A Word from a Journeyman What does Apprenticeship Mean to You?
"Joining the operating engineers changed my life. To prepare myself for a career, and to be able to support my two kids I am raising on my own, I supervised at Beutler Air and Heat for a while before joining the laborers union. I was working day and night for years, but I was finally offered to switch to the operator's union. When I joined, it was like a dream come true. I started as a first-step apprentice and took a pay cut but had my future in mind. I gave my apprenticeship my all. I got through the steps while learning how to run heavy iron, do amazing engineering, build a job, and work as a team. The support that I got from my union, my coordinator and co-workers propelled me through my apprenticeship program and helped turn me into a productive operator. I feel honored and proud to finally have a career that I can be truly passionate about. Going to work every day brings a smile to my face that words can barely explain. I have challenging moments but the satisfaction I feel after success is always rewarding. I am able to provide a comfortable life for my family and have energy after work for my kids. I feel equal to an NFL player, because I am happy and making a high income. I love what I do for a living and I am proud and truly fortunate to not only have a career, but one that I enjoy every single day. I want to thank the operating engineers, teachers and my favorite coordinator, Jenny, for the opportunity that they have given me."