Steel and Electrical Industry Apprentice
Turning His Passion into a Career
Whenever a toy broke when Erick Martinez was a young boy, he never cried or threw it away – he tinkered. Erick loved trying to fix things, a passion that followed him throughout high school and into his adult life. As this love grew into a hobby, it never crossed Erick’s mind to turn his passion into a career. Out of high school, he worked a series of customer service jobs, finally landing a position as an Eligibility Technician for the County of Riverside CalWORKs office. In early 2016, he was unexpectedly laid off from his position, providing the opportunity for him to explore other career options. At the unemployment office, he saw a Chaffey College InTech Center flyer promoting their new Industrial Electrical, Industrial Mechanical and HVAC training programs.
Erick enrolled in the InTech Electrical Boot Camp, as well as the HVAC program, where he developed his love for the craft. As he learned more about the industrial maintenance topics that were needed in manufacturing, he knew he had chosen the right path. Due to the training he received, Erick applied for the California Steel Industries (CSI) apprenticeship program and was registered in July 2018. With his previous work experience applied, Erick is expected to complete his apprenticeship and receive his state journey-level certificate in fall 2019.
“I didn’t grow up with the skills I’ve learned in the past two years at the InTech Center and CSI. There’s tremendous value at the end of [training]. You’re investing, you’re sacrificing, but it’s all worth it…When I meet some of my co-workers, they say they’ve been there for 15 years, 20 years, 30 years – that longevity is comforting, and it’s something I strive for.”
– Erick Martinez