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Platinum Plumbing Spearheads Rick Newlin Plumbing Apprenticeship Endowment

January 16, 2024

For five decades Rick Newlin graced the counter and aisles of Standard Plumbing in Pocatello, ID. “Rotten Rick” to those who knew him, Newlin had a knack for knowing exactly where every single plumbing part in Standard Plumbing was located, even the obscure, no longer made, obsolete parts needed for the plumbing repair in older homes. 

Newlin began working at Standard Plumbing at age 18 and transformed the job into a 50+ year-long career. Though not a plumber by trade, he eventually obtained his plumbing license as a means to better serve his customers. In October a great loss blanketed the local plumbing community when Newlin passed away. 

To honor his legacy, Tana Christensen, co-owner of Platinum Plumbing, spearheaded an effort to start a scholarship endowment in Newlin's name. Christensen teamed up with many other local plumbing companies, sole proprietorships, and community members to fund the endowment. Standard Plumbing-Pocatello matched the endowment dollar-for-dollar. Their efforts surpassed initial fundraising goals, and over $80,000 was donated to the endowment commemorating Rick. 

The endowment will benefit ISU College of Technology’s Plumbing Apprenticeship program offered through its Continuing Education and Workforce Training (CEWT) department. The scholarship will be the first ISU Endowment to ever benefit CEWT. Funds will be used to provide scholarships to plumbing students enrolled in the apprenticeship program. For Christensen, funding a scholarship in Newlin’s memory is the perfect way to ensure his legacy of the gift of knowledge lives on. 

Christensen and her daughter are two of a handful of women currently enrolled in one of ISU’s three trade apprenticeship programs. As a plumber and trade business owner, Christensen understands the need to invest in local talent. 

“It is important to invest in people who want to learn a trade but may not have the means to afford the program,” said Christensen.

If you would like to learn how you can contribute to Newlin's endowment, please contact David Doran at daviddoran@isu.edu.


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