Onward and Upward
The Spring 2018 cohort of our Apprenticeship Preparation Program graduated last week, and we are so excited to watch their careers blossom. The ceremony was full of hope and pride for the students, who overcame immense barriers related to incarceration and poverty. Instructor Daniel Torres told the crowd, “Formerly incarcerated people, we don’t want a handout. We just want an opportunity to prove ourselves.”
We heard from past APP graduate Frank Rodriguez, who is now a member of the Plumbers Union. He told current graduates, “I was blocked by my background and my addiction. I put up all these barriers. So I came to Flintridge and stuck it out, and it wasn’t the easiest, but it paid off.” Current graduate Jermil Lewis spoke optimistically about how his new career will change his life, brighten his family’s future, and benefit his community.
Special honors this semester went to CATZ Pasadena trainers, who prepared our APP students for the physical challenges of union construction work. Ron Miller from the LA/Orange Counties Building Trades Council delivered the keynote speech for the evening, encouraging graduates to find strength in their unions. The Building Trades Council is an amazing partner, providing us with a comprehensive curriculum that prepares our graduates to be excellent apprentices, and connecting them with union opportunities.
Check out this video to hear more from our graduates!