Cheyenne Suffern stopped by McKee High School on Friday, May 22, 2015. Here is her post-secondary success story.
Sheet Metal Worker – Local 28
Honestly, I knew I had to finish school. Teachers like Ms. Gorgoglione, and Mr. O’Connell, always had me on the right path. They always had faith in me and they pushed me to succeed. I always liked the carpentry program at McKee. I realized I had a choice - I did not have to go to college. I also realized that the carpentry program at McKee would lead me into an exciting apprenticeship program, which would lead to a career where I would make very good money. What!!!
I wanted to be in the type of sheet metal work that does the electric signs. Instead, due to a mix up in the paperwork, I got into the four week program for duct, roofing and renovations work. It’s similar to carpentry but it is metal.
I completed Construction Skills in July 2014. If you think you have tests at McKee you have another thing coming. I had to take 30 tests within a 4 week period based upon what I had learned. Those 30 tests included the pre-tests, tests and competency tests.
I had to go take a test to get into the union. You have to go through a 6 month probationary period where you are now under the eye of the director of the school, the company, and all of the authority figures. You have to make sure that you comply with doing the job to the best of your ability and being on time. On time is late.
I was assigned to different job sites. The earliest report time I had was to start at 6 a.m. This means I had to be on the job site by 5:30 a.m. This means I had to wake up at 2:30 a.m.
Was it worth it? Yes. Is it worth it? You bet.
You never know how much you can create with metal until you are actually in the field. One of my friends made a hanging desk in metal. You can make a shoe rack in metal. In my local, there are so many different fields. You can work in the shop; you can work in the field. You can be a welder or a sketcher. The possibilities are endless and I plan to push myself so that I can explore my full potential which may involve using my experiences within the sheet metal field to explore other avenues, such as OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration.