ESFM Apprenticeship Program Gives Trade Workers a Ladder Up

June 13, 2022

ESFM President David Hogland has a story that some people may not expect. While he now leads one of Compass Group’s fastest growing sectors, his professional career started when he left school at the age of 16 to become a welder. Working as a tradesman, who was eventually given an opportunity to move his way up in the business world, developed his passion for wanting to create the same kinds of advancement opportunities for people like him, now working for ESFM.

“I remember what it was like wanting to grow in my craft while pursuing a career that would allow me to support myself and my family,” Hogland said. “We have so much talent and dedication within ESFM. This is a program that is close to my heart and one that will hopefully impact many lives.”

The ESFM Apprenticeship Program is designed to offer associates an education, certification, and licensing for trade workers like HVACR technicians, plumbers, and electricians. The program covers the tuition of four-year learning modules and allows associates to learn at their own pace while offering them paid hours to attend to their coursework while at work.

“It may sound cliché, but our people truly are our greatest asset. We didn’t give this type of investment a second thought when we considered what this type of offering will mean to members of our ESFM family, helping them to advance. In turn, our clients will reap tremendous benefits from having these trained experts at their locations,” said Hogland.

The program launched in Spring 2022, starting with two maintenance technicians, Gerald Leday and Jonathan Murillo, who work at a major oil and gas client’s location in Houston, TX. Leday and Murillo are learning to become licensed HVACR technicians and have assigned mentors who will assist in their learning.

“These two gentlemen were hand-selected in partnership with our clients because of their commitment to hard work and their desire to expand their knowledge and grow,” said Regional Vice President Travis Richardson. “We look forward to seeing what they’ll do next.”

Jonathan Murillo began his career with Compass Group in 2015 and has been with ESFM for the past three years. He is pursuing a career as an HVACR technician to increase his skill set and compensation opportunity. Murillo believes a future in HVACR fits well with his love for working with his hands.

“I’m very grateful that the opportunity came up because it was already something that I was looking at. It was like a decision that I was trying to make was written in the stars,” said Murillo.

While the program launch is focused on tracking the success of two associates, the goal is to expand the program nationwide to support at least 10 associates annually in their education and professional growth in a trade.