Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation

Joseph makes a life changing career decision

Workforce Challenge

Having previously graduated college with a Mechanical Engineering degree Joseph found himself working in an office as a consultant to the industry. This experience was frustrating to Joseph as he realized he did not have the hands-on skills required of a true engineer nor had college provided him with the real world education needed to truly excel at his job.

Four years ago Joseph made the decision to apply to the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 99 Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JATC) to be a Stationary Engineer. This decision was difficult to make as his first child was born two weeks prior.

Workforce Solution

But Joseph stood his ground and entered the Registered Apprenticeship Program to receive the skills necessary from the experts who have worked their whole careers in the industry. Despite having a young family Joseph threw himself into the program. He relished coming to work every day and gaining the experience of physically working in his trade while simultaneously attacking his related instruction classes with equal enthusiasm. This enthusiasm quickly became apparent to the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 99's Joint Apprenticeship Committee Instructors. One instructor commented:

"Joseph was and is very focused on his goals and showed it every day in class, he was always early, always attentive and very detailed oriented. He did not just take a test he crushed them. He did not just read what he needed to pass, he read the entire chapter and the other after so he was always ready for discussion. He shared his knowledge with his classmates and was the ideal student, I am sure the other instructors would agree. It was a pleasure to have him in my class, in fact, it was a pleasure to have everyone of this year's class as they were all extremely polite and very bright. Joseph is a testament to the quality of engineers Local 99 teaches, trains and fills the workforce with. Bravo to all involved."

Another instructor was so impressed with his performance he commented: "A-1, find more like him for the program. Better ye bring him back as a teacher! Very polite, never disrupted class, and always prepared. He is the best of the best."

Outcomes & Benefits

Spending four years in the Registered Apprenticeship Program was not enough for Joseph, he needed to excel beyond the minimum standards. Joseph set his sights on finishing at the top of his class and this was a goal he achieved. Joseph finished as the class valedictorian for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 99 Joint Apprenticeship Committee Graduating Class of 2017. Speaking to his fellow graduating apprentices, now journeyperson's, Joseph spoke of the high standards set by his instructors as well as the business who hired him, Vornado/Charles E. Smith, and of wanting to continue to grow in this industry. As Joey spoke and referenced the support of his wife, children, and parents, he reminded everyone of the importance of Registered Apprenticeship and the opportunities for successful careers it presents without the associated college debt.

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