Former UO student finding success at Roto-Rooter after changing course

EUGENE, Ore. — After two years at the University of Oregon, one young man decided to change course, and now he’s making more than $30 an hour.

Kai Zito is a drain technician at Eugene’s Roto-Rooter.

Upon graduating from Junction City High School, Kai studied speech disorders at the university. But after realizing he needed a change, Zito went to work at Roto-Rooter’s shop on West 1st Avenue.

During his training period, which lasted six months, he made $14 to $25 an hour, and now he’s fully qualified and works on a commission basis, which usually equals $35 an hour.

The company also offers health insurance, retirement and other benefits.

“I kind of started out with just riding around with everybody,” Zito said. “Everybody here at the shop has had a hand in my training. I’ve been able to ride with everybody, see the different ways everybody does everything, and that’s been really nice. That’s been really helpful.”

Zito said at some point he would like to enter a union apprenticeship program. But for now, he said he’s happy where he is.

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