Ishmael Colon, class of 2017, completed his high school work experience as a senior, and immediately became a full-time employee for Visa Lighting after graduation in June.
“I took advantage of the Tech trades for four years and now I’m here,” Ishmael said while working at his assembly station. “I work on different fixtures every day,” he said, and has been assigned to the welding department starting in September.
“I’ve expanded my blueprint reading here. Everything is done to the blueprints. Everything must be perfect. No slip-ups,” Ishmael said, who’s initials are now on the architectural light fixtures that he and his team members make at the Visa factory near Silver Spring Drive.
“Every part is looked over from a highly valued eye,” he said.
Tony Yarn, Visa’s production manager, said Ishmael’s work habits are most impressive. “He wants to keep going. His drive is impressive. A trade is good to have and when you work in a family environment you can really go places.”
Teri Sheppard, Visa’s director of operations, reported that Ishmael’s performance from the very beginning was beyond expectations for a new employee. “He is such a model person,” Teri said. “It’s almost like he has been working for us longer than his age shows. He is here to work and we have never had to remind him of that.”
Supporting the connection with Bradley Tech is Visa’s Human Relations Manager, Mike Kartz, a 1980 graduate of Milwaukee Tech and active member of the Tech Alumni Association which regularly meets at the school library. “First and foremost, we all must make Tech great again.” Mike said. “I’m excited to see all the positive stuff. “
Milwaukee area employers, Mike said, have always known that Tech graduates can start a job with the essential workplace skills they are looking for. Ishmael arrived with experience in welding, drafting, applied math, measurement skills, and working safely with hand and power tools.
Teri particularly appreciates seeing Ishmael working with the experienced Visa employees. “You have some tenured employees, over 60 years old, and they are encouraging the younger group.”
Ishmael also appreciates working with the experienced mentors. “You pick up the traits from others who have been around.”
Visa Lighting supports Bradley Tech in many ways. Staff volunteer at career fairs, and the company has donated slightly used equipment like a powder paint oven to our Maker’s Space.
Learn more about Youth Apprenticeships at the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development website or contact Mr. Sommer at Bradley Tech (414) 212-2491 or email@example.com