When it comes to training for his craft, Sammy Stricklin is all business.

The 20+year veteran millwright has worked across the south on projects from nuclear plants to turbine maintenance. He knows that his steady work is a direct result of his being ready when a job becomes available. In fact, it was being bypassed for a job he wanted that brought home the importance of training.

“I wanted to go on a job in North Carolina, but I didn’t have my rigging card. I realized then that training was serious stuff.”

Stricklin, a member of Local 1263 of the Southern States Millwright Regional Council, estimates he has about 20 qualification and certification cards now. He is a regular at his local training center and is due to attend the journeyman leadership course at the International Training Center.

“If I was hiring, I’d want to go with the guy who was interested in training more than someone who just wants to get by. My advice to a young millwright is, if you don’t take training seriously, you probably aren’t going to make it more than a year.

Plus, training opens you up to have a better life. It’s about being the best you can be for your family, and to set an example for the young kids who are just growing up now.”