Brandon Quinn learned to work with his hands by helping his grandfather in his mechanic’s shop and by doing carpentry projects in his grandfather’s basement.
Quinn took trades classes in high school and, during his senior year, took part in a construction co-op that involved classroom work in the mornings and work on jobsites in afternoons.
“I really wish they would bring those trade classes back,” Quinn said. “I truly feel the industry could use young, talented help and know it can start in high school. Giving young people options for their future is invaluable. Between the introduction my grandpa gave me and the classes in high school, that combination gave me a passion for construction. I was driven by the challenge of what could become of a drawing on a piece of paper.”
Now principal and chief operating officer at Lee Mechanical in Oak Creek, Quinn started his career with plumbing and steamfitters’ apprenticeships that provided essential knowledge and experience. It also showed him the importance of having people around him who could show him the way. He now tries to provide similar aid to newcomers to the industry.
“I think mentorships go both ways,” Quinn said. “I feel you learn as much from being a mentor as being mentored. There are pieces to be learned from every aspect of mentoring. I really try to mentor everyone around me. I want to see everyone meet their own personal and life goals.”
Quinn often tells young people that they will experience failures and setbacks, and it’s important to just keep trying and pushing forward.
“You will learn 10 times more from a single failure then you will from a successful endeavor,” he said. “Never let anyone take away your drive. If you are not driven by what you are doing then find something else. Life is too short to not have passion in what you are doing.”