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Hospitality Apprenticeship Offers Bostonian a Path to Success

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Hadia Diallo of South Boston enrolled at Quincy Junior College after high school. To afford tuition, she worked – as a teacher’s assistant at a local after-school program, a visitor’s experience associate at the Boston Children’s Museum, and a security officer – which meant that she could not attend school full time.

“After balancing school and work for so many years, I was stuck on what to do next,” said Hadia, now 25. “I knew that I wanted to go back to school and become successful, but I needed something to help me get back on track.”

As a housekeeping apprentice, Hadia is on her way to her dream job.
       As a housekeeping apprentice,
       Hadia is on her way to her dream job.

Hadia’s husband had graduated from the BEST Hospitality Training Center’s pre-apprenticeship program in 2015, and by December 2017 he had advanced to a supervisor position at a luxury hotel in Boston.

After seeing her husband’s success, Hadia decided to try it for herself.

She applied and was accepted into the 6-week housekeeping pre-apprenticeship. As part of her training, she shadowed employees at two luxury hotels in Boston. Upon completion of the program, she was hired by a waterfront hotel as a housekeeping apprentice based on her excellent performance.

The paid apprenticeship includes 2,000-hours of on-the-job training coupled with formal instruction, and the opportunity to earn up to 12 credits at Bunker Hill Community College. Apprentices like Hadia can take additional courses in the college’s Hotel/Restaurant Management program at a substantially reduced rate through an agreement with BEST.

“I was looking for a career path and a great job where I can continue to learn,” said Hadia. “This program helped me to get a job at one of the best hotels in the city, the skills to be successful ‒ and I like interacting with guests.”

Today Hadia is learning the housekeeping and customer service skills she needs to pursue her dreams, which include a good-paying job, a college degree, and career advancement. Ultimately, she hopes to become a supervisor.

“This program has been life-changing,” said Hadia. “I’ve been learning new skills and making connections that have put me on a path to a career.”

James Lally is a deputy director in the Department’s Office of Public Affairs in Boston.

Authors: 

U.S. Department of Labor Blog

Electrician Lights the Path to Apprenticeship

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Ronald Hopkins (left) and Stephen Humphrey credit apprenticeship with their successful careers.
Ronald Hopkins (left) and Stephen Humphrey credit apprenticeship with their successful careers.

For Ronald Hopkins, apprenticeship has meant a successful career and lifelong friendships. After decades as an electrician, he loves to encourage new apprentices and challenge their expectations.

“There’s more to this profession than what you see on TV,” he says.

In observance of National Apprenticeship Week in November, the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) hosted a group of current, former, and prospective apprentices in Fort Worth, Texas, and Ronald was there to share his insight. IEC has a national four-year apprenticeship program that requires at least 144 hours of classroom training and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training per year.

Ronald understands the rigors of the program as both a graduate and a current superintendent who consults on the program’s curriculum. He has experienced all the ups and downs in the industry as technology and safety standards have evolved.

Ronald started his apprenticeship in 1982 after relocating to Texas from Las Vegas. As a third generation electrician he understood the value of the program and the career opportunities that would follow. After completing the program with IEC, Ronald became licensed. From his first job more than 30 years ago, Ronald recalls a sense of satisfaction in a job well done.

“When we turn on the power for the first time and everything goes according to plan it’s very exhilarating,” he says.

Today he works as a superintendent, a position he’s held for more than 20 years. He touts continuing education as one of the keys to his success and one of the many reasons he remains involved in growing IEC’s apprenticeship efforts.

His professional success has had benefits for his family as well, as Ronald has been able to provide a comfortable quality of life and opportunities to travel. And he’s made lifelong friendships. Ronald and Stephen Humphrey met in the apprenticeship program and have maintained a working relationship throughout the years, even when their careers led them to different companies. Both contribute to the apprenticeship program at IEC by sharing their experiences and helping to develop the curriculum.

“I would not be where I am today without the apprenticeship program,” said Ronald. “Through the program you get a lot of chances to network. It’s why I have never been without a job.”

To learn more about exploring apprenticeship opportunities, or how apprenticeship can work for your business, visit dol.gov/apprenticeship.

Chauntra Rideaux is a public affairs officer for the U.S. Department of Labor.

Authors: 

U.S. Department of Labor Blog