On Oct. 2, 2019, ISD staff held a Career Tech to Careers signing event with Jacob Bath, a 2019 graduate of Petoskey High School. Bath has started a career as a builder with Corble Builders in Petoskey. The job involves a number of skills Bath learned during his CTE classes at Petoskey High School with instructor Lauren Liebler, including drafting, engineering and mechatronics.

“Architecture class taught me about reading blueprints, which was very helpful and something I wasn’t familiar with before,” said Bath, 18.

While the business is in the Bath family – dad and mom Bill and Laura Bath are owners – Jacob said he envisioned going to work right out of high school rather than taking the college path, in large part due to the skills he had already developed and that he was ready to put to work.

On any given day, he can be found handling customer service needs, working hands-on for any current building projects, or learning how to create estimates for new residential and commercial projects. “Every day is different,” he added. “It’s also very satisfying to see the end result of a project, from where you started to where it ends up.”

Bill Bath said his son’s strengths are in working with customers and organization. “He’s very good at dealing with customers, especially for an 18-year-old,” said Bill. “He’s also very thorough in making sure that everything is ready for a project.”

Laura said she’s proud of Jacob’s interest in starting a career, one which they are handling not as family but professionally as employer/employee. “We feel these first years are his college courses so to speak; there is a lot to learn,” she said. “He needs to put in a certain number of hours in the office with me, for example. If he wants to own the business one day, he needs to learn all the aspects of running it.”

Bill said a career as a builder is rewarding and financially secure – and in high demand. “You can make a very good living out of it, right out of high school. That fishing boat at the end of the driveway and that GMC are Jacob’s,” he added. “There is a lot of money to be made and it’s very rewarding.”

Liebler, his instructor, said she works to prepare students like Jacob for careers where they can thrive. “Jacob mastered blueprints right away. I would have long conversations with Jacob about building and construction details. He was very focused on his goal of starting his career and was willing to work hard for it.”

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