RIDGID

Family is life. Robert Broccolo Jr. (@prodrains), owner/operator of Professional Drain Services of Southern New England, LLC, Westerly, R.I., has much to be thankful for. He’ll be the first to tell you that he has the most amazing fiancée, Tiffani, whom he can’t wait to marry, and he gushes over his beautiful five-year-old daughter Isabella Read more

Family is life. Robert Broccolo Jr. (@prodrains), owner/operator of Professional Drain Services of Southern New England, LLC, Westerly, R.I., has much to be thankful for. He’ll be the first to tell you that he has the most amazing fiancée, Tiffani, whom he can’t wait to marry, and he gushes over his beautiful five-year-old daughter Isabella. Oh, and he is expecting a baby boy—Robert Broccolo III—this May.

Robert Broccolo Jr., Pro Drains, @prodrains, drain cleaning, septic, septic tanks, RIDGID, plumbing, drains, sewers

But that’s what it’s about, right? Hard work and long days to pay the bills to carve more time with family, and to leave them in a better place financially. It’s that work/leisure balance that is so important. “It’s hard to do so but it all depends on your personal goals. My goal is to leave my kids’ grandkids an empire, but that requires tons of hard work and time each day,” says Broccolo. “I try to balance the work day so I’m home by the end of the day before the kids go to bed, spend time on weekends, and plan vacations throughout the year. As much as I’d love to be home more, I want to build for my family and future.”

Robert Broccolo Jr., Pro Drains, @prodrains, drain cleaning, septic, septic tanks, RIDGID, plumbing, drains, sewersGetting Started

Broccolo recalls his journey into the industry when he applied for a job with a local plumbing contractor who was hiring workers for a big project. “Also, I had an interest in plumbing as my father is a real estate investor and always had a very good understanding of plumbing and heating. It was one of the skills he mastered over the years so I wanted to learn and make him proud, build some value to myself, and be able to help my him in his real estate ventures. I got the job and shortly thereafter, became an apprentice plumber for that company, learning lot of different aspects of the trade,” says Broccolo.

Growing Exponentially

Broccolo started off with a basic pickup truck and enclosed trailer; he acquired the basics needed to attempt a drain cleaning company. Subsequently, hard work and dedication to customer service has allowed Broccolo to grow his business by utilizing his social and networking skills he believes he gained from the many years— since the age of 10—working as a caddy at a few private golf courses. “It helped me spread the word of who I was and what I offered. I believe networking can be a very valuable tool if used properly.”

Robert Broccolo Jr., Pro Drains, @prodrains, drain cleaning, septic, septic tanks, RIDGID, plumbing, drains, sewersBroccolo has been in the plumbing industry for a little more than 10 years now, as he worked as a plumber for a local plumbing and mechanical contractor for years. It was around this time working with other contractors that Broccolo was given an opportunity to show what he could offer. He decided to move forward with starting his company in 2017. Specializing in sewers and septic, underground rehab, excavations and cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) lining, Broccolo’s certifications include CT P7 Plumber, RI Underground Utility Contractor, CT Septic Installer, RI Septic Installer, RI and CT Septic Pumper, and RI Registered Septic Inspector. “From there, the growth hasn’t stopped. We now have the ability to do anything when it comes to sewer and septic,” says Broccolo.

Going into year six with great success, Broccolo continues to expand the underground rehab side of the company. “My love for plumbing has been primarily focused on sewers since the start of my company. I’m constantly learning, going to trainings, trade shows, expos, etc., to gather as much info to continue to grow the company and services we offer,” says Broccolo. “

Robert Broccolo Jr., Pro Drains, @prodrains, drain cleaning, septic, septic tanks, RIDGID, plumbing, drains, sewersLooking Up

Broccolo has had a few mentors in his plumbing journey, with his father being his hero and No. 1 mentor. “He’s always guided me in the right direction and given solid advice,” says Broccolo.

There are others, too. “My old boss Mike Loffler and Steve Antoch, and an amazing man I would caddy for each weekend at the golf course,” says Broccolo.

Each person in some way helped guide Broccolo and mentor him in different ways, sometimes not even knowing they were doing so. “So, paying it forward, I try to be my best self to help others in the industry; I believe if we all work together, we can all grow learn and do better, and that in turns makes the industry better,” says Broccolo.

