New York, NY – Steamfitters Local 638 member Matt Bargellini is originally from Brentwood, Long Island and a US Marine veteran. At 31, he is recently graduated from the apprentice training program of his local — Steamfitters Local 638 Joint Apprenticeship Committee.
Bargellini found out about the program because his grandfather was a steamfitter.
“I grew up in his house,” the Long Island product says. “He passed away in 2014. At his wake, I met a lot of Steamfitters and they told me about the program Helmets to Hardhats. I started the program in 2014.”
Helmets to Hardhats is a national, nonprofit program that connects military service members with skilled training and career opportunities in the construction industry.
Bargellini was in aircraft maintenance during his military stint.
During his union apprenticeship, he worked Monday through Saturday, attending class every other Thursday at the training facility.
Bargellini describes his current job as working “in a machine room – pipe fitting, welding, setting the equipment – rigging the equipment, in hospitals, and big commercial rooms.”
The Marine veteran especially enjoyed the mentors that worked alongside him as an apprentice.
“I always work hand-in-hand with my partner,” he said at the time. “He makes sure I’m safe and doing it correctly and I do the same for him. So, I get a lot of training on-the-job as well as in school.”
“I love the program,” Bargellini told LaborPress. “It’s changed my life for the better.”