Student equipped for career after tool box win, experience at MCC-Business & Technology

Joseph Perez won the drawing for a Grainger tool box. Perez was shocked to learn he'd won the tool box when notified by adviser Liz Prindle, left. Perez is receiving an Industrial Electrical certificate on May 12.
Joseph Perez won the drawing for a Grainger tool box. Perez was shocked to learn he’d won the tool box when notified by adviser Liz Prindle, left. Perez is receiving an Industrial Electrical certificate on May 12.

The odds of winning a prize in a drawing aren’t good. Joseph Perez figured he had about as much chance of winning a drawing for a Grainger tool box as he did winning the lottery.

Imagine his surprise when he received a call from Liz Prindle, an adviser at Metropolitan Community College-Business & Technology, and discovered that he had, in fact, won the 41-inch, 11-drawer tool chest.

“I couldn’t believe it. I never win anything,” said Perez, who will receive an Industrial Electrical certificate May 12 during commencement. “Liz called me and said, ‘I’ve got good news for you.’ I was surprised, but really psyched.”

Each semester, MCC-Business & Technology holds a drawing for a Grainger tool box for graduating students. For the spring semester, students who met the requirements had to apply for graduation by April 1 to be entered in the drawing.

The drawing came at a perfect time for Perez, who works at ACH Foam Technologies in Kansas City, Kansas. The Kansas City resident started at ACH last year and needs the tool box for work.

“When I started there, I already had some tools, but I had to buy more,” Perez said. “I have a tool box, but it’s nothing like this one. This is perfect for work. I’m going to put it to good use.”

Perez, 33, came to MCC-Business & Technology three years ago hoping to kick-start his career. Throughout his time as a student, he worked full-time during the day and attended classes at night, hoping to build a better life for his family, including daughter Micaela, 5.

“It was hard at times. You really have to learn to manage your time and be disciplined,” he said. “There are times when my daughter will say, ‘Can we go do this?’ and I have to say, ‘I’ve got to get my homework done first.’ A lot of times, it’s 40 hours of work, plus overtime, then finding time to study.”

Perez plans to continue working in electrical maintenance and stacking credentials. His goal is to earn a certificate in Industrial Automation/Mechatronics at MCC-Business & Technology and continue to progress in the industry.

“A lot of the guys I work with are older gentlemen, and almost all of them recommended that I go to school here,” he said. “I have really enjoyed being here. I like the hands-on work as a student. I love what I’m doing, and I think it’s improving my family’s life. That’s important to me.”

GOLD COLLAR JOBS

The Industrial Technology program at MCC-Business & Technology has several pathways into Gold Collar Jobs, defined as having a median wage of $30,000 to $80,000 per year, high local demand and an associate’s degree or less.

You can learn more about Gold Collar Jobs during our exploration nights at the Business & Technology campus. We are hosting Gold Collar Night from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on July 7, Sept. 15 and Dec. 8 in 2016.

Join us on any of those nights for a presentation on our programs, to meet instructors and to tour our state-of-the-art facilities. You’ll also have the opportunity to apply and learn more about financial aid.

Register for Gold Collar Exploration Night.