Kyle Lucas, LU 146
Kyle Lucas journeyed out in October of 2018 and was PNCI’s Apprentice of the Year. From Albany, Lucas tackles as much work as he can as he trains to become foreman with his employer. Lucas hopes to one day speak to people at Job Corps, some of the strongest advocates of work in the trades, and inspire others to look into a career in the industry.
How did you get into the industry?
Prior to joining the union, I had heard about the union while attending Job Corp back in 2006–however, after to the economic crash of ‘08, I didn’t consider it a real option at the time and looked elsewhere.
I then looked into a pre-apprenticeship class and ran into Don Stover, who directed me to LP Company–where I worked throughout my entire apprenticeship and still work at today.
How has being a part of a union made a difference in your life?
I can say when I was non-union, I’d probably have to work for 10 years to get where I am now. I feel like the work has made me a better person. I’ve been able to buy a house and provide for my family–the union helped to make that possible.
I’ve always blazed my own trail. I’m not really happy moving with the crowd until I understand why folks are moving in that direction. I’m now very much a union guy after joining–everyone should at least try it and see if it’s for them.
Do you have any favorite projects from over the years?
I feel lucky that I fell into working for LP Company–they do a lot of start to finish jobs so I’ve learned a lot by seeing jobs all the way through. There was a police station in Albany, Oregon (where I’m from) and I had the chance to work on the framing, drywall
I had the opportunity to learn a lot through LP, as they always have another job lined up–either one that needs starting or one that needs finishing. It’s been great
Have you had mentors in your career? Have you been a mentor?
I want to thank several people who turned me onto the company, such as Franto Sternot, my supervisor; Doug Bema, my journeyman; and of course the one who turned me onto the union life, Jeff Guggenmos.
Do you have any short term or long term goals in your career as a Union Carpenter?
Looking back, I remember how I had to write a five-year plan when I first started as an apprentice. I’ve met a lot of the goals–I’ve bought a house, journeyed out, and I’m running work. I think I need to find the time and sit down to write a new five-year plan.
One goal I do have is I want the chance to go and speak at some of the Job Corps in the area. They’ve always been big supporters of the trades and unions, they even told me I should look into it when I was a part of it–something I didn’t do (and should have) at the time.
I’m hoping by speaking at the Job Corps I can give people hope, letting them know there are opportunities out there for them.
Do you have advice for those starting out in their career?
Go to your classes, follow the rules, and really apply yourself. If I can do it, anyone can. I had a history of not applying myself in school, but I hit all the goals I’ve set for myself.
I spoke at a pre-apprenticeship class a friend invited me to speak at. I told them ‘I started out when I was 31, and there are guys who are older than me, going through it, and journeying out! So imagine what you can do at your age!