Boone County High School Senior Finds A Career After Summer Internship with Riegler Blacktop
Devin Wilson is a senior at Boone County High School and a student in the Introduction to Skilled Trades Program at the Enzweiler Building Institute. He is a curious teenager who often asks questions that others would not, giving him a reputation for being thoughtful and eager to dig deeper for a better understanding of the world around him. When asked what he is most excited about for his senior year, Wilson replied “Expanding my knowledge of thinking and of observation.”
This past summer and now on weekends, Wilson interns with Riegler Blacktop, a local business and member of the Building Industry Association of Northern Kentucky specializing in paving, excavating, and concrete. Having determined a need for skilled laborers in the paving industry, Riegler Blacktop created an internship program targeting high school juniors to train future workers. Students submitted letters and applications to be selected.
Currently, there are no specific trades programs for the field in Northern Kentucky.
Wilson heard of the opportunity through his grandmother, who saw that the internship was available and suggested he pursue it. Wilson applied and began the eight-week program, spending two weeks each learning paving, concrete, milling and utilities.
Chris Mckissic, Wilson’s supervisor through part of the program, took quick notice of Wilson. “I took him under my wing.” Mckissic stated, “It’s a great program. Besides learning how to work, Devin really likes to work, it was a great experience and I look forward to doing it over the next few years.”
Mike Riegler, President of Riegler Blacktop, remembers Wilson being a little overwhelmed at first, but caught on very quickly. The team took quick notice of Wilson’s curiosity and work ethic and before the program ended, offered him a job on weekends once school started. He also has a full-time job lined up after graduation. Riegler is anxious for him to get started. “We are looking forward to him starting his career with us as soon as he graduates next year.”
Wilson found that the knowledge he gained in repairing machinery was the most rewarding, that he thrives best in a team environment, and that his supervisors were excellent and patient teachers. “I would always ask questions. Constantly. They would get annoyed sometimes. That’s the cost that it takes to learn.” The internship provided Wilson the opportunity for self-reflection, and he was able to learn a few things about himself. Wilson decided, “I have to be a maker; I can’t be a follower. It’s just not me.”
The plan Wilson has for his future is to gain a broader understanding of the trades to further his career at Riegler Blacktop and to learn what makes things “tick.” He plans to work towards becoming a foreman and learning a thing or two about accounting after taking business classes through Boone County High School.
From the Building Industry Association of Northern Kentucky