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“You’re like a doctor to a building,”he says. “You’re caring for these huge giants in the city….These buildings are falling apart, we are here putting them back together.”

Learn more about Paul here

Paul Vance

Electrician Apprentice

“I had this Fred Flinstone vision…”The whistle blows, he yells “Yabadabadoo,” and it doesn’t matter what he’s doing. He just runs, gets in his car and foot pedals it home. I was really looking forward to that.

Learn more about Ben here



Ben Ogorek

Construction Laborer

I’ll be done, coming home from work, having spent all day painting and be covered in paint and caulk. I’ll walk into the store and you can kind of see it on the peoples’ faces,” Hamilton says.

I’ve heard a mom or two say ‘That’s why you should go to college, you don’t want to be [like him].’ I haven’t got the wherewithal to tell them, that mother, that I own like five rental houses…it doesn’t do any good.”

Learn more about Travis here

Travis Hamilton

Home Remodeler

It was just kind of soul-crushing to have that pile of paperon my desk every day that was never any different and never really challenged me in any way,” she says. “It’s just the same exact thing basically every single day, day in and day out.”

Learn more about Lisa here

Lisa DelCegno

Electrician Apprentice

“I was a manager and I was making good money there. It was hard walking away from the money.

If you make any decision in life based solely on money, you’re going to find out that you’re wasting your time. If it’s not what you really want to do and your heart is not in it, you’re going to want something else. It’ll only be a matter of time.”

Learn more about Jason here

Jason Gumble

Electrician's Apprentice

The Story

Read the stories of the white collar workers trading in their dress shoes for work boots.

The Video

Watch as the men and women of former white collar industries are educated and trained in their new careers.

The Podcast

Listen to the stories of the white collar workers as to why they made the switch, the benefits they’ve experienced and their families’ reactions.

About the Story

Learn more about the story, the reporting and its author.

Women in the Trades

Learn more about Lisa DelCegno and Candice Stacey Shaw and their experiences of being women in the skilled trades.

The Data

Watch as the men and women of former white collar industries working in their new blue collar fields.

The People

Learn more about some of the interviewees from the main story. You’ll find out more about what motivated them to leave, their work backgrounds and how they like their new job.

The Photos: Training and Education

View an interactive gallery to learn more about the specifics behind training and education for skilled trades in New York.