Industrial Technology student earns rewarding career, nifty tool box
Joseph Perez knew going back to school was going to be a challenge. He already was working full-time and had a family to take care of, including a little girl. He also knew he wanted more for himself and his family.
"I knew it was going to be hard, and I knew I was really going to have to learn to manage my time and be disciplined," said Perez, who received an Industrial Electrical certificate from Metropolitan Community College-Business & Technology in May. "I wanted to work in electrical maintenance, and I heard from some gentlemen that I worked with that MCC was the best place to learn about industrial technology."
Perez, 33, balanced classes at night with a job at ACH Foam Technologies that often entailed working overtime. Along the way, he had to make some tough choices.
"It was hard at times," Perez said. "There are times when my daughter would say, 'Can we go do this?' and I had to say, 'I've got to get my homework done first.' A lot of times, it's 40 hours of work, plus overtime, then finding time to study."
Perez not only received a certificate for his hard work, but also another reward as the spring 2016 semester came to a close. A few weeks before finishing classes, he won a drawing for a Grainger tool box.
Each semester, MCC-Business & Technology holds a drawing for a Grainger tool box for graduating students. For the spring semester, students who met the requirements had to apply for graduation by April 1 to be entered in the drawing.
"I couldn't believe it. I never win anything," Perez said. "I was surprised, but really psyched."
The drawing came at a perfect time for Perez, who said he needs the 41-inch, 11-drawer tool chest for work.
"When I started at ACH, I already had some tools, but I had to buy more," he said. "I have a tool box, but it's nothing like this one. This is perfect for work. I'm going to put it to good use."
Perez plans to continue working in electrical maintenance and stacking credentials. His goal is to earn a certificate in Industrial Automation/Mechatronics at MCC-Business & Technology and continue to progress in the industry.
"I have really enjoyed being here," he said. "I like the hands-on work as a student. I love what I'm doing, and I think it's improving my family's life. That's important to me."