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Apprenticeship Success Stories

Electrician Jean Fortune Succeeds and helps others to Succeed

Florida Electrical Apprenticeship Association

Jean Eribert Fortune found himself in Palm Beach, Florida with a work visa and limited English. Like many Haitians who migrate to the USA, he had a strong work ethic and weak English; he knew that if he was going to reach his goal of American citizenship he would have to look for education and job training opportunities.

Jeanís next good break came when Odile Dumas, a Career Counselor in ĎProject Transitioní at Palm Beach School District, recommended him to a registered electrical apprenticeship program. It was the Florida Electrical Apprenticeship Association serving the greater Palm Beach area. In October of 2001, the director of the program, Linda Mundt, met with Jean and was immediately impressed with his desire and passion for the electrician field. Jean was accepted into the four-year electricians apprenticeship program with some credit for passing a by-pass exam based on some training in Haiti. He started as a second-year apprentice in the four-year program.

From the first day, Jean took his studies seriously. He worked to overcome his language deficiencies by persistence and hard work. He ended his first year with a final grade of 94 for the year. Throughout apprenticeship his attendance was perfect. He completed his third year with a 100 on the first part of his final and a 96 on the second portion. His grade average was a 95.

Throughout his apprenticeship training, Jean would stop by the administrative office to confer with the director. He spoke of his goals for the future and said that his heartís desire was to work on electrical motors, motor controllers and pumps. The director encouraged Jean, and confirmed for him that his efforts and passion would pay dividends and to keep up the good work.

There was one major impediment to his employment which had to do with his INS documentation. He had inadvertently missed the deadline to re-file and had to begin all over with the arduous process. He visited the director time and time again throughout the three years of his schooling to make sure he was doing all he could to reach his dream.

Today finds Jean a completer of the apprenticeship program, a licensed electrician (Certified Journeyman Electrician) has a job as a journeyman electrician at Hoover Pump Systems, raises the average weekly wage in Florida and speaks fluent, but not perfect English. As part of his responsibilities with Hoover Pump systems, he travels throughout the country servicing highly sophisticated motors and pumps.

Jean is quick to recognize and appreciate those who helped him attain his lofty goals. He never fails to take opportunities to praise those individuals who have contributed to his well being and success. He is presently teaching apprentices in the lab portions of their related classroom training. He never hesitates to recognize people like Director Linda Mundt and Counselor Odile Dumas for their strong support. Jean is always aware of opportunities to help apprentices to succeed.

Jean now has a lovely wife and two children; Jean is passing on to his children the importance of a strong work ethic, seeking out opportunities for education and job training and working hard toward goals. It seems to be working because his daughter, an elementary school student, following in her fatherís footsteps, is receiving academic awards.