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QuesTec Mechanical: Deep Roots in Columbia

Questec Mechanical Apprentice Program Welding

Training, educating, and celebrating the work of talented tradesmen through hands-on learning.

As a mechanical contracting company, QuesTec Mechanical aims to provide competitive and effective services to the Missouri region while providing ample opportunities for growth for its employees. Scott Boyd founded the Columbia-based company in 1996 with the simple idea of creating a company that would withstand the existing competition when it came to providing plumbing and HVAC services, designs, and installations.

After a few years in the business, Boyd realized his passion was to provide experiences and opportunities for everybody in his company to succeed. Jane Moore, the director of human resources and workforce development, noted that what started as a simple operation has grown into a successful and long-lasting company of over 300 employees. The company now uses cutting-edge technology embedded into its signature process to ensure quality and efficiency with each job.

The company still values the principles that it has had since the beginning: innovative, cutting-edge, high-quality services. With roots in Columbia, the company can now be found in Columbia, Kansas City, and St. Louis as well as Louisville, Kentucky, and Springdale, Arkansas. 

Apprenticeship Program

QuesTec offers a unique apprenticeship program that provides education and on-the-job training for individuals interested in becoming skilled journeymen. Classes are offered in St. Louis, Kansas City, and Columbia. During the four-year program, apprentices participate in over 570 hours of classroom time and 8,000 hours of training with QuesTec’s experienced journeymen, who mentor apprentices until graduation. The only requirement to join the program is to be 18 or older with a high school diploma or GED, and a passion for mechanical contracting.

Moore says that apprentices who graduate from the program are recognized as experienced journeymen, “and we assist them in getting their official journeyman plumbing license in whatever county, city, or state they are working.” She adds that a benefit of the program is that by training the skilled tradesmen, QuesTec is creating a “consistent and reliable pipeline to create our own licensed professionals,” which ends up benefiting the communities involved.

Matthew Chick is the vice president of field operations and the primary instructor for apprenticeship classes. He brings a unique perspective to the table. Chick was a member of the first graduating apprenticeship class in 1999 and has had a front-row seat to witness the program’s extensive growth.

“The most fulfilling aspect of transitioning from a graduate to an instructor was being able to utilize my knowledge and experience as a foreman in the field,” he explains. “This allowed me to further enhance my knowledge and pass it on to others when I took on the teaching role in 2013.”

What once used to be a small class of three to five apprentices has grown into four classes of 10 to 15 people each. QuesTec’s goal is to bring a new class of apprentices each year in the spring or summer. Moore adds that while the company is not always reviewing applications for the program, it is always receiving applications to be considered for the upcoming year whether it be online applications or paper applications filled out in its offices.

“Changing people’s lives and emphasizing that learning a trade is a career move, not just a job, brings me great satisfaction,” Chick says.  

College is not a Prerequisite for Success

QuesTec recognizes the importance of creating a skilled workforce through the apprentice education and training program, without requiring a college degree. The program is free of charge for the apprentices and allows them to join the team as full-time employees with benefits.

“If you enjoy working with your hands, aspire to pursue a career in the trades, and desire the opportunity to learn valuable skills without incurring debt, then QuesTec’s program is the ideal choice,” Chick adds.

Moore says the program is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor, which sets standards for the program, and the curriculum comes from the National Center for Construction Education and Research.

She adds, “We offer a holistic education adding in adjacent curriculum such as HVAC, welding, and pipefitting, which adds value by giving more context for how all building systems ultimately work together.”

Moore also notes that the training includes “human development content” — soft skills such as financial wellness, leadership skills, decision-making, reliability and accountability, communication skills, conflict resolution, stress management, and more to ensure the apprentices are not only ready for the job they will be doing everyday but for the added pressures that often occur throughout any career.

As he looks toward the future, Chick says he aspires to pass on his knowledge of the trades to others, “ensuring we have a skilled workforce capable of contributing to the construction of Columbia.”

QuesTec Mechanical
1390 E Boone Industrial Dr

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