Skilled Trades Spotlight: Alabama Friends Find Success with Referral Program

Three men from the same small Alabama town now work together in Charleston, SC, thanks to PeopleReady Skilled Trades’ Referral Program.

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Long-time Friends Reunite on the Job Site

“If somebody’s looking for a job, I tell them this is their best option,” says Eugene Betts.

Rodney Fantroy was working in a shipyard in 2020 and dreaming of a better job when a coworker suggested they both apply to PeopleReady Skilled Trades.

“We took a risk,” Rodney says. “We knew we’d be making more money, so we thought we’d try it out.”

That gamble paid off for Rodney, 37, who works as a skilled laborer for PeopleReady Skilled Trades in Charleston, South Carolina. He likes the company so much that he referred his childhood friend Brandon Betts to come to work for PeopleReady Skilled Trades. That referral resulted in extra money in his paycheck, thanks to PeopleReady Skilled Trades’ referral program.

“I told him he’ll make more money and it’s a better situation,” Rodney recalls. “I like the referral program. It’s some compensation; a thank you for what you do.”

Marlena Blankenship, trade recruiter at PeopleReady Skilled Trades, is also a fan of the referral program.

“I think it’s great,” Marlena says. “Unlike other workplaces where it is typically frowned upon for employees to be working alongside family, friends or spouses, our tradespeople get the opportunity to work around their loved ones. It also gives them the ability to assist those around them who are looking for work.”

In addition to Brandon, Rodney has also referred a couple of other people over the years. Beyond good weekly pay and flexibility, the people at PeopleReady Skilled Trades make it a good company for him.

“My supervisors always work with me,” he says. “They always respect me. We respect each other.”

He also likes that he gets to work with his friend Brandon, and another close family friend: Brandon’s father, Eugene “Country” Betts.

“He taught me football back when I was 10, 11 years old,” Rodney says of Eugene. “He lets people know when we’re on the job site, ‘I used to coach him.’ We reminisce about it all the time. He’s a fun person.”

Rodney says he acquired his hard work ethic from his days under Eugene’s coaching and from others back in his hometown, including his mother and first cousins. He sees that same work ethic in Brandon. When the three are together on a job site, “We’re very consistent,” Rodney says. “We’re going to do what they ask. We keep things going.”

The trio is from a small town in Alabama, where good-paying jobs are few and far between. That’s the reason Eugene came to work at PeopleReady Skilled Trades about a year ago. A machinist and welder by trade, Eugene, 57, had issues with his eyes that prompted his doctor to suggest he find different work. At PeopleReady Skilled Trades, he started off cleaning up job sites and most recently was putting his Class B license to work driving a water truck.

“I pretty much do whatever they need me to do,” he says.

A pay bump nine months in told Eugene that PeopleReady Skilled Trades valued his hard-work ethic. His positive experience has prompted him to refer others to the company.

“If somebody’s looking for a job, I tell them this is their best option. You see the qualified workers they turn out. PeopleReady is more organized than other temp companies: they make sure you have everything you need, and you get paid on time. You also have the flexibility to take a job or not take a job. It’s a nice company.”

Ready to work?

PeopleReady Skilled Trades is always looking for hardworking skilled tradespeople and laborers like Rodney, Eugene and Brandon. Not only will you benefit from weekly pay, a flexible schedule, continuous work and our deep respect for you and your craft, you can earn extra money with our referral program—just like Rodney did.

Looking for work?

If you’re a skilled tradesperson who is looking for consistent work, turn to PeopleReady Skilled Trades

PeopleReady Skilled Trades is a specialized division of PeopleReady, a TrueBlue company (NYSE: TBI). Since 1987, we have connected tradespeople and work across a wide range of trades, including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, welding, solar installations and more. Whether you need a single tradesperson or require a coordinated effort to dispatch skilled workers across multiple projects, we ensure you have the right people with the right tools, on-site and on time.