ROADTRIP NATION PRESENTS
Skill Powered Trailer
You have the power to build yourself a better life—all you have to do is equip yourself with the right set of skills.
Like many other young adults, Shyane, Alex, and Ryan feel like they’ve been pushed down the path to a four-year degree—but they can’t keep ignoring the questions that have arisen along the way: “What other routes are out there? What about the people who’ve jumped off this assembly line to handcraft a fulfilling career?”
To find the answers, they cross the country to talk to people working in skill-forward careers—people who’ve embraced other roads to opportunity, like trade schools, certificate programs, and on-the-job training. As they uncover the talent, precision, and passion being put into skilled jobs and trades, they realize that not every success story has to start with a four-year degree—a fulfilling life is built any way you choose.
INSIGHTS FROM THE FILM
“Don’t let opportunities pass you by. They’re not always going to come and knock on the door—you have to go look. It’s about wanting, knowing, and preparing yourself to get that prize or that dream.”
Lisa Legohn, Master Welder
“If you’re exposed to something and you can see it’s directly connected to you, act on that. You can go to school for this, but [learning] hands-on is really the best way to do it.”
Peter Page , Owner & President, AMENERGY
“There’s a huge on-the-job training aspect that you can’t get in a book. You have to go out and start doing it, learning, and making mistakes.”
Kimberly Leser, Curator of Animal Behavior & Welfare, Oklahoma City Zoo
“If you think that you like something and you want to pursue it, pursue it!”
Bill Lamp'l, Founder, Grove Scuba
CATCH IT ON TV
Enter your zip code to find this program on your local public television station.
Shop Manager, Offerman Woodshop
Lead Engineer, Two Bit Circus
Event Manager, STEAM Carnival, Two Bit Circus
Founder, Allied Woodshop
Executive Chef, Bacchanal Buffet, Caesars Palace
Head of Audio, Blue Man Group
Head of Musical Instrument Tech Department, Blue Man Group
Principal, Palo Santo Designs
Owner & President, AMENERGY
Curator of Animal Behavior & Welfare, Oklahoma City Zoo
Senior Animal Caretaker, Reptile & Amphibian Department, Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden
Technical Associate, GE Aviation
Technical Associate, GE Aviation
Wardrobe & Makeup Supervisor, Blue Man Group
Founder, Grove Scuba
What if you’re ready to take charge of your future, but you’re not sure about taking on a four-year degree? Start by building your skills.
We’re sending three people on a road trip across the U.S., fueled by Penn Foster and Strada Education Network, to seek out individuals who’ve built lives they’re proud of by learning skills and trades, and taking on all kinds of training outside of getting a four-year degree. The work they do doesn’t depend on years of school—but it does take skill, determination, and the will to get things done. We’re on a mission to tell their stories, learn from their struggles, and show that there’s not just one way to make a life for yourself.
THERE’S MORE WHERE THIS CAME FROM
Sign up for our newsletter to watch more documentaries, get first word of road trip opportunities, and score handy tips for the career search
From Porter, TX
Shyane is ready to take off in a million directions. But while she’s got the energy to push toward any goal and the resolve to work hard, she knows that what she really needs right now is guidance. All of that drive and curiosity without experience isn’t enough to get her where she wants to go, and to get her past the financial instability she grew up with. Raised in Montana, her family life has mostly been a source of stress. Now that she’s graduated from high school, she lives with her older brother in Texas. It was the road trip to her new home that got her hooked on travel. Right now, her sights are set on working on a cruise ship—but there’s nothing she wouldn’t try. As long as it’s an adventure, she’s ready for it, even if it means learning new things, working long hours, and being away from home. She’s hoping that this trip is the spark she needs to start that journey.
From Torrance, CA
Alexander wants to work in the outdoors. He’s been camping since he was a kid, and you can regularly find him spearfishing off the coast of California, where he grew up. He tried construction, but it wasn’t for him. His family is encouraging him to get trained to work in tax preparation. He’s thinking about it. Maybe he’ll be a policeman. But then he comes back to the outdoors and the ocean. Being a camp counselor was the first time he realized that he needed to be outside for a living—but it was also when he realized he didn’t have the training to get the jobs he wanted. He has a college degree—but without more applied training he’s feeling lost. Working in nature gives him a sense of direction. He wants to see if there are people out there working in the outdoors who are genuinely happy and supporting their families, to see if it’s a life he could build for himself, too.
From Asheville, NC
Ryan has been working in HVAC—heating, ventilation, and air conditioning—for three years. His parents didn’t work in the trades, but it’s the memory of visiting his dad, stuck in a cubicle at work, that made Ryan certain he didn’t want to be in an office. The person who really introduced him to the work he does now, though, was his best friend, who passed away suddenly a few years ago—he still carries that loss with him every day. Ryan grew up with a love for baseball and football, and his two brothers made sure he turned out tough and ready to handle anything. The three of them want to start their own business together. You don’t need a four-year degree to be successful, he says—he wants to prove that you can live a great life by working in the trades, and he’s hoping to meet other likeminded people, to hear their stories and see what they’re about.
HOME SWEET HOME
miles the RV
# OF ROADTRIPS..............2
STOPS & INTERVIEWS
STOPS & INTERVIEWS
Los Angeles, CA
Las Vegas, NV
Santa Fe, NM
Oklahoma City, OK