2016 graduate Nicholas Cruz recounts his experience at WHSAD and how it has come to launch his career.
I am now a first-year apprentice in local 580 which is a NYC union for Ornamental Iron Workers. I graduated from WHSAD in 2016. I am currently doing layout for window walls in Coney Island. At the same time, my union sends me to take classes twice a week after work at our training facility.
While I was attending high school, I actually didn’t know what I wanted to do. All I knew was that I want to learn how to weld. I wanted to get my welding license, so I ended up going to Coop Tech, where I learned about unions and their different trades. I heard about Local 580 ornamental ironworkers, and I just went for it. I applied for the union through construction skills, and I also waited online and picked up applications as a backup.
In the future, I see myself as a journeyman or maybe another foreman who’s hopefully welding and still learning. WHSAD offers a lot of opportunities for kids in different ways and for different fields. Being a young student at WHSAD, you might not see that or really realize the opportunities that they offer. By the end of my junior year is when I started to realize that, and that I needed to take advantage of those opportunities.
People like my parents, Mr. Codio, and Mrs. Rivera helped me to mature and pushed me to succeed. They pushed me towards my goals and motivated me along the way. Although Mr. Codio can be annoying sometimes, he helped me to realize how important networking is and how to use that and any opportunities given to me to reach the goals that I want to accomplish. He also showed me how to set smaller goals to get where I wanted to be.