New York, NY – Bryan Peterson, originally from Vernon, New Jersey, is a 28-year-old apprentice recently graduated from the Local 15 Training Center program — a four year union program that requires 6,000 combined hours of on-the-job training and study.
Peterson came to the program through the Helmets to Hardhats program — a national nonprofit program that connects military service members with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry.
The 28-year-old New Jersey native served as a combat engineer in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years, before learning about the Local 15 Training Program through a group of friends.
“I had a few friends who recommended me [to the program],” Peterson says. “I looked on the New York Department of Labor website and I saw [the Training Center] was taking apprentices, and I called [Director of Training] Patrick Peterson directly.”
The U.S. Marine attends Local 15 training classes twice-a-week — more when not actively working on a job.
There’s lots to learn and do, as Local 15’s training director attests.
“The apprentices in this program learn how to run heavy equipment – all pieces and all facets of the equipment we work on — [that includes] backhoes, loaders, dozers, cherry pickers, skid steers, graders, rollers, and rubber tire excavators,” he says.
Peterson completed his apprenticeship training this past June and couldn’t be happier.
“I’m very happy [I’ve been in this program],” Peterson says. “I learned structure in the military. The apprenticeship program is designed and structured in a way that you move through the program in a structured way — so, I’m used to that. It worked out very well.”