Student Spotlight – Alex Casari
Alex enrolled at Brunswick Community College (BCC) after working for several years in the food service industry. As a banquet chef with a business degree, low wages and long hours began to take a toll on Alex’s quality of life. According to Alex, it was not unusual to work ten hours without lunch or a scheduled break. His search for higher wages and more reasonable hours led him to consider the work that his grandfather performed in Hickory, NC. As a builder, Alex’s grandfather earned a great income, led a team of skilled professionals, and built quality homes that improved neighborhoods. His reputation and legacy inspired Alex to consider skilled trades.
During the registration process, Alex discovered that he qualified for the Pathways To Purpose scholarship through BCC and the Cape Fear Workforce Development Board. This scholarship provided funding for registration costs, insurance, supplies, and career counseling. Alex saw this as his opportunity to gain new skills and a new direction in life. Alex started his journey at BCC by enrolling in the electrical technician program. The program immediately introduced Alex to safety and hands-on learning.
By the time Alex completed residential fundamentals, local electrical companies had begun contacting Brunswick Community College to recruit electrical technician students. Since accepting a position at AB Blake Electrical Contractors, Alex has received two pay increases and now has been provided a company vehicle. In addition, Alex has continued to earn industry recognized credentials. His experience at BCC’s GreenLee® Lab has led to six different credentials that include Basic Conduit Bending, Advanced Bending, Wire Pathways, Phase Sequencing, Wire Pulling Knockouts, and OSHA.
In terms of next steps, Alex plans to strengthen his skilled craftsmanship by using what he has learned in the private sector. Considering his long range plan, Alex indicated that leadership and supervision are a separate set of skills that may be needed. Alex’s instructional team reaffirmed that BCC is like an extended family and they hope that Alex considers returning if he ever needs project management certification, leadership training, or licensure preparation.