A career in the trades runs within Raelee’s family. Her father, a truck driver, enjoyed driving Raelee around in his trucks throughout her childhood, which in turn created great family memories for the duo and fueled Raelee’s passion for trucks. Inspired by her dad, Raelee initially wanted to drive trucks for a living just like him. Raelee’s dad encouraged her to consider other avenues to work with cars and trucks as he understands the intensity of overnight shifts truck drivers often have.
Having the opportunity to pursue her dreams with a hands-on education while obtaining her Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), Rosedale Technical College was the perfect fit (and location) for Raelee to find her career within the trades. She enrolled in Rosedale Tech’s Diesel Technology program, graduating in January of 2021.
Prior to enrolling at Rosedale Tech, Raelee had been a top performer in her high school honors classes earning all A’s. She had also been accepted to several four-year colleges and was featured in the Wall Street Journal for her decision to not pursue a four-year college path.
The close bond of the southwestern Pennsylvania trades and automotive community means opportunity is oftentimes knocking right around the corner. For Raelee, that opportunity came when she was taking her car for inspection. Knowing the car shop owner, she shared that she was in between jobs following her graduation from trades school. The two discussed the experiences, qualifications, and knowledge Raelee gained from Rosedale Tech, and the car shop owner made her an offer to join the team. A year later, Raelee is still working as a Technician at Smitty’s Truck & Auto.
Outside of achieving her goal to work with cars professionally, Raelee lives with her boyfriend in Cokeburg, PA. When she isn’t working at the car shop, you can find Raelee painting or hanging out with friends.
Rosedale Tech alumna Raelee Nicholson encourages those considering a career in the trades to ask for help when they are struggling. The support system at Rosedale Tech and within the trades industries is there to boost morale and inspire professionals to reach their potential, goals, and dreams.