Jackson Mora, SUNY Martitime College Apprenticeship Program
by Holly Bieler
May 27, 2015 | 22170 views | 0 0 comments | 425 425 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Five years of hard work culminated in the form of a diploma, a happy family and a higher paycheck for Jackson Heights resident Walter Mora last week, after he graduated from the SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx’s apprenticeship program.

The program, run by non-profit Oriska Jobs and Career Center, aims to afford disadvantaged communities career opportunities and training in fields such as plumbing, electrical work and steam fitting, among other trades.

Although Mora had worked as an electrician for years, he said the desire to do more interesting work and receive a higher salary led him to enroll in the years-long program.

“I learned technology here I didn’t know about before, how to calculate voltage, information about wires, lights, fire alarms,” he said. “It’s more interesting. And I don’t feel afraid to do new things.”

Through the free program, Mora attended 1,500 hours of classroom instruction and completed 10,389 hours of on-the-job training, which included updating the electrical facilities in numerous hospitals and courthouses in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

He graduated last week with a journeyman certification from the state Department of Labor, which has already led to a higher wage from his current employer.

He said that he hoped his son might one day follow in his professional footsteps.

“I learned a lot,” he said. “My son just finished high school and I told him to do this program. I’m very happy with it—it’s supporting my family.”
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