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Chris: Bending Steel

Sheet Metal Journeyman

Chris: Bending Steel

item17a3c1a1a1Raised on a farm east of Albuquerque, Chris was a good student in high school. Graduating in the top 10 of his class, his early hope as a teen was to become an Air Force pilot, and so fresh out of high school, he joined the military. Unfortunately, his pilot dreams didn't pan out, and after serving his term, Chris left the military. Without money to attend college or guidance about his future, Chris took a job at a retailer's call center, receiving phone calls from people ordering clothes.

In a short time, Chris realized this job for him was a dead-end. "I knew I wasn't going anywhere." That's when a friend of his family invited him to consider becoming a sheet metal worker. Wanting to do something with his life, Chris took the opportunity to change his direction, get on with a small sheet metal outfit, and enroll in an apprentice program.

Today, Chris has been in the industry 10 years, and as a husband with 2 children, he is thankful for the opportunities and benefits he has as a union-supported Journeyman. "Before, I was working paycheck to paycheck. Today, I am working paycheck to paycheck- with raises, insurance, and retirement benefits. I am learning a lot about leadership- being a foreman, leading a crew, learning the system. I look forward to my future."

Professional Affiliations: Sheet Metal Local Union 49


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