Tom Lemon said the Lynn Tech students he is teaching in the Massachusetts Pre-Apprenticeship and Vocational School Training Program are “shining stars,” who are advancing well toward careers in the trade unions.
Lemon is an is an instructor with the Laborers Union from the New England Laborers’ Training Academy in Hopkinton. Last week, he led the students through an intensive, five-day, 30-hour, registered pre-apprenticeship program that prepares the students for careers in the trades.
“These students are accumulating apprenticeship hours in the classroom before they go out and apply for careers in MassDOT highway construction projects,” said Lemon. “They’ll be applying to the Laborers Union, which is the largest group of tradesmen and tradeswomen that work on MassDOT projects the Carpenters Union, the Painters Union, the Plumbers Union, and many other of the union trades.”
One important element of the students’ training was a session (Sort of Surveying 101,” said Lemon) in which they learned how to calculate elevation, along with working on concrete construction projects.
Lemon also took the students on a field trip to the Laborers Training Academy where they had a tour and hands-on activities with the professional staff at the academy.
Lemon said he is stressing to students that they should develop proficiency in a number of trades and vocations. “Upon graduation, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. I am highly recommending that they apply and consider multiple career opportunities in addition to their specialties.”
Tech senior JC Reynoso, one of the most outstanding students in the program, said working under Mr. Lemon’s tutelage has been “a great opportunity” for him and his classmates.
“I feel like it’s going to push us to strive toward a better future, which is one of the things that Tech wants to offer its students – a better chance to be successful in life,” said Reynoso. “This program and Tech as a school is preparing me for being a successful person and giving me an opportunity to work with people who know what’s out there in the real world. We’re learning so much in the program. If you’re willing to take the lessons that Mr. Lemon is offering, you can really benefit from his knowledge.”
Tech plumbing instructor David Gagner, who had two of his students complete the pre-apprenticeship program, said the program has been a huge success at the school. “The program leads to potential jobs in one of the 20 labor unions throughout the state,” said Gagner. “The students also receive training in CPR and they’ll get a certificate from the program.”
Carissa Karakaedos, principal/director at Lynn Tech, said she is grateful for Tech’s partnership with Local 22.
“Local 22 is a magnificent partnership that we have with the Construction Laborers Union,” said Karakaedos. “This program, which is funded by the Department of Transportation, gives our students an opportunity to not only explore, but also to experience another career path. We are so grateful for the partnership and we look forward to working with Local 22 for many years to come.”