Sujan immigrated to the United States from Nepal two years ago. Currently, he is living in Mountain View with his wife and daughter.
Since he arrived, he has worked as a cashier, first at a gas station and then at a drugstore, making just above minimum wage. He soon realized that even though he was working 40 hours a week, cashier jobs did not pay enough to afford even a one bedroom apartment.
Sujan made the decision to search for a new career that would enable him to provide a better future for himself and his family.
“Now my entire family has health, dental, and pension plan, and my pay is nearly double. Now we can survive in this area.”
While he was taking courses at a community college, he saw a flyer for TOP, and signed up for an orientation session. Even though, he did not know anything about the trades, he was ready to learn and eager to understand more about the construction industry.
He found the TOP class to be an ideal place to launch his career because all the students came from different backgrounds and were there to learn and succeed. The TOP instructor had been a journeyman and that inspired Sujan to follow in his path.
After graduating from the Trades Orientation Program in April 2016, he applied to Registered Apprenticeships in several trades, including plumbing, sprinkler fitting, and sheet metal. He got into the Sheetmetal Local 104 apprenticeship, where he began working for a major contractor on the Valley Medical Center site.
Sujan has continued to learn in the apprenticeship while working on both field and shop jobs. He is now earning more than twice his former wage as a cashier. He says, “If you do this program it mentally prepares you to move into a trade. It’s a very interesting job, sometimes physically demanding, but rewarding. Now my entire family has health, dental, and pension plan, and my pay is nearly double. Now we can survive in this area.”