Instructor Q & A: Meet Bill Plantholt

Learn about how ABC’s instructors inspire the next generation and what inspires them.

Bill Plantholt
Lead Instructor,
Project Jumpstart

Q: How did you get started in the industry? 
A: As an electrician by trade, a friend informed me about an opening with the electrical contractor he was working with. That was almost 40 years ago. I found I liked the work and people and wanted to learn as much as I could. The trade provided a lot of opportunity for advancement and guided me on my career path.

Q: What challenges did you have to overcome?
A: Although my apprenticeship went quickly, at times it could be difficult juggling the apprenticeship classes, work, family, and life in general. It was a challenge to manage the workload but well worth the hard work. I came to realize that learning is an ongoing process and if it ceases you will stagnate.

Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: You get out of the job what you put into it. Whether doing electrical work or being an instructor, there is a great sense of satisfaction when a project is completed, or when a Jumpstart class has graduated. I am privileged to work with awesome people, including the instructors (and admin), and participants. What I most enjoy is seeing everyone taking pride in what they do and in their accomplishments.

Q: How has a career in construction impacted your life?
A: It is fair to say I would not be where I am today without the trades. Starting out in the electrical trade, I never thought I’d be doing what I am now. It took me from being a green helper to getting my master’s license, to being an apprenticeship instructor. I eventually became a full-time teacher with Baltimore County Public Schools and then got involved with Project JumpStart. The trades have provided a very nice life for me and my family.

Q: What advice do you have for others about the construction industry?
A: The construction industry is a great place to be. Be a good person, learn as much as you can as quickly as you can, work hard, ask questions, and be coach-able. No one can ever take from you those skills and education that make you very marketable. Take advantage of every appropriate opportunity that comes along. For the most part, good luck doesn’t just happen, I believe you need to put yourself in a good position to make it happen.