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Episode 27: Jim Countryman (HVCC)

Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Jim Countryman - the assistant professor of Applied Technologies at Hudson Valley Community College; AKA, The Blue Collar College! We know, we know - we've often said college isn't for everybody... But with amazing programs like Jim's, you can learn Blue Collar skills from start to finish - like automotive mechanics, aviation mechanics, HVAC, electrical engineering, and much, much more! Get the inside scoop on HVCC's stellar, affordable offerings for any and all students here, in this informative episode!
00:15 - Introduction: Who We Are, and What We Do
01:12 - Shoutout to Matthew Perry!
02:27 - An Introduction to Jim Countryman
05:08 - HVCC’s Amazing Programs: Aviation & Auto Mechanics, HVAC, Electrical Construction, and More!
06:13 - Enrollment is Through the Roof! How Wait-Listing Works
08:57 - A Complete Associate’s Degree… For $10,000?! And it Buys You so Much More!
12:00 - The All-or-Nothing Mentality… Time Management is a Bigger Challenge Than You Might Think!
14:46 - Trades Take Skill and Dedication: It’s Not an Easy, Free Ride!
16:31 - From Zero to Hero: No Prerequisites Required! You Don’t Even Need to Know What a Ratchet is!
18:30 - Determining Mechanical Ability… Surprises Galore!
20:34 - Metal Shop: A Thing of the Past? How STEM Made Trades-Learning Harder to Access
23:53 - Is The Blue Collar College Right for You? Don’t be Afraid to Try!
27:14 - Following the Path to Success… Time Flies, Put in Your 100%!
29:09 - Partnering With Local Employers: 100% Job Placement?!
33:33 - It’s Not About THE Trade… It’s About A Trade!
36:03 - Stigmas are Human Nature… But Opportunity is Not Exclusive to One Side! Do Your Homework!
38:25 - The Evolution of Trades Skills: So Much is Computerized Now!
39:29 - Got my Two-Year Degree… What’s Next?
42:31 - 120 Hours of Instruction: 20 Hours of Lectures, 100 Hours of Hands-On Practice!
44:23 - Perception is Not Necessarily Reality… We All Make Mistakes!
46:01 - Jim’s Key Piece of Advice: Talk With Experienced People!
47:26 - Crawling Out From Under the Social Media Rock: Have Real Conversations!
49:28 - How to Get in Touch With The Blue Collar College
51:15 - Closing Remarks



  • Interviewers

    Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

  • Guest

    Jim Countryman Jr.

  • Runtime

    52 minutes, 23 seconds

  • Air Date

    April 24th, 2022