Apprenticeship Changes Life of Fast Food Worker and Taxi Driver
Queens, NY – Byron Carchipulla of Queens, a former Burger King employee, and Marcin Chrostowski of Brooklyn, a former waiter and cab driver, today have careers that provide them secure futures thanks to an apprenticeship program. Carchipulla is graduating as a skilled sheet metal worker and Chrostowski as a plumber and both want to own their own business someday. This would normally seem like an ambitious statement considering their earlier employment, but thanks to their new employers and the not-for-profit Oriska Jobs and Careers Center they are on their way to fulfilling his dream.
Despite Carchipulla working all day as a sheet metal worker and Chrostowski as a plumber, they made the trip to the SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx a couple of evenings a week to master their trade. On May 23th, 2016 their commitment will pay off when they graduates with a Certificate of completion in the Related Instruction phase of their apprenticeship training programs. This certificate is recognized by the Department of Education and Department of Labor and puts them on the path to receive a certificate for having achieved journeyman status in the skilled trades.
“This program is designed to ensure students have a career for life,” said Oriska Jobs and Careers Center Director, James Kernan. “While they attend class in the evening, they work during the day at a prevailing wage job. Once they graduate, they can make a living in the skilled trades and support a family.” The certificate he earned, along with the completion of his on-the-job requirement, will qualify him to work as a journeyman anywhere in the country.
The Ecuadorian born Carchipulla completed a 4 year program which included over 600 hours of classroom instruction as well as 6,810 hours of on-the-job training. Carchipulla, who is raising a child, credits his training for giving him the skills support a family. “It has been exciting to be part of this program,” he said. “I will totally recommend this program to new workers.”
The Polish born Chrostowski completed a 5 year program which included over 1,159 hours of classroom instruction as well as 8,501 hours of on-the-job training. Chrostowski, married in 2015, credits his training for giving him the skills support a family. “I’m going to be the best I can be,” he said. “I will soon be a licensed plumber and able to work anywhere thanks to my training.”
The Oriska Jobs and Career Center is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to affording disadvantaged communities skills and career opportunities. Students can learn most any skilled trade like carpentry, electrician, plumbing, steam fitting, masonry, ornamental Iron worker, roofer, operating engineer, electrician, and skilled laborer. The program, which initially started upstate in 1990, moved to the SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx in 2000 to provide opportunities for those throughout the five boroughs.