Up until 2011 I was a junior high school English and history teacher. As the effects of the housing crash trickled down through the economy, the attendance at the private school I taught at decreased and I was laid off. Without a job and unable to collect unemployment due to my previous job being a non-profit, I needed a job fast!
My neighbor was a union carpenter with a framing company and told me that they might be hiring apprentices. He helped me get an interview and I showed up in a three piece suit to a framing interview not knowing any better. I soon found my self taking off my coat and tie and building a “training box” – a test of my skills! I was given the job and 5 years later I’m still going strong with them. In fact, I just completed the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee apprenticeship program and have become a journeyman.
Carpenters Local 322 has provided me with the skills to be successful in life and has given me a skill set that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I’ve been able to build my own cabin, help friends and family with repairs and volunteer at kids builds to give back to the community with the skills I have learned. I hope to continue getting involved within the union as either a business agent to recruit high school students, or as a training instructor back at the school that taught me everything I know that allows me to be successful in my work each day.