Promote the Trades

According to Broccolo, the trades have been given a negative image for a long time, and that there are great jobs pay and opportunity in all aspects of the trades. His message to those kids thinking of entering the trades would be—give it a chance! “Don’t be fooled with the have-to-go-to-college mentality. I was caught in that mentality when in high school; you were considered a failure if you didn’t go to college. In fact, I went to college and it just wasn’t for me. I wish I had the ability to get my hands in the trades sooner,” says Broccolo.

Robert Broccolo Jr., Pro Drains, @prodrains, drain cleaning, septic, septic tanks, RIDGID, plumbing, drains, sewers

What message should we be sending then? “The industry could do better by working alongside the schools,” says Broccolo. “Same as a college fair or a military recruit booth, it would be amazing if there was a ‘Trade Day’ where different trades had the ability to be at each school once a year—featuring one-on-one time, the ability to answer and ask questions, and see the reality of the jobs vs. the perception of it,” says Broccolo.

Broccolo says that a local company could sign students for jobs the same as a college signs a student. Companies could then work apprenticeships with students and implement classes to help students see if the trades are for them vs. college. “Just like most things in life, you need to experience it in some way to know if it’s for you,” says Brocoolo.

Listen, some of the most challenging jobs for Broccolo are the underground rehab projects and CIPP installs, but working on pipes without digging and solving problems is very rewarding. “Nothing is more satisfying than getting the job done that most can’t and knowing you did it without being invasive to the property,” says Broccolo.

RIDGID, part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, introduces the smallest and lightest press tool on the market, the RP 115 Mini Press Tool. Designed for residential and lightweight commercial plumbing use, it completes the majority of press connections installed in the market with ease, while getting professionals to their next job faster. Engineered with the Read more

RIDGID RP 115 Mini Press Tool, press technology, pressing, tools, RIDGID, RIDGID tools, plumbing, heating, HVACRIDGID, part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, introduces the smallest and lightest press tool on the market, the RP 115 Mini Press Tool. Designed for residential and lightweight commercial plumbing use, it completes the majority of press connections installed in the market with ease, while getting professionals to their next job faster.

Engineered with the quality and technology that have kept RIDGID first in pressing for decades, the RP 115 can press 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch copper and stainless steel fittings. It is 14.6 inches long, 2.5 inches wide and weighs only 5.5 pounds with battery and jaws. The RP 115 has a SlimGrip handle and optimized trigger for balance and control; one-handed jaw opening and operation for reach and ease of use; and 210-degree head swivel for access to tight spaces.

Visit RIDGID.com for more info.

Diagnostic tools from RIDGID, a part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, have been trusted by professionals on the toughest jobsites for more than 25 years RIDGID®, part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, introduces the SeeSnake® microReel™ APX™ to optimize inspections. Engineered with a lightweight, compact profile for easy portability, the microReel APX features bright LED Read more

Diagnostic tools from RIDGID, a part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, have been trusted by professionals on the toughest jobsites for more than 25 years

RIDGID®, part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, introduces the SeeSnake® microReel™ APX™ to optimize inspections. Engineered with a lightweight, compact profile for easy portability, the microReel APX features bright LED lights with high color accuracy and auto-flip imagery delivering crisp, detailed images and ensuring upright viewing angles in a variety of pipe conditions. Paired with TruSense® technology, this tool delivers the industry’s best in-pipe image.

The microReel APX is the most recent camera reel from RIDGID to offer TruSense technology to help plumbers better pinpoint problem areas in-pipe. It also comes with a built-in kickstand for in-field versatility with multiple configurations for optimal operation.

TruSense establishes a two-way datalink between the camera head and a connected RIDGID SeeSnake Wi-Fi-enabled monitor. With TruSense, advanced sensors on the camera head convey information about the in-pipe environment, while the HDR image sensor expands the camera’s dynamic range, allowing a greater ratio of bright and dark areas to be displayed at the same time without reducing visibility. This delivers superior clarity and detail with fewer blown-out areas and sections of the pipe that are too dark to see. TiltSense™ measures the camera’s angle and, when connected to a SeeSnake series monitor, the camera can convey the camera’s degree of tilt on the monitor – giving professionals a useful indicator of the pitch of the camera in-pipe.

