Celebrate Talented Workers During Skilled Trades Week

A group of workers in safety gear including helmets and reflective vests standing inside an industrial manufacturing plant with machinery in the background. One individual in an orange jumpsuit appears to be holding a tablet.

Skilled Trades have an unmatched impact on infrastructure and the economy, and National Skilled Trades Week (April 29–May 3) celebrates this sector and its talented workers!

Skilled Trades encompass a variety of jobs including forklift driver, welder, CDL driver, mechanic, machinist, HVAC, and more. Qualified workers in these fields are in high demand with more than 3 million Skilled Trades jobs estimated to remain unfilled in the U.S. by 2028.

The benefits for job seekers pursuing a career in Skilled Trades include high earning potential, the opportunity to be their own boss, flexibility, and a faster education track. Students are opting to pursue shorter-term credentials, and trade-related majors have grown by double digits. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, enrollment in undergraduate certificate programs jumped 9.9% in fall of 2023. The trend of Gen Z choosing to work in Skilled Trades over office jobs has dubbed them the “Toolbelt Generation.”

National Skilled Trades Week at Express

This year, Express Employment Professionals is recognizing five special Skilled Trades professionals. These workers are Express associates who have worked on assignment in the U.S. and were nominated by their local Express offices to receive recognition for their work ethic, skill, character, and job performance. Their amazing qualities are just a snippet of the talent possessed by Express’ associates. Learn more about the winners and check out what their local offices had to say when nominating them for this recognition.

Lyle Daniel, Industrial Maintenance Technician

Nominating Office: La Crosse, WI

A blue graphic has a circle with a man's photo and says "Skilled Trades Top Talent Spotlight. Lyle Daniel. Industrial Maintenance Technician. Central Zone."

Lyle Daniel was a transplant to Wisconsin from Texas with a top-notch maintenance skill set. He had previously worked on aircraft maintenance, and we knew he would be a great fit for one of our clients. His expertise is in mechanical troubleshooting/root cause analysis. His supervisor has told him many times, “that he is persistent at solving problems.” It is one of his many strengths, and he has been with this company now for almost a year. Lyle’s supervisor said that not only are his maintenance skills terrific, but he has soft skills that are hard to find. He said Lyle was kind, has a heart of gold, and lights up the room when he enters. Lyle also has a military background, and Express appreciates his military commitment to our country.

Brendan Hughes, TIG Welder

Nominating Office: Howell, MI

A green graphic has a circle with a man's photo and says "Skilled Trades Top Talent Spotlight. Brendan Hughes. Welder. East Central Zone."

Brendan Hughes stands out as an exemplary Skilled Trades candidate, demonstrating a remarkable blend of technical expertise, rapid skill development, and a strong work ethic. Beginning his journey with the client company as a temporary production brazer while completing his welding schooling at Schoolcraft College, Brendan’s talents quickly became apparent. He swiftly ascended to become the company’s top production TIG welder, showcasing his proficiency in SMAW, GMAW, and GTAW welding techniques on various materials, including mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.

His background in carpentry, tilework, drywall, painting, basic plumbing, and basic electrical work equipped him with a well-rounded skill set. Brendan’s meticulous attention to detail, solid communication skills, and ability to collaborate effectively with diverse teams further enhance his value as a Skilled Trades candidate.

Cheryl Mostowy, Electronic Assembler

Nominating Office: Shelton, CT

A purple graphic has a circle with a woman's photo and says "Skilled Trades Top Talent Spotlight. Cheryl Mostowy. Electronic Assembler. Northeast Zone."

In the dynamic world of Skilled Trades, individuals who embody dedication, expertise, and a relentless work ethic are a rare gem. Cheryl Mostowy, one of our esteemed associates, stands as a shining example of these qualities, showcasing her talent and the impact Express has had on her life. Before joining Express, Cheryl faced an uphill battle of navigating unstable employment. The environment with her previous employer was taxing, and Cheryl found herself in a constant struggle to make ends meet. Despite her unwavering work ethic and dedication, she felt trapped in a cycle of unfulfilling work and financial insecurity.

Express marked a pivotal moment in Cheryl’s journey. Her initial assignment focused on revolver assemblies, where she displayed her fine motor skills and attention to detail. Building on this experience, she transitioned seamlessly into her current role as an electrical assembler, assembling intricate components for HMI operator panels and systems. With finesse and dexterity, she crimps, strips, and solders wires for her assemblies. Beyond her professional accomplishments, Cheryl’s journey shows resilience and determination, and she calls almost every Friday afternoon to share how much she loves her new position. Together with her husband, who also found a stable position through Express, Cheryl’s life has been transformed.

Phillip Hill, CNC Machinist

Nominating Office: Mobile, AL

A red graphic has a circle with a man's photo and says "Skilled Trades Top Talent Spotlight. Phillip Hill. CNC Machinist. South Zone."

Phillip Hill has been an Express associate for over 10 years. Currently, Phillip works for Express in a client company’s test lab as a CNC Machinist. His journey to his current position has been an industrious and rewarding experience that has taken him to steel mills, transport, and environmental companies, even to chemical companies. Phillip has been a driver, equipment operator, and mechanical millwright/machinist. Every time Phillip calls the office everyone knows who you are talking about when you hear “Hello Phillip!” When he comes in to say hello, everyone knows his name before he introduces himself (he knows no strangers). He has an easy way and demeanor when he speaks with you. You can hear him smile over the phone when he asks how your day has been or how is your family! His genuine tone and attitude show you he really cares about you and is grateful for what we do for him. Phillip gives 110% of himself to all he does and everyone he meets. Phillip truly epitomizes the spirit of a Skilled Trades professional. Not only due to his experience and skills but for his open heart and willingness to help others learn and better themselves. He does not have a single selfish bone in him. He is happy to see others succeed. Phillip is a pleasure to work with and we are proud to call him an Express family member.

Jose Gallardo, Press Brake Operator

Nominating Office: Yuba City, CA

An orange graphic has a circle with a man's photo and says "Skilled Trades Top Talent Spotlight. Jose Gallardo. Press Brake Operator. West Zone."

Jose Gallardo is a remarkable individual whose journey in welding spans over eight years, demonstrating a deep-rooted passion and commitment to his craft. Joining our team at an agricultural manufacturer in March as a press brake operator, Jose has swiftly proven himself an invaluable asset. His role involves bending metal parts for harvesting equipment, a task he undertakes with precision and skill, ensuring that each component meets the highest standards of quality.

What truly sets Jose apart is not just his technical proficiency, but also his exceptional attitude. He approaches his work with enthusiasm and a willingness to tackle challenges head-on, embodying the spirit of a true team player. His positive demeanor has not only elevated his own performance but has also had a ripple effect on those around him, fostering a more productive and cohesive work environment. We are confident that Jose will continue to excel and inspire others, and we are proud to have him as part of our Express team.

Join us in congratulating these stellar Express associates and celebrating the impact of Skilled Trades!

About Express 

Express helped 73,200 job seekers find Skilled Trades jobs in 2023 and has put more than 11 million people to work in its over 40 years as a leading staffing company. Each of our more than 860 locations are individually owned and locally operated. Contact the office nearest you to find your next job or newest hire.

Express Employment International supports the Express Employment Professionals franchise and affiliated brands, including Specialized Recruiting Group and Express Healthcare Staffing. The Express franchise brand is an industry-leading, international staffing company with franchise locations in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

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