Apprentice of the Day
We featured apprentices going above and beyond each day of Apprenticeship Week (Nov. 15 to 21, 2021). Read their stories below.
Learn more about finding your path to a great career through registered apprenticeship.
Friday, Nov. 19
Christopher Elliot, bricklayer – Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1 JAC
After several years working as a bricklayer in Florida, Christopher Elliot’s path to registered apprenticeship began upon relocating to the Twin Cities.
He enrolled in a program with the Urban League Twin Cities and was referred to the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1 JAC’s apprenticeship program. Elliot’s prior experience didn’t go unnoticed and he was granted advanced standing to a third-year apprentice bricklayer. Elliot’s instructors said he’s a solid apprentice who’ll make a great journeyworker.
Collin Wilmes, CNC operator – K&G Manufacturing
Collin Wilmes saw an opportunity and ran with it.
Starting as an assembler with K&G Manufacturing, he applied to be part of the company’s registered CNC operator apprenticeship program in 2018.
Wilmes recently became a journeyworker and is now passing along the knowledge learned during his apprenticeship to new employees.
Thursday, Nov. 18
JoHanna Heath, ironworker – Ironworkers Local 512 JAC
JoHanna Heath is a first-year ironworker apprentice.
A longtime interest in welding initially drew Heath to the trade, and then to Ironworkers Local 512’s registered apprenticeship program.
“[Apprenticeship] has benefited me greatly. Becoming an ironworker has made quality time and financial stability available for me and my children,” Heath said of the personal benefits of registered apprenticeship. Heath’s goals for the future include becoming a journeyworker and possibly a business agent for Ironworkers Local 512.
Sovereign Olson, ironworker – Ironworkers Local 512 JAC
A chance encounter led Sovereign Olson to registered apprenticeship.
While working at an oil change shop, Olson met a journeyworker ironworker who was getting a vehicle serviced. The journeyworker explained the opportunities of the Ironworkers’ apprenticeship program. Olson applied, got selected, and now works for the same company as the journeyworker who first introduced her to the trade.
Olson said her goal is to learn as much as possible and take her skills on the road traveling throughout the country.
Wednesday, Nov. 17
Marcus McGinley, ironworker – Ironworkers Local 512 JAC
Marcus McGinley is a first-year ironworker apprentice.
After learning about the Ironworker Local 512 JAC’s registered apprenticeship program from a family member, McGinley first applied to the program in 2020. Although he was not select, he persisted and was selected into the program in the spring of 2021. McGinley said he hopes to one day become a foreman and purchase a home.
Christopher Reilly, universal equipment operator – Minnesota Operating Engineers JAC
Christopher Reilly is a first-year operating engineer apprentice.
His path to registered apprenticeship began at the Urban League Twin Cities after immigrating from the United Kingdom. After participating in a training program at the Takoda Institute in Minneapolis, Reilly found employment as an equipment operator and was enrolled into the Minnesota Operating Engineers registered apprenticeship program. Becoming an apprentice has been a great accomplishment for Reilly who is learning a life-long trade while earning good wages and benefits.
Tuesday, Nov. 16
Mwee Nay Htoo, roofer – Roofers and Waterproofers Local 96 JAC
Mwee Nay Htoo, a Karen refugee from Burma, spent most of his young life in a refugee camp before coming to the United States. After arriving in St. Paul, Nay Htoo participated in a YouthBuild construction program at Guadalupe Alternative Programs.
Nay Htoo was hired by Advanced Design Contracting and become an apprentice with the Roofer and Waterproofers Local 96’s program. He said he is grateful for the opportunities his apprenticeship is providing him and his family.
Connor Hady, electrician – Twin Ports Electrical JAC
Connor Hady is a third-year electrical apprentice with Twin Ports Electrical JAC apprenticeship program in Duluth, Minnesota.
The apprenticeship program has allowed Hady to work on a range of commercial, industrial and residential projects throughout northeastern portion of the state.
“The apprenticeship has been a tremendous learning experience,” Hady said. “I look forward to becoming a journeyman in a great trade.”
Monday, Nov. 15
Owen Elefson, machinist – Terog Manufacturing
Owen Elefson is an apprentice machinist with Terog Manufacturing, located in Stephen, Minnesota.
Since becoming an apprentice in 2020, Elefson has become a pivotal employee with an unmatched positive attitude to learn his craft. He said he is grateful for the opportunities registered apprenticeship has presented, and one day hopes to be promoted into a leadership role.
Andy Paumen, iron worker – Iron Workers Local 512 JAC
“The best part about being an ironworker is the variety of work. Every day brings new challenges and new things to learn,” said Andy Paumen, iron worker apprentice.
After learning about the Iron Workers Local 512's registered apprenticeship program from a relative, he is now reaching new heights. According to his instructors, Paumen is a quiet leader both on the job and in the classroom. He is in the final year of his apprenticeship and his goal for the future is to become a foreman.