Ronald has lived in San Jose his entire life. When he graduated from high school, he started college but needed a job to pay bills. He found a temporary position as a Duct Handler assisting licensed electricians.
He liked the work and decided to apply for an apprenticeship with the Electricians, which meant he needed to take and pass an aptitude test, then pass an interview. He studied for the test, took it three times — and failed all three times.
Undeterred, he began studying harder for his fourth test.
At the same time, he was having trouble making ends meet, and was on unemployment and food stamps. When he saw a flyer for the Trades Orientation Program, he says, “It spoke to my passion...I had to take the class.”
Give yourself a chance to learn about yourself, and to maybe find a job that you love doing so much, you don’t ‘work’ a day in your life.
The TOP class helped gave Ronald the drive to study harder for the aptitude test and the opportunity to share his experience and his enthusiasm for the trades with his classmates.
A week after graduating from TOP, Ronald took the Electrician’s aptitude test for the fourth, and final, time. Out of a list of 1,000 people, he tested into the top 20.
Ronald is now working for Redwood Electric on a commercial office building and is looking forward to starting his apprenticeship program.
Because his apprenticeship training through the union can be transferred into college credit, he will be able to not only become a working apprentice and move up to journeyman, but also earn a college degree through his work experience. He plans on following the degree path towards Business Management with the long-term goal of owning his own electrical company.
Ronald’s advice to people considering the Trades Orientation Program is: “Give yourself a chance. Give yourself a chance to learn about yourself, and to maybe find a job that you love doing so much, you don’t ‘work’ a day in your life.”
“I’m lucky to have found that job for myself. I hope my story can help others find the same satisfaction in their career as I have.”