Educate. Empower. Encourage. Employ.

We are student focused and work hard to accomplish our mission. We provide labs with equipment students will actually use in the field. We are staffed with teachers who understand plumbing's real-world requirements—not only plumbing skills but the soft skills that make employees successful. We understand that students encounter attendance and confidence obstacles. We work hard to encourage and advise students to overcome these obstacles. The School nurtures relationships with companies and professionals involved in plumbing in order to properly staff our advisory council and to provide employment opportunities to our graduates.

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About Us

The School of Skilled Trades--a non-profit school focused on students and licensed by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges--was founded by two experienced plumbers, Neil Devlin and Matthew Vanderwalker, who observed a need for better-prepared entry-level candidates and more highly-skilled employees. Both Mr. Devlin and Mr. Vanderwalker are North Carolina-licensed plumbers for over two decades who have run plumbing companies, have deep relationships in the sector and are solid teachers of the craft. They not only teach the hard and soft skills necessary for success, they exemplify those skills and characteristics—timeliness, hard work, respect, knowledge, personal hygiene and many more. As the School begins operations, Messrs. Devlin and Vanderwalker will handle the administrative and teaching tasks. They will be advised by those with experience in the administrative aspects of a vocational school, primarily William Calhoun, an attorney and founding member of the School with deep experience in vocational education, and Education Systems and Solutions, LLC, whose principals are Steve and Jan Friedheim, who have more than half a century each in vocational higher education. Our team is focused on student success!

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