When Jonathan Chavez learned he was accepted into IBEW Local 18’s Utility Pre-Craft Training (UPCT) program, his life changed. Jonathan has learned numerous skills in water infrastructure maintenance and become an expert in how to install water meters, operate water main shutoff valves, and to how to communicate with his teammates on a worksite to increase safety.
Most importantly, being in the UPCT program has changed Jonathan as a person. Jonathan says, “I became more responsible. I clean more and wake up much more disciplined. I like myself more than before.” He actively supports his parents financially and does repairs at their house.
Being a part of the union, training with diverse colleagues – including older colleagues with a lot of wisdom to share – has inspired him. He also feels thankful that there are a lot of support systems built into the program which encourage trainees to be successful. The UPCT program’s emphasis on communication and teamwork has helped him learn to be much more empathetic towards others and develop stronger self-expression skills.