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Cecil Levy III, Power System Electrician Apprentice at the Hoover Dam, Colorado

Cecil Levy III, an eight year veteran of the United States Air Force as well as a three year civilian Electrical Systems Specialist at Edwards Air Force Base in California, welcomed the opportunity that a Power System Electrician Apprenticeship afforded Cecil and his family.


His apprenticeship provides him with a quality education, a paycheck while he trains, hands-on experience, and a chance to work with experts in the power generation industry at the Bureau of Reclamation's world famous Hoover Dam. Cecil was able to tap into his GI Bill Benefits he earned in the military as an apprentice at the Hoover Dam. The GI Bill housing stipend he received monthly allows him the means to adequately care for his family's needs. These financial benefits give him the support he needs to complete the comprehensive training program. Upon graduation from his Registered Apprenticeship program, Cecil will be provided a substantial future career in the electrical power generating industry, and an official Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship from a Bureau of Reclamation facility that will make him an extremely valued employee. It is important to the Reclamation managers at Hoover Dam to help apprentices get their GI Bill benefits because it provides a concrete commitment that the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation continues to show towards our returning service members. Since the Bureau of Reclamation apprenticeship program is "Approved for the GI Bill" it adds a significant level of credibility for veterans. The Reclamation managers consider that "the apprenticeship program reflects our continued support in their education," and supports veterans, "both financially and vocationally."

"As Cecil continues to gain skills in our Reclamation apprenticeship program and as a member of the Nevada Air National Guard, he has already proven to be a true asset to our organization. Upon completion of this intensive apprenticeship Cecil Levy is fully qualified to work as a journeyman Power System Electrician and will be immediately placed into that position within the Bureau of Reclamation Lower Colorado Dams Office," said a Bureau of Reclamation spokesperson.
Dan Healey, Machinist Apprentice, Sebewaing Tool and Engineering, Sebewaing, Michigan

Prior to leaving the military, Dan looked up the U.S. Dept. of Labor and Veterans Affairs websites to find a company with a Machinist apprenticeship program in the Michigan area, and called Sebewaing Tool and Engineering Co. about the possibility of starting an apprenticeship with them.


Dan was successfully able to transfer his military skills as a machinist in the Marine Corps to a career in manufacturing at Sebewaing. Dan feels strongly that obtaining a Machinist Apprenticeship Certificate of Completion from the Department of Labor (and additional education in the Manufacturing Industrial Technology field) offers a promising future for him and his family. Sebewaing Tool and Engineering Co. has been a DOL- certified Apprenticeship program for over 50 years, and provide apprenticeships in four skilled trades: Machinist, Tool and Die Maker, Machine Repairman and Welder. The company believes that Veterans understand that building a career in skilled trades requires commitment and hard work, and they are willing to put in the time and effort to succeed. And, those Veterans tend to be leaders that advance in the company, and work well with employees and their supervisors. Overall, Sebewaing considers it a "win-win" situation when they have the opportunity to employ and train a Veteran.

The apprentices understand that they will be making some sacrifices as they go through the typical 4-year Registered Apprenticeship program. But, eligible veteran apprentices, like Dan, can earn a monthly stipend by using their GI Bill benefits that can help them meet their family's expenses. Sebewaing apprentices know that as they successfully complete their apprenticeship, they have the opportunity to receive regular wage increases, and graduate with increased opportunities to advance in the company. Typically, apprentices see their training as a stepping stone to both honing their skills and financial security.
Andrew Lee, TMC Transportation, Flatbed Driver, Des Moines, Iowa

When Andrew completed his active duty with the U.S. Army he knew he wanted to utilize his G.I. Bill benefits, and found that he could use his benefits for a Registered Apprenticeship, rather than a four year degree. The "earn and learn" approach made sense for Andrew, "Four years in school
wasn't for me, and I needed to transition right into a good paying job because I had bills to pay," Andrew said of his apprenticeship program.

Andrew Lee completed an 18-month Registered Apprenticeship program for flatbed driving with TMC. "TMC Transportation's U.S. Department of Labor [Registered] Apprenticeship program made my transition [from the military] a lot easier because I was able to utilize by G.I. Bill that I had earned and it helped me get ahead financially. If it hadn't been for TMC's program I probably never would have used by G.I. Education Bill Benefits. Today, I enjoy my job, make great money, and now train new drivers for TMC."
Drivers are paid while training at TMC from orientation through the over-the-road training with certified flatbed driver trainers. Apprentices earn a Heavy Truck Driver Apprenticeship Certificate of Completion, approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. TMC has a veterans' coordinator who educates and guides them through the apprenticeship program. They are available to answer any questions they might have about the program. Completers of the apprenticeship program earn benefits such as retirement, healthcare, and paid vacation.

TMC recently pledged to hire 500 military veterans by 2015 in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce "Hiring Our Heroes" program.
Devin Pearson, Power Plant Operator Apprentice at the Hoover Dam, Colorado

Following a successful 10 years in the United States Navy as an Electricians Mate 1st Class, Devin performed for a number of years in various factory settings prior to seeking out a Power plant Operator Apprenticeship at the Bureau of Reclamation's world famous Hoover Dam.
Having most recently been a maintenance technician in North Carolina, Devin, decided to focus his efforts a career with the Federal Government.

