Always inspired to see graduates hired and beginning new careers, MTTI Instructors and Staff are equally uplifted to hear past graduates tell us that they feel successful and enjoy the work they are doing. Catching up with Building & Property Trades Technician graduate, Corey Smith, we learned that he has advanced in his role at Home Healthsmith™ where he had been hired, at graduation, as a Service and Installation Technician. During this unprecedented Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Corey is an essential worker. —MTTI
“Corey has really stepped up in his leadership role and has been become a strong member of our team. He is well respected in the field with our clients, builders and contractors as well as other team members. His organization skills are phenomenal and he has shown strong training skills with other employees. The comprehensive training he received at MTTI has served him well.
—Linda Bohmbach, ECHMP, DCP
Home Healthsmith LLC
Co-Founder & Vice President Sales & Marketing
“May 1st is my three-year work anniversary at Home Healthsmith™,” Corey told us.
“Out in the field as a technician, I’ve been able to do a lot of training. I’ve become familiar with many different types of equipment.” Corey is referring to adaptive technology, including stair lifts, wheel chair ramps, bathroom grab bars, shower and toilet seats, and the residential elevators that Home Healthsmith™ installs and services. The company’s mission is to provide accessibility and mobility solutions for seniors and disabled individuals, to keep them safe and comfortable in their homes or care settings.
Since graduation, Corey has grown in his role; he’s now on the Leadership Team.
“During my first six months on the job, I always worked with someone senior to me; now I’m overseeing schedules of other technicians and training them. I’m still working hands-on in the field, which is great—I enjoy working with clients. Taking a step up was a natural progression; my leadership role evolved as I learned to work with the machinery we install and repair, and was able to take on more responsibility. As a Project Manager, I work with architects and builders on the elevator side; I am keeping operations in the field running smoothly on the technician team side. Liaising between Bill and Linda Bohmbach, the Founders, and Christine who handles operations in our office, I’ve discovered that I excel in getting technicians what they need to do the work, and in meeting customers’ needs for the work we do.”
Home Healthsmith™ has grown since Corey joined the company.
“Our presence in the region has increased; we service an ever-widening geographical area, extending from Portsmouth, Rhode Island, where we are based, into Connecticut and Massachusetts. It has been good for me; I feel fortunate to be able to grow with the company. As we’ve onboarded more employees, we’ve built a great team.”
Corey appreciates the opportunity to learn from Bill Bohmbach.
“Bill has more than 30 years of experience in adaptive mobility equipment. Working with him has opened my eyes to the range of equipment that you can provide to help people have the freedom to age-in-place. Because Bill has shared his knowledge, I’m comfortable installing or repairing a wide range of machinery. Now I work closely with Bill to develop training materials for newer technicians.”
During the COVID-19 emergency, the technician team respects restrictions while they work.
“Where we had a project in progress before the outbreak, we give clients the option to have us continue the work, or to wait. We’re taking every precaution for ourselves and for our clients. We don’t want to bring anything unwanted into, or out of, the house. We carry and use hand sanitizers. The protective equipment—mask, gloves and booties—is a bit uncomfortable, but especially important to wear, because we serve clients who may be at higher risk.”
Service calls and equipment repairs are more critical than new projects.
“If a stair lift that goes to a second-floor bedroom fails, the client could be stuck on the first floor. We’ll take care of the electrical / mechanical problem and make sure everything is up and running. Recently, one of our clients turned to his wife, after we repaired the problem, and said to her, ‘Thank goodness we’re not going to have to stay downstairs; we can sleep in our bedroom tonight’ “.
Some work can be done outside of the home.
“People are calling for new assessments, and we are happy to help them. We give top priority to a family whose elevator in their home is needed for their disabled child, confined to a wheelchair. Even while observing social distancing, we can conduct an assessment for a proposed ramp. Or we can easily repair wheel chair lifts outside, that enable the homeowner to enter the house.”
In some cases, the equipment can be brought out of the building for repair.
“I have repaired some equipment in my van. Equipment might be dropped off for us or left on the front porch, so there is no need for me to go into the house. Clients can stand on the porch and talk with us, while we remain at a safe distance from them. If the client wants us there, we can install grab bars in 1 or 2 hours, which immediately makes the home safer.”
Corey didn’t plan to pursue a career in adaptive technology.
“At MTTI, my Instructors, Pat and Don, taught me the basics in multiple disciplines—carpentry, & finish work plumbing, electrical and HVAC. During the program, I interned with an electrician who sometimes contracted with Bill and Linda to perform work on their projects. I considered pursuing an electrical career, but wanted to use all of the skills I learned to become a well-rounded technician. When Home Healthsmith™ had an opening, the wide range of skills—and the work ethic they were looking for—was a good match for me.”
“The great experience I had at MTTI prepared me to work at Home Healthsmith™,” says Corey.
“Looking back, I definitely got out what I put in. The program was intense—you have to jump in, which can be unsettling at first. I came to MTTI with limited background, but focused on the curriculum and especially on the hands-on activities in the shop. Pat and Don instilled in me critical thinking skills, which I draw upon when I need to do custom or out-of-the-box work at a client’s site. Working at Home Healthsmith™, I’ve been able to fine-tune the skills I learned at school.”
Even before the COVID-19 emergency, Home Healthsmith™ received good customer feedback.
“Clients have always appreciated the finished projects we produce. During this difficult time, clients have been especially appreciative of what we do. Knowing that I am helping clients have a better quality of life lessens the stress of taking the extra precautions; I continue to enjoy coming to work every day. I want to give clients what they need, and do my part to maintain the company’s infrastructure—so we can all move together toward a brighter, better future. Bill and Linda have a great mission; they are driven in their commitment to enhance the quality of life for their clients and the community. I am happy to get behind them.”
Read Corey's 2017 graduate success story.
Spotlight (top): Corey working on a stairlift while wearing a mask, gloves & booties and maintaining social distance.
Left top: Corey with his company truck.
Right top: Corey with Home Healthsmith™ Co-Founder, Linda Bohmbach.
Left bottom: Corey working on a Home Healthsmith™ elevator project (2017).
Right bottom: Corey accepting his Diploma from MTTI Instructor, Pat Church (2017).