October's Alumni Spotlight: Josh Allen
Spot Light Series: October 2018
Josh Allen, Owner of ALARMCO
Josh Allen, owner of ALARMCO in Bradford, Vermont, began his future career by taking a program called “Electronic Technology and Residential Wiring” (ETRW) at River Bend Career and Technical Center in Bradford, Vermont, while in high school. Josh attended River Bend both in his junior and senior year and was a two-year completer of his tech program, graduating from both Oxbow High School and the ETRW program at River Bend in 1998.
Like all of the programs at River Bend, the ETRW program had community people, experienced in this particular field, making up an advisory committee that provided help to the instructor and program to stay current with the latest trends and developments in the industry. Often these advisory members come into class and offer advice or teach a skill from their particular background. One member of the ETRW advisory committee was a person by the name of Mike Hogan from Bell Atlantic. Josh remembers him coming to the class and explaining an opportunity for possible employment with Bell Atlantic and a comprehensive training program. Josh jumped at the chance, and soon after graduation found himself taking entrance tests, and then attending an eight-week intensive training in Marlboro, Massachusetts, that covered everything from pole climbing, to safety, to technical installations and trouble shooting.
Once training was completed, Josh came back to Vermont and started in the White River Junction office where he stayed for seven and a half years before moving to the St Johnsbury office. Seven year after that, he moved back to the White River location for four more years. During that time, Josh began as an installer, moved to repair, then to the position of splicer, and finally into an area called “proactive maintenance” on power systems and generators. Over this time, Josh gained a tremendous amount of skill and knowledge through a variety of experiences.
Meanwhile, Josh’s dad, David, had been developing a successful protective alarm and security business back in Bradford. Josh, in fact, had done some cooperative education experiences with his dad, back in the ETRW program in 1998. David was thinking of retiring from the business, and this provided an opportunity for Josh to purchase the business from his dad and become his own boss. For the first years, Josh continued the ALARMCO business in the original location of his dad’s shop. In November 2017, the space on Main Street, which was part of the former Perry Oil building, became available and Josh moved his entire crew to this new location. This has been an extremely positive move, making ALARMCO more visible to the public. Today, ALARMCO specializes in fire protection systems, security systems, surveillance systems, access control systems, audio visual networks and, as a sideline, a great selection of safes!
Not only has Josh added to the local economy with the business he is building, but he is also very involved in the community. He has served on the Oxbow High School Board, been on the Board of Directors at Northeast Slopes for years, is now president of the Bradford Youth Sports organization, and is the Varsity Alpine Ski Coach at Oxbow High School!
Looking back on his training and education, Josh feels he has always been a “hands-on” learner, who does best at “seeing and doing”, making the connections from other experiences, and becoming proficient at skills over time. He remembers fondly wiring both the new bus barn on the campus of Oxbow High School, and the house that the Building Trades class was building during his senior year of school. Seeing the completed project from start to finish was very satisfying. He notes the difficulty employers, both locally and away, are having finding skilled employees, and he points to the huge advantage high school students can gain by selecting the right tech program, and pursuing a very satisfying career path for the future. He feels that there are a multitude of good-paying, tech-based careers available that truly don’t need a four-year college education to begin and advance in. When one begins to take a look at the highly-sophisticated systems that the people at ALARMCO work with every day, and one sees the number of businesses, schools and institutions being protected by the work and technology of Josh and his crew, you know that he is on the right track!