SEVERE WX : Heat Advisory View Alerts

Skilled to Work: Plumbing/heating company encourages others in the trades to hire veterans

Keith Jackson said about 25 percent of his technician workforce is comprised of veterans.

Posted: Nov 7, 2019 6:09 PM
Updated: Nov 8, 2019 8:35 AM

As the weather changes and the cold air moved in, Kevin Lawson spent part of his Wednesday morning working on an outside, central air unit.

After serving in the Army between 1987 and 1991, the former soldier and police officer decided to transition into heating and air conditioning technician work.

GIjobs.com Top Hot Jobs for Veterans 2019

  1. Operations Manager
    1. Median annual salary - $100,410
  2. Customer Service Representative
    1. Median annual salary - $32,890
  3. Computer Information Systems Manager
    1. Median annual salary - $139,220
  4. Accountant/Auditor
    1. Median annual salary - $69,350
  5. Computer Systems Analyst
    1. Median annual salary - $88,270
  6. Software Application Developer
    1. Median annual salary - $103,560
  7. Sales Account Representative
    1. Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical/Scientific Products median annual salary - $78,830
    2. Wholesale and Manufacturing (except technical devices) median annual salary - $56,970
    3. Services/Others median annual salary - $52,510
  8. First-Line Supervisor: Mechanics, Installers & Repairers
    1. Median annual salary - $103,560
  9. Cyber Security Analyst
    1. Median annual salary - $95,510
  10. First-Line Supervisor: Office & Administrative Workers
    1. Median annual salary - $55,060
  11. Human Resource Manager
    1. Median annual salary - $110,120
  12. Software Systems Developer
    1. Median annual salary - $103,560
  13. Electrician
    1. Median annual salary - $54,110
  14. First-Line Supervisor: Transportation, Material - Moving & Vehicle Operators
    1. Median annual salary - $57,270
  15. Computer Hardward Engineer
    1. Median annual salary - $115,120
  16. CDL Driver/Operator
    1. Median annual salary - $42,480
  17. Web Developer
    1. Median annual salary - $67,990
  18. Aircraft/Aviation Technician
    1. Median annual salary - $61,260
  19. First-Line Supervisor: Construction & Trade Workers
    1. Median annual salary - $64,070
  20. Automotive Technician/Mechanic
    1. Median annual salary - $39,550
  21. Diesel Engine Specialist
    1. Median annual salary - $46,360
  22. Welder
    1. Median annual salary - $40,240
  23. Marketing Manager
    1. Median annual salary - $132,230
  24. Construction Technician
    1. Median annual salary - $34,530
  25. Sales: Financial Service
    1. Median annual salary - $63,780
Heating and air conditioning technician Kevin Lawson works on a central air conditioning condenser on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, in north Huntsville. Heating and air conditioning technician Kevin Lawson works on a central air conditioning condenser on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, in north Huntsville.

"I've always wanted to work with my hands and this gave me that opportunity. I like going to people’s houses and solving a problem for them. And unlike with police work, people actually like to see me at their house now,” said Lawson.

He’s one of several veterans who decided to join Jackson Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. It’s namesake owner, Keith Jackson, said his first veteran hire was a Marine who joined the company back in 1998.

"And he came to work for us and learned the trade very quickly and fortunately, he’s still with us today. So that began to make me see there’s something special about these guys,” said Jackson.

As of now, about 25 percent of Jackson’s technicians are veterans and he said he will always look to hire others whenever he has an opening.

"In the trades, there is a lot of learning and these guys love to learn. They love challenges, which in the trades, there’s a lot of challenges from day-to-day. And most of these guys are very determined and that determination gets them through the tough times cause the trades are not always easy,” said Jackson.

Lawson said another reason he and other former military members are good for the trades is their dedication and punctuality.

"I'm the first one here every day. That's me. If I'm not early, if I'm not 15 minutes early, I'm late, is the way I look at it,” said Lawson.

Meanwhile, Jackson said fellow employers in the trades should follow his lead because there’s a lot to be gained by hiring veteran employees.

"The benefit goes to the employers because of their punctuality, their commitment to excellence and that’s, in this workforce that we have today, to find those kind of people, it’s just really hard, but once you get them, they’re so loyal and it’s a great reward for the owner of the company,” said Jackson.

WAAY 31 Reporter Casey Albritton contributed to this story.

Huntsville
Scattered Clouds
94° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 98°
Florence
Clear
97° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 100°
Fayetteville
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 93°
Decatur
Clear
93° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 96°
Scottsboro
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 78°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 94827

Reported Deaths: 1674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12969243
Mobile9836206
Montgomery6609148
Madison531433
Tuscaloosa419073
Unassigned356061
Baldwin350224
Shelby326035
Marshall313035
Lee266045
Morgan236918
Etowah210431
DeKalb179813
Calhoun176113
Elmore171538
Walker152064
Houston138612
Russell13582
St. Clair132817
Dallas131823
Limestone131813
Franklin127020
Cullman122012
Colbert117113
Lauderdale115717
Autauga108621
Escambia107516
Talladega100913
Jackson9684
Tallapoosa85479
Chambers84038
Dale82723
Blount7884
Chilton7886
Butler75836
Coffee7566
Covington73420
Pike7037
Clarke6629
Barbour5735
Lowndes57124
Marion57024
Marengo55315
Hale47326
Bullock46311
Winston45011
Perry4404
Bibb4265
Wilcox42610
Monroe4194
Randolph39610
Pickens3929
Conecuh38810
Washington38612
Sumter36018
Lawrence3481
Macon33414
Crenshaw3143
Choctaw28112
Cherokee2707
Henry2593
Geneva2570
Clay2525
Greene25011
Lamar2202
Fayette2045
Cleburne1261
Coosa1012
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 120585

Reported Deaths: 1215
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby22916301
Davidson20383213
Rutherford646354
Hamilton606253
Knox451338
Williamson347825
Sumner340473
Unassigned312810
Out of TN286014
Wilson226223
Bradley190312
Montgomery190213
Sevier18507
Putnam174018
Trousdale15826
Robertson153519
Hamblen138314
Blount127711
Maury12257
Washington12252
Tipton11959
Madison106417
Sullivan96214
Bedford91811
Hardeman89817
Macon85813
Lake7820
Loudon7253
Bledsoe6951
Gibson6935
Fayette6868
Dickson6792
Anderson6766
Dyer6287
Cheatham5787
Henderson5632
Jefferson5593
Lawrence5506
Obion5464
McMinn53120
Rhea5282
Coffee5223
Carter5126
Warren5074
Lauderdale4898
Greene4678
Haywood4636
Hardin4628
Roane4612
Cocke4572
Hawkins4517
Cumberland4506
Smith4454
Weakley4214
Monroe4189
Giles37813
McNairy3715
DeKalb3492
Franklin3254
Carroll2963
Marshall2903
White2815
Lincoln2801
Henry2760
Claiborne2660
Crockett2664
Johnson2650
Hickman2590
Campbell2471
Wayne2252
Marion2224
Chester2172
Polk2043
Decatur1983
Grainger1960
Overton1801
Unicoi1610
Union1540
Benton1481
Cannon1430
Jackson1241
Humphreys1203
Morgan1181
Scott1180
Grundy1132
Sequatchie1050
Meigs1040
Fentress920
Perry790
Hancock782
Clay750
Stewart740
Lewis731
Moore610
Houston570
Van Buren360
Pickett311

Community Events