News & Updates

News & Updates

Pre-Apprenticeship Training Starts New Career for Dad

Daniel Iosefa has worked as a cross-country truck driver, warehouse worker, solar installer and stay-at-home dad. He never really had a clear career path.

Now he’s on his way to becoming an electrician after completing training in the construction industry through the MC3 Apprenticeship Readiness Program in Fresno.

“I would recommend this program to anyone who doesn’t know what to do with the rest of their life,” said Iosefa, 33, of Fresno. “I would recommend it to anyone who does know what they want to do but doesn’t know what road to take. If they have a passion for construction, this pre-apprenticeship program is the way to go.”

Today, there are more opportunities than ever in the region thanks to the ValleyBuild partnership, a program to train hundreds of workers for good-paying jobs in the construction industry. Funded through a state grant, ValleyBuild is a 14-county collaboration between the trades, regional workforce boards and other partners.

Iosefa, now an apprentice in the electrician’s local, graduated in October 2020 from a Fresno training class. He passed the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers math exam during the training program, qualifying him for an interview that he aced.

He landed at the top of the work list and was indentured in July. Now, Iosefa is helping refurbish the electrical system in an industrial plant.

“It’s a lot to take in,” he said. “I’m learning a lot.”

Born in Hawaii, Iosefa lived on the islands until he moved to the Central Valley while in high school. He tried community college and football, had his first son at age 20 and dropped out of school to focus on work.

Iosefa labored in warehouses and on solar installation projects and then drove trucks cross-country for about five years. Along the way, he had three children with his longtime girlfriend. Ultimately, the responsibilities of fatherhood prompted him to quit trucking.

“I was gone two, three weeks at a time, and that wasn’t the best choice if I was going to be a good father,” said Iosefa, who spent several years as a stay-at-home dad.

His time in the solar industry — hauling panels and equipment – generated an interest in electrical work. Then last year, he heard an ad on the radio about the pre-apprenticeship program and thought it could help him become an electrician.

Iosefa applied and earned a spot in the next training class. There, he learned about a variety of trades – such as sheet metal, painting and electrical – and brushed up on math and other important skills.

Beyond the introduction to the electrical trade, the program was a difference-maker in other ways. Iosefa doesn’t think he would have scored as high on his interview, or have as strong a resume, without taking the training class.

“I’m glad I made this choice and I’m glad I joined that program,” he said.

Being an electrician is “something you can do for the rest of your life,” Iosefa said. “This gives me a steady income and gives me a steady career.”