a lot of family members who are with the UA. My great-grandfather started in Iowa and then moved to Los Angeles. My grandfather got in dur- ing the 1950s. ey were plumbers. ey moved to Salinas, and my dad became a member of Local 393, along with a few of my uncles. I am a fourth- generation member. My other great-grandfather on my mother’s side was a member of Local 393 as well. He started out in NY aer WWII, and then he worked here until he was in his 70s.” Adam found the program to be challenging, but he really excelled. Upon completion, he was viewed as having very strong welding skills, and he graduated with multiple certifications. Once he en- tered Local 393’s apprenticeship program and was sent to the field to work alongside experienced journeymen, he said, “I felt a little underprepared to be honest, because all of my welding had been done in a controlled environment. ere’s just no way around that. You need that time to weld over and over again to become proficient. When I first went into the field, I remember thinking the logis- tics of the welds were difficult. Unlike in the pro- gram, on the job I had to navigate around a lot of equipment and pipe just to complete my welds. You learn pretty quick though. When I first started welding in the field I thought I was pretty slow, but I progressed and became faster, and I learned dif- ferent types of welding and was fortunate to travel all over.” Adam is viewed by his employer, erma Me- chanical, as a gied welder, and the company’s leadership stated that he’s a real asset. “I’ve been working for the same company non-stop for the last four years,” Adam said. “I graduated from the program on a Friday and drove here on Saturday, and within a week, I started working. I’ve been doing all types of welding. e company gave me a welding van last summer that I drive back and forth to work, so that’s pretty sweet. I love working for this company. ey just tell me where I have to go to weld and fit, and I go.” We caught up with Adam and his immediate su- pervisor this spring at a Dell data center where they were completing all of the chilled water pip- ing. Dennis Roach, a 32-year member and Navy veteran, stated that Adam’s strongest asset right now is the fact that he is a really good welder. He said, “Adam is what I would consider an x-ray qual- ity welder who could work on high-pressure steam jobs. A lot of the welders who work on jobs like that, cogeneration plants and other high-pressure jobs, are travelers [come from other local unions] right now.” Brother Roach came from the automo- tive trade, and he said, “e life I have provided for my wife and children is 100 percent better com- pared to when I was in the automotive trade. ere are so many benefits that go along with this job.” As apprentices, the participants go to work and then attend school twice a week in the evening at Local 393. Adam stated he really had a lot to learn on the pipefitting side, and he has en- joyed school and plans on continuing as a journeyman. Brother Roach said, “In the apprenticeship, you only get out what you put in. You can’t look at it like, ‘Here’s another five years of school.’ You have to look at it like, ‘Here is an opportunity to learn for the next five years.’ I still go back and look at my notes from time to time.” As far as Adam’s salary is concerned, he said he saw a big jump during his 10th period in his apprenticeship, but once he turns out as a journeyman, his benefits package will increase signifi- cantly. “Down the road, I’m interested in studying to become a CWI (certi- fied welding inspector),” he said. “at would be interesting. In the program to become a CWI, from what I under- stand, the UA will pay your expenses. CAREERops 8