One of Youth Conservation Corps’ (YCC) successful alumni paid a visit to meet with YCC YouthBuild members on Wednesday, July 27.
Jonnatan Contreras began his time at YCC during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he was able to obtain his GED and NCCER certification in five months’ time.
Upon leaving YCC, Jonnatan started his own contracting business, but was always intrigued with the possibility of working as an electrician.
Through applying his personal drive and ambition, he has taken the initial steps required to become a union electrician; Jonnatan was one of four individuals out of 60 to be accepted into IBEW Local 150’s apprenticeship program, and he is now working for Aldridge Electric Co. in Libertyville, IL.
In addition to learning the tools of the electrician trade, Jonnatan is also gaining knowledge on how to become an expert welder; during his visit he explained that this will make him a more valuable employee, since he’ll have additional skills that are required for more intricate projects.
In passing along advice to his fellow YouthBuild members, Jonnatan urged them to study math and reading, as he’s found those are necessary skills for the type of work that he’s in. Another thing to emphasize is having the knowledge to read a tape measure, since it’s imperative for the types of projects he’s assigned to.
Jonnatan also urged YCC members to be on-time at whatever job they hold for a couple of reasons. In his position, he said that arriving early has benefits because the foreman will offer early birds the opportunity to do projects that are less tedious. He also noted that if he arrives late for work two times, he’ll lose his job.
Learning about “life after YCC” is invaluable for our YouthBuild members, because hearing an alumni’s words of wisdom can have a great impact since the perspective is from a peer. Alumni are always welcome to speak and share their experiences as well.
Our upcoming annual fall event, Build + Brews + Bears, takes place on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Mickey Finn’s Brewery in Libertyville, IL. Events like these help us bring communities together and help individuals like Jonnatan get the opportunity to do great things through our YCC Youthbuild program.
Register or sponsor our event down below!