Editor’s Note:The following letter was received from Jay Grace, who found employement through The News’ work seekers program.

My name is Jay Grace and I was one of the first people selected for the Work Seekers program. I have a great story to tell.

A local contractor saw my ad and contacted me, I met with him a few times and he asked me to work with him on a few jobs to see how we worked together. Scott knew I had never done a residential installation before, and he was very understanding that this was new to me, so we took it slow, and he showed me exactly how he wanted it.

A few days later he contacted me and offered me a job, and I jumped on it. I started working for Wildwood Heating and Cooling. Wildwood was a new company — it was just Scott for three years and on the fourth year he hired me.

Even though this was a small company, he took a risk on someone who had no experience. The reason he did this was because I had no bad habits and he could teach me to do everything exactly how he wanted it. I am now doing service, installations on residential and package rooftops, sheet metal, and sales.

He is teaching me how to become a well-rounded person in the industry. I love working for Wildwood, and things couldn’t be better. During this last summer we worked lots and lots of hours, like everyone in the industry, and I had a blast.

I guess I didn’t mind those long hours because Scott took care of me. He brought me lunch to the jobs; he picked up cold Gatorade on those super hot days and brought them to me; I got St. Louis Cardinals tickets (four rows back behind home plate); and he gave me gift certificates to my favorite restaurants and stores.

Scott keeps me up to date on all the happenings at Wildwood and lets me help on the decisions that affect the company. But there is one thing that Scott has done for me that is far above all those gifts — he gave me the chance to make a career in this industry. I also have developed a great work ethic that I am very thankful for.

At Wildwood we kind of live by two sayings: 1. If it were easy, everyone would do it. 2. Any contractor can do an install, but the great ones make it look great! I now carry over those sayings to my everyday life.

I would like to thank The News and you, Mr. Hall. Without you guys, I would have never had the chance to be where I am today.

Jay Grace

Eureka, MO

Publication date: 10/09/2000