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The Yankee Express

The Trades: From styling/barbering to plumbing, masonry, and…


You just love your haircut and style you say? Did you ever think about all the training and schooling it took your hair fashionista to reach that level of their professional cutting and styling? Whether it’s barbering or hair styling or any other tonsorial name, your hair designer has spent many hours fluffing and buzzing manes and pates. Do you think you can cut like they do? Well then, you missed your calling. 
As I sit in my hair stylist’s chair studying my hair and what other style it might be trimmed in, my hair fashionista, Nanette Tetreault of Elite Hair Design in Thompson CT, gets to work snipping and clipping my multi-colored locks. I watch her intently in the mirror as she measures and cuts each section of my hair by holding each portion and then using her wicked sharp scissors to cut across those sections. “How does the front section look to you,” says Nanette, “do you want it trimmed more or less?” I tell her the length is just right and there’s no need for an extra shortening. The end result is always just right and in two weeks my style always seems to receive the most compliments from people I know. You know, that “just right” look in between regular trims. Ms. Tetreault has been a stylist for many years and I’ve been visiting her every four weeks for quite some time. Her training must’ve been excellent as she truly is a perfectionist. Not too many perfectionists around these days!
If you’ve ever had plumbing services then you know it’s a craftsman who has visited your home. Who could even think of doing their own plumbing with all the new and innovative products out there now to save time, trouble, and headaches? One of the latest money-saving technologies is a combination heat pump and air-conditioning unit made by a leader in that technology area: Mitsubishi. According to Vic Waskiewicz of J.V. Mechanical of Webster, these reliable and energy-efficient units are becoming one of the most-requested installation products for his company. “Mitsubishi is definitely the leader in this area,” says Mr. Waskiewicz, “we’ve installed hundreds of these wall-mounted ductless units that not only provide air-conditioning but heat as well. The units are 36” wide by 12” high and come in white, stainless steel, and black. Their outside compressor is the heat pump which reverses its function for cooling.”
J.V. Mechanical employs a crew of fifteen plumbers who are graduates of local trade schools like Bay Path Regional Vocational. “We actively recruit, train, and continuously educate our employees,” Vic said. “Currently, we have two of our plumbers in classes learning the latest technologies. We also have a new young lady who is a recent graduate of plumbing trade school who is honing her plumbing skills with us. We are proud of the fact that our employees are well-versed in their trade and courteous to our customers.” Vic’s father, Joseph Waskiewicz, was a plumber and took Vic on many jobs with him to learn the trade. “Although I didn’t go to trade school, I appreciated the work that I saw my father do,” Vic said. “My dad taught me to diversify. We do basic plumbing, both commercial and residential, and have also advanced to higher levels for all heating systems like oil, electric, and gas. Even the lost art of steam heating systems is part of our skill set.” 
Masonry. A tough and very physical job that is likened to all the famous sculptors of history:  Rodin, Michelangelo, Bernini, Bourgeois. If you’ve ever watched a mason at work perhaps building a brick wall, you may observe their repetitious movements slapping the mortar onto the brick layer and then gently pushing each brick into the muck. It’s an art, a science, a well-honed skill to ensure each brick is aligned to the previous brick. To me, watching their craftsmanship is mesmerizing. From brick to stone, block, veneer, gabion to composite and reinforced masonry, the true artist of these various forms of creativity has learned skills that cannot be measured but for their finished beauty. If you’ve ever needed a mason, you know darn well how difficult it is to find someone who works with the highest degree of finesse. 
Don’t touch that circuit breaker board for Pete’s sake!  Dealing with electricity is dangerous and I’m sure you don’t want to suffer the consequences of being electrocuted and lighting up like a cartoon skeleton. That’s when you call in an electrical expert. Brian Wood of Brian Wood Electrical has been honing his skills for many years and recently has completed extensive training in solar panel installations with SunRun, one of the largest solar panel distributors and installers in the United States. “I’m a graduate of Bay Path Regional Vocational High School,” says Mr. Wood proudly, “and I owe my trade choice to the advice of my grandfather, Hiram Wood. He was an electrical engineer at Heald Machinery in Worcester. I was very close to him and when I was exploring the different trades at Bay Path, he advised me to take the electrical courses and I haven’t looked back except to think about how right my grandfather was in steering me in this direction.
“I’ve always had my own business after completing my apprenticeship on Nantucket then I spent twenty-eight years in Worcester learning even more.” 
Mr. Wood worked as the head electrician for a large swimming pool installer for fifteen years and presently works for American Custom Builders. Additionally, he has done electrical work for the Samuel Slater Restaurant in Webster as well as phase one work at the new Samuel Slater Museum in Webster. His specialties are in the residential and light commercial areas. Accent lighting, backup generator installation, EV charging stations, circuit breaker installations, electrical panel upgrades, and outdoor lighting installations are just some of Mr. Wood’s many areas of expertise. 

Contact Janet: [email protected]