New York, NY – Jeremy Smith was on active duty in Afghanistan when he found out that he’d received his Journeyman’s Union Book, the result of four years in the IUOE Apprenticeship Program.
An Army Reservist soldier, he’d already served in Kuwait, and now, in June 2017, he’d have to wait another seven months, when, just in time for Christmas, he’d be able to return home to claim his just rewards for his dedication and hard work. Smith, originally from Hancock, New York, in Delaware County, joined the military out of high school, and worked as a heavy equipment operator, serving his first tour of Afghanistan in 2012.
Shortly afterwards, Smith found out about the Helmets to Hardhats program, which connects military personnel with career training and employment opportunities within the construction industry. He submitted his resume, and in 2013 interviewed with Local 15 for the Apprenticeship Program, and was selected to start in September of that year.
The Program consists of a combination of on-the-job and classroom training. The days could be grueling: the combination of full-time work, and classroom training on nights and weekends, made for some 18-20 hour days. He and his wife had just bought a house in Pennsylvania, adding a lengthy daily commute to his schedule. But Smith has no complaints, rather, the opposite.
“I absolutely love the work,” he says. Smith has been trained and worked on a broad spectrum of jobs, “everything the Local does,” including sump pumps, light tower generators, operating all types of equipment, and maintaining and servicing equipment. He has worked on Hudson Yards and East Side Access projects, among other jobs, and is currently “shaping the hall” for additional jobs, entering his name on a list, making himself available for work as jobs become available. With his impressive work ethic, service record, and positive attitude, Jeremy Smith is a truly outstanding example of success.