Devin feels that the apprenticeship allows him to build on his current skills while adding to those skills to ultimately become a fully proficient Power Plant Operator. Devin was able to use his GI Bill benefits he earned in the Navy, and is better able provide for his family while earns and learns in his apprenticeship. The welcome addition of the monthly stipend Devin receives via the GI Bill has lessened the financial burden on this family, and helped in the decision to choose an apprenticeship. He realizes completing his apprenticeship will provide a substantial future career in the electrical power generating industry. Devin will also receive an industry-recognized Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship from a Bureau of Reclamation facility, which will help him now and in the future.

"Devin is proving to already be a true asset to our Reclamation organization. Upon completion of this intensive apprenticeship Devin Pearson will be fully qualified to work as a journeyman Powerplant Operator, and will be immediately placed into that position at Hoover Dam," a spokesperson for the Bureau of Reclamation said.
Dale Pichelmayer, Over the Road Driver Apprentice, Strafford, MO

Mr. Dale Pichelmayer served 20 years in the United States Army. In the Army, he was a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear specialist – retiring from the service with an Honorable Discharge. Dale found out from an Army friend about the Registered Apprenticeship with Wil-trans.
What's more, is that Dale found out that he could use his G.I. Bill benefits during his apprenticeship training to receive a Class A Commercial Driver's License. The GI Bill provides Dale with supplemental monthly income on top of the paycheck he earns while in his apprenticeship.

When asked about his choice of an apprenticeship, Dale said, "The [Registered] Apprenticeship program has made the transition from Army life to civilian life easier. To know that I have supplemental income, while developing my skills, has meant the world. I had a military paycheck, but it was going away. It felt good knowing that I could earn an additional salary from my Post 9/11 G.I. Bill benefits while I was settling into my new career."

Dale is currently six months into his apprenticeship with Wil-trans. He said, "I have seen daily progress in my ability to handle myself, and am feeling more and more confident. The Apprenticeship Certification will prove to Wil-trans my dedication to developing my skills as a professional driver. They take me more seriously, and that results in higher earning potential for me. It's all about education and maximizing your skill level."

The dispatcher at Wil-trans, has this to say about Dale: "He has applied the work ethic and pride that he obtained in the military to his over-the-road career. We are lucky to have this American hero on our team."
Darrel Wilson, CEO of Wil-trans, is an ardent supporter of the Registered Apprenticeship program and the opportunity for veterans to use their GI Bill benefits in an apprenticeship at Wil-trans, "They fought for our country, they shouldn't have to fight for a job."
Javier Velasquez, Bricklayer, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 506, Elmhurst, IL

After five years in the Navy as a Master of Arms, Javier Velazquez transitioned from the military, and began his search for his next opportunity. Javier was struggling to find a good, steady job,
but found his opening at a job fair when he met with Helmets to Hardhats, a union organization that connects veterans of the Armed Forces with promising building and construction careers. Helmets to Hardhats helped him with his transition, and getting that good job, and also let him know that he could use his GI Bill in his apprenticeship.

At the start of his apprenticeship, Javier tapped into his GI Bill benefit he earned with the Navy, and received an extra $1,000 per month on top of his paycheck. The Bricklayers Union and Helmets to Hardhats are "Approved for the GI Bill" Registered Apprenticeship programs, and Javier and other eligible veterans like him, can use their GI Bill education benefits to help with expenses as they complete their apprenticeship. Javier thought this was a good opportunity for him to help meet his monthly bills, while learning a new trade as a Bricklayer.

In 2014, 28 year-old Javier Velazquez is a third year Bricklayer apprentice with International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers and a reservist with the Navy. Today he works on new construction projects with a company that constructs cutting edge buildings, including new schools, casinos, and retail outlets. Upon completion of his apprenticeship, Javier can expect to make nearly $42 per hour – roughly $85,000 per year. And, he's well on his way to a great future with the advanced skills he needs for a career in construction.
Dan Healey, Machinist Apprentice, Sebewaing Tool and Engineering, Sebewaing, Michigan

Prior to leaving the military, Dan looked up the U.S. Dept. of Labor and Veterans Affairs websites to find a company with a Machinist apprenticeship program in the Michigan area, and called Sebewaing Tool and Engineering Co. about the possibility of starting an apprenticeship with them.
Dan was successfully able to transfer his military skills as a machinist in the Marine Corps to a career in manufacturing at Sebewaing. Dan feels strongly that obtaining a Machinist Apprenticeship Certificate of Completion from the Department of Labor (and additional education in the Manufacturing Industrial Technology field) offers a promising future for him and his family. Sebewaing Tool and Engineering Co. has been a DOL- certified Apprenticeship program for over 50 years, and provide apprenticeships in four skilled trades: Machinist, Tool and Die Maker, Machine Repairman and Welder. The company believes that Veterans understand that building a career in skilled trades requires commitment and hard work, and they are willing to put in the time and effort to succeed. And, those Veterans tend to be leaders that advance in the company, and work well with employees and their supervisors. Overall, Sebewaing considers it a "win-win" situation when they have the opportunity to employ and train a Veteran.

The apprentices understand that they will be making some sacrifices as they go through the typical 4-year Registered Apprenticeship program. But, eligible veteran apprentices, like Dan, can earn a monthly stipend by using their GI Bill benefits that can help them meet their family's expenses. Sebewaing apprentices know that as they successfully complete their apprenticeship, they have the opportunity to receive regular wage increases, and graduate with increased opportunities to advance in the company. Typically, apprentices see their training as a stepping stone to both honing their skills and financial security.