AWP News

Jan 6, 2017
Category: Construction Academies
Posted by: admin

“Alaska Works is where it all started. The classes that were available to me gave me the opportunity to figure out which trade best suited me.”

 Jesse Heckmann

 

Helmets to Hardhats

Jan 6, 2017

Success Story


“Alaska Works is where it all started. The classes that were available to me gave me the opportunity to figure out which trade best suited me.”

 Jesse Heckmann

Category: Construction Academies
Posted by: admin

At the age of 19, and working a maintenance position for a local storage company, Jesse was making a meager twelve dollars an hour. He decided to apply to a welding class through Alaska Works Partnership’s (ACA), Anchorage Construction Academy program. Unsure at the time if that was his fit, he again applied and was accepted into an ACA electrical class the following year. His thought was to pursue a job as a residential electrician. He finally decided that welding was where he excelled. He spent a couple of summer seasons on a fishing tender, utilizing and honing his welding skills. Once the season was over, he returned to his previous maintenance position with the storage place.

Jesse decided to finally make the leap into applying to the Piledrivers and Divers Local 2520 apprenticeship in 2011, and was accepted. He said that the completion certificates that he received from his ACA classes were greatly beneficial to him at the time of his application process. Jesse spent two years in Juneau during his apprenticeship, working diligently on the Mendenhall Bridge,(pictured below).

Jesse said he was appreciative of the ACA classes, noting that the classes were what pointed him in the right direction. He mentions job stability and the benefits involved with being a union member; “I know I have a job no matter what, and I can afford to keep my body in the shape it needs to be in to do my job. That’s a great feeling.”

When asked what words of advice he may have for an apprenticeship applicant, he says, “the best advice I could give is to stick with it—the end result is well worth the sacrifices you make along the way.”

Congratulations, Jesse! Way to, “stick with it.”