Prior to enrolling in Constructing Hope, Juan was in and out of warehouse jobs, making a few dollars more than minimum wage. As a single father, it was a challenge to make ends meet at that wage. A DUI, which led to a suspended license, added more obstacles for Juan. Unable to easily get to and from work, he was forced to leave his job.
A referral from the Unemployment office led Juan to Constructing Hope’s Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program. As part of the Winter 2015 class, Juan found the Constructing Hope staff extremely supportive. His classmates worked well together, as they all worked to grow and learn life-changing skills.
During his time in Constructing Hope’s program, Juan was interested in pursuing a career in concrete work. Due to his suspended license, he graduated Tier 2 from Constructing Hope, and ended up finding work unrelated to Constructing Hope for a few years. In and out of various jobs, he grew tired of working hard, yet not making a livable wage for he and his daughter. FInancial challenges made it hard to find an affordable place to live, or even put gas in the car.
As fate would have it, Juan ran into someone who was with the Ironworkers and encouraged him to apply. He went over to Ironworkers Local 29 and submitted his application. Thanks to his Pre-Apprenticeship Training at Constructing Hope, he was 2nd rank for an apprentice position. With funds being tight, he was having trouble putting gas in the car to get to his orientation, ended up arriving an hour late, and was told to come back the following week. Fortunately, Juan reached out to Constructing Hope. We were able to help him with gas cards and paid his dues so he was able to get to orientation and begin work.
Juan is now a proud apprentice of the Ironworkers Local 29. He’s excited to be back at work, with a true career path in front of him. As a first-year apprentice he is making more than $20/hour, working on a jobsite in Hillsboro. He has the opportunity for periodic raises as he grows his experience and time with the Ironworkers.
Juan didn’t let one mistake shape the rest of his life for him and his daughter. Despite the added obstacles that resulted from his DUI, with mentorship and support from Constructing Hope, Juan and his 7 year old daughter have a bright future ahead of them. We are grateful to be a part of their story!