Apprentice Highlight: Daniel Coticchio, Fire Sprinkler Foreman

About five years ago, Daniel Coticchio managed a deli, but he wasn’t finding the work to be rewarding.

A few of his friends were working in the Fortis Brand’s Piper Fire Protection service department told him to give the job a try. He took them up on their offer, quickly feeling at home with the team, comparing them to a family. “Everyone takes care of each other,” he says.

Daniel recognizes fire as a dangerous and potentially deadly force. By installing fire sprinklers effectively, he could possibly be part of saving a person’s life, home, or belongings. “It’s very rewarding work to know that what you do makes a difference,” he says. “You know that you’re doing something that will potentially save lives and properly.”

Close Competition

He recently completed the apprentice program at Piper and felt he had the skills necessary to compete. He was right — Daniel won two national awards this year.

In June 2023, he competed in Phase 1 of the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) National Apprentice Competition, going on to win Phase 2 in September. He also earned gold in the fire protection category of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) National Craft Championship in March.

The AFSA competition consisted of a three-hour exam and a hands-on portion in front of a live audience, where he cut, threaded, and installed a steel and CPVC piping system for sprinklers. After a pressure test and grading on accuracy, craftsmanship, and safety, it was determined that Daniel would bring home the gold (and a $5,000 cash prize)!

Daniel says that these wins open up a lot of doors for him. “That’s a very exciting feeling to hopefully get to do something I might not have been able to otherwise.”

Apprenticeships at Fortis

Born and raised in Clearwater, Florida, Daniel’s roots are close to the Piper location. He commends the company for being supportive of career development and growth, adding that his first foreman Jesse Taylor is a notable figure in his time with Piper. Jesse has pushed Daniel to always do his best, to not cut corners, and to always think forward.

At Fortis, we provide this opportunity for Daniel — and many others — via apprenticeship.

On-the-job training goes far. In fact, some sources say that as much as 90% of learning and development takes place on the job. With mentoring and real-time feedback, our training makes sense for apprentices, who go on to certify and become foremen.

With mutual effort from management and apprentice, careers at Fortis flourish.

“Managers create the foundation for career planning success, but employees are an equal partner in their own career planning — it can’t happen without employee involvement,” says Jennifer Courtney-Trice, Chief Human Resources Officer at Fortis.

We encourage our team members to share their goals with their managers, seek out feedback, and consider what success looks like. Let’s work toward making that vision a reality together.

Find open positions for apprentices and foremen alike at our careers page.