career of his dreams.