Altadena/Pasadena Apprenticeship Preparation Program
The Altadena/Pasadena Apprenticeship Preparation Program held its third graduation on Friday, June 19, 2009 at Jackie Robinson Center. The Program was inspired by Councilmember Jacque Robinson's 2020 Initiative and established by the Flintridge Operating Foundation spearheaded by Jaylene and Alex Moseley. I had the pleasure of interviewing five, of the 19 program participants.
Fernando previously worked in construction as a pipefitter helper and a certified welder. With a smile, he said that the Apprenticeship Program opened new doors for him and helped him get back into the trades because of what he learned. Fernando believes he has a second chance to grab the gold ring.
Tariq holds an Associate's degree and wants to get a decent job. He is interested in carpentry. One of the "cool" things about his involvement was the opportunity to take field trips to union work and training sites. Tariq believes that his involvement is a blessing and a step forward to help him persevere.
Kyle believes that his experience in the program will benefit him later in life with a good career, solid benefits and the ability to work with his hands. His next challenge is taking the plasterers test which includes an obstacle course requiring applicants to carry100 lbs of weight. Kyle made sure that when he started the program he would finish it.
Reuben previously worked in plumbing, framing and painting. Participants took part in mock interviews and resume writing sessions. He really liked the students in his class and appreciated that they all worked together as a Reuben plans to take what he learned with him and put it to good use.
Joseph kept coming back to class because he wanted to finish what he started. He works during the day as a tile setter and attends class in the evening. He credits his instructor, Mr. Darling with the ability to "break the barrier of shyness" for himself and others. Joseph plans to take the electricians apprenticeship program exam on June 24th.
"I feel like somebody. . . I never wore a shirt and tie before. . .This is my first graduation. . . Whatever I put my mind to I can accomplish. . . I am elated and have a new start. . . I am excited and proud. . . . I feel special." These words capture the realities of a fresh start for The Graduates who successfully completed the program, sixteen weeks of attendance and 240 hours in class, at construction work sites, listening to union representatives make presentations, and visiting union apprenticeship training programs, (17 unions are part of this effort).
Brian Biery from the Flintridge Operating Foundation provided greetings, congratulations and acknowledgements. Graduates shared with the audience some of their accomplishments and nicknames they created for each other. Only one student was absent, but he had a very good excuse, he started a new job! The two instructors who were the "wind beneath the wings" of The Graduates are Bud Darling and Eddie McFadden.
Each of The Graduates received a Certificate from Pasadena City College which was presented by Councilmember Jacque Robinson. The Graduates had many photo opportunities with the Councilmember and each of their instructors. There were flashing lights everywhere to capture and memorialize this very important milestone for The Graduates.
Tariq Abdussamad, Javier J. Banuelos, Joseph Branch, Ruben Carresco, Jorge C. Cuevas, Lewise Davenport, Seanroy M. Davis, Eli Fowler, Mark A. Franco, Melecio Hernandez, Fernando King, Peter F. Kulvicki, Jason Meza, Tami B Montelongo, Henry Ocampo, Curtis E. Ridley, Salvador Rugelio, Kyle Seavers and Jonathan Williams. Congratulations Graduates!