“The RIDGID SeeSnake microReel APX is our latest and most portable camera reel to offer TruSense technology, giving plumbers the enhanced data capabilities they need to diagnose issues,” said Laura Wolverton, marketing director, underground technologies, RIDGID for Emerson. “RIDGID has been a leader in diagnostics for over 25 years, making camera reels built to last no matter how harsh the jobsite environment.”

All RIDGID SeeSnake reels come with the RIDGID Full Lifetime Warranty.

To purchase or learn more about the microReel APX, visit RIDGID.com, or call toll-free: 1-800-4RIDGID.

A part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, RIDGID employs 16 fathers and their children RIDGID®, a part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, celebrated Father’s Day by creating a tribute video recognizing how the work fathers do can inspire their children’s career choices. The inspiration behind the video came from RIDGID’s own workforce: currently sixteen RIDGID Read more

A part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, RIDGID employs 16 fathers and their children

RIDGID®, a part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, celebrated Father’s Day by creating a tribute video recognizing how the work fathers do can inspire their children’s career choices. The inspiration behind the video came from RIDGID’s own workforce: currently sixteen RIDGID employees are considered “legacies” – meaning they have dads that worked for the company’s manufacturing team before them. These “RIDGID Dads” and now their children build RIDGID tools in Elyria, OH, that are used by skilled trade professionals across the country, many by family-owned companies that also include fathers and their children.

“When we ask trade professionals how they got into the industry, learning from their fathers is a common response,” said Becky Brotherton, director of engagement marketing, RIDGID for Emerson. “Passing along their skills to the next generation is a legacy that lasts, not only in their children, but also in the infrastructure built and maintained through their challenging careers. Father’s Day seemed like the ideal time to celebrate the legacy that we see regularly on jobsites and in our manufacturing team.”

The video, shared last week on RIDGID social channels and viewed more than 2,000 times, features Russell and Josh Halstead, co-owners of Valu-Rooter® in Elyria, OH, and Jose and Bryan Gonzalez, RIDGID employees.

“I remember him having this determination and hard work to get the job done, but to do it right the first time,” said Josh Halstead, of his dad. “I started working in high school to make some money, but coming out of school I became more interested in this line of work. I wanted to be the best that I could be. I’ve always had the goal of being the best plumber. I want people to hear our name and think of quality.”

“The number of generations, including fathers and their children, working at our company is a unique aspect of our team,” said Danielle Hart, director of human resources, RIDGID for Emerson. “It’s a distinction that we’re proud of and one that we think contributes to a positive work environment.”

View the video on RIDGID social channels, including Instagram – @ridgidtools – and Facebook – @RIDGIDTools.

RIDGID has released Father’s Day videos the last several years, each a tribute to dads in the trades and the influence they have on their children. Previous videos can also be viewed on their YouTube channel.

Elyria, Ohio—RIDGID, a part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, hosted its second annual “We Love STEM Day” in June for 38 students in grades three through eight. The event was designed to support local schools and engage students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It also helped RIDGID demonstrate the role these vital subjects Read more

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Elyria, Ohio—RIDGID, a part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, hosted its second annual “We Love STEM Day” in June for 38 students in grades three through eight. The event was designed to support local schools and engage students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It also helped RIDGID demonstrate the role these vital subjects play in manufacturing.

RIDGID, RIDGID for the win, stem, stem day, future of the trades, tools, plumbing“It was wonderful to see the energy and excitement the students had for learning — and to hear their questions about manufacturing and the way STEM is used in the work we do,” said Rose Hitchens, event chair, “We Love STEM Day” and chapter lead, RIDGID Women’s Impact Network for Emerson. “Engaging students at an early age in STEM education helps to encourage a love of learning in these subjects. It also helps foster the next generation of creators, innovators and inventors.”

Students participated in a variety of hands-on activities that strengthened their problem-solving skills, including building a flashlight and testing different methods of creating a strong and lightweight pasta tower.

RIDGID is a proud supporter of local programs and education-based initiatives throughout Lorain County, including Elyria school makerspaces that reinforce STEM learning. The company also partners with current and future trade professionals and regularly invests and donates products. For years, its leaders have served on industry boards to help strengthen the trades.