This apprentice interview is part of a series highlight apprentice success stories during National Apprenticeship Week 2020. To read more about how CCSNH & ApprenticeshipNH are celebrating the week, please click here.
Apprentice Name: Alexander LoVecchio
Town: Merrimack, NH
Place of Employment: Spraying Systems
Community college name: Nashua Community College
What were you doing before you became an apprentice? Did you have any ideas about career paths you would like to pursue?
I was going to school, majoring in general studies, and working a retail job. Because of the high cost of tuition, I was starting to look at apprenticeship programs as an option. I thought it would be a good way to avoid debt and have guaranteed employment.
How did you hear about the apprenticeship opportunity and what made it seem like a good fit for you?
I came across the ApprenticeshipNH program via a Google search. I started inquiring about some of the open opportunities and Spraying Systems was one of the first companies that got back to me. After learning more about the opportunity it seemed like a perfect fit for me and work that I was really interested in doing.
How long is your apprenticeship, and how far along are you right now?
The apprenticeship is 4 years long. I’ve been in the program since January 2019 and am going into my fourth semester at Nashua Community College, so I’m about halfway through the program.
What has been the best part of your experience as an apprentice so far?
I really enjoy going to work and practicing the skills that I’m learning in school, and doing so in a real-world environment alongside people who are very experienced. The apprenticeship model helps me retain the information I learn in school, and helps to fill in the gaps in understanding. It feels almost like getting extra tutoring, but I’m getting paid for it!
What are some of the biggest ways you feel your apprenticeship has impacted you?
It has given me a good sense of what I want out of a career. I have a better idea now of what I might want to do in terms of schooling and my profession. It’s been very confidence-inspiring, and it’s a reassuring feeling in spite of everything else going on in the world right now.
What do you think are some of the common misconceptions people have about apprenticeship?
I think people might be concerned that you will always be treated differently than an employee who knows more. That has not been the case for me; I get the same respect as everyone else working on the floor. Taking classes at the college is a lot different than going to school for a degree. It doesn’t feel as daunting. Also I think there are a lot of misconceptions about working in manufacturing – it isn’t like it used to be. It is a very clean and safe way to make money, and it’s an excellent place to work. I have more fund here than I do anywhere else – I wake up and look forward to going to work.
How has this apprenticeship helped you with meeting your career goals?
It has put me years ahead of other people that might have taken a more traditional approach to getting into a career. It has helped me move up in the industry a lot faster than I ever thought possible, and has given me a sense of confidence.