SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. — While Shane McCoy is no longer on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, the director of quality and technical training at Sun Prairie, Wis.-based Wil-Kil Pest Control continues to give back to his country by working with veterans.
Through his efforts with the Wisconsin Pest Control Association (WPCA) and PestVets — the veterans group established by the National Pest Management Association — McCoy, who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1995 to 2007, and recently retired from the Air National Guard, is working to help transition veterans to jobs in the pest control industry. McCoy has been giving presentations at WPCA meetings to encourage other pest control companies to consider hiring veterans. Moreover, he is actively working with various veterans’ groups. For example, the Air National Guard has a family support center which McCoy provided with information about career opportunities in the pest control industry; this info is presented to those re-entering civilian life and looking for jobs. He then shared this experience with others in the PestVets committee.
“Most veterans want to give back, so this was a real natural fit for me,” said McCoy, who credits Arnold Ramsey for leading the PestVets charge for sponsor FMC, and for Dave Ramsey (Copesan Service Quality Manager and a veteran himself) for mentoring him and encouraging his PestVets involvement.
Like others in the pest control industry, McCoy understands the benefits of having veterans on staff. “They are used to working outside, and they are used to following operating instructions and protocols. And also setting their own schedules, which is what we do in the Air Force and what we do in pest control,” he said.
And McCoy knows this first-hand from his military experience. When he joined the Air Force in 1995 it was an open enlistment and he was assigned to work in pest control (Environmental Controls). At the various bases he was stationed at in the U.S. and throughout the world, McCoy controlled pests at sites such as base houses, dining halls, base exchange restaurants, etc., and common pests he encountered included termites, bees, wasps and ants.
After returning from a remote deployment in South Korea in 2003, he became a technical school instructor with the U.S. Air Force, teaching the same 6-week pest control course he was taught when he entered the Air Force in 1995. He did this from 2003 to 2007, when he joined Wil-Kil.
Like many of his fellow PestVets members, McCoy is excited about the committee’s future and in continuing to find new ways to recruit veterans into pest control businesses. “I think that in the future we will have to work more closely with the VFW and the American Legion and even the VA hospitals on outreach, and then the next step I think will to get schools and universities involved.
“My observation of veterans working in pest control is that they are more passionate than others. I think it’s that serving that we do as a veteran that gives us that passion. In pest control, we get to serve everyday — serving those to 10 to 12 clients every day and making a difference in their lives.”
McCoy currently lives in Madison with wife Jessica, son Ethan (17) and daughter Ciera (15).