Success Story: Nicole Muller

Nicole Muller was born in Colorado Springs, CO. to a family of 7 brothers and 3 sisters.  Nicole came from a dysfunctional family and was placed into foster care from the age of 18 months to 18 years old. She graduated from Prospects High School in Antioch, CA at the age of 17.

Nicole discovered early on that she was a hands-on learner.  She pursued a career in the medical field but did not find interest.  Nicole came across California Human Development (CHD) because one day she saw an electric company sign off the freeway and did a Google search on how to become an electrician.  A site for Tradeswomen, Inc. came up and she clicked on the website and read the information about the organization.  Nicole called the number listed and was able to set up a zoom meeting to gather more information.  Nicole was able to meet with Salena Durrell, a coordinator for Tradeswomen, Inc., and the San Joaquin County Building Trades Council’s SB1 Apprenticeship Readiness Program. California Human Development is the trainer for the SB1 Apprenticeship Readiness Program (ARP) in San Joaquin County.

Salena let her know about the Apprenticeship Readiness Program taking place at CHD starting June 1, 2021.  Nicole joined the program as the only female and thrived despite all the setbacks: dead battery all the time, car not registered, moved three times in eight weeks with her two daughters during the program, changed childcare twice – all while living on cash aid and making it to class every day.  She graduated on July 30, 2021.

One of the building trades, Sheet Metal Workers Union talked to the ARP class.  Nicole was very interested in the union.  What sealed the deal for Nicole was when members of the class went to the Sheet Metal Workers Training Center at Mather, CA for a tour.  Nicole was ready to sign up for the union then and there.  She met the Director of the training center and gave him her resume, certifications, and recommendation letter from her construction instructor, Eric Cosgrove.

She had to pass the ASVAB test for the union.  The first time she took it, she did not pass.  She persevered, took the test again, passed the second time, enrolled in training, completed training, and was hired as an apprentice Sheet Metal Worker for ACCO Engineered Systems out of Sacramento. Today she is working at the VA Hospital in Stockton. Next, she will be going to work on the new courthouse in Sacramento.

Way to go Nicole!

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