This job has saved my life

Ron Pellitier receiving his SAMI graduation certificate.

We recently received this letter from one of our former students. We are so proud of everything he is accomplishing!

Good Afternoon Fred,

This time of year I like to time to acknowledge the things that have positively impacted my life and that I’m thankful for.  Today, the SAMI program drew the short straw, so here goes.

A mere email can’t really express how thankful I am for the blessings that have come to me as a direct result of the SAMI program.  My job at Brown is challenging, fun, and satisfying all at the same time.  My employment here has brought stability to my family life, security for my kids health and future and endowed me with so many benefits that I actually feel guilty talking about them with people.

When I started the SAMI program, I was a collection of valuable skills with no direction.  I actually wanted to get into the welding program because I thought that I would enjoy it more, given that that wasn’t an option at the time, I accepted my placement in the machining program.  I immediately clicked with my classmates, I loved working together to help each other.  I soon realized that my experience enabled me to help the other students and through that, my confidence grew.

It was the structure and varied experiences of the program that enabled me to get my job.   My math skills were already great but the math section brought it all back to the surface.  Cindra familiarized me with Solidworks and CAM and strengthened my skills in blueprint reading.  It’s so important that you at least familiarize people with CAD because the depth of knowledge gained from it just broadens their toolbox and makes them more valuable.  Even though I am a manual machinist, I learned invaluable lessons from Mike and am working towards convincing my boss to bring a CNC component into our shop.  Lastly, it was the familiarity with the Acu-Rite mills that really got me my job.  I work on my mill every day and the fact that it was a component of the program gave me the confidence in my interview to say that I could handle what was asked of me.

When Todd first approached me with the opportunity, I was sure that I wasn’t the right candidate for it.  It had been years since I interviewed for a job and the pressure was on because it was almost too good to be true, Todd’s unwavering belief in me bolstered my sagging confidence.  My interview went well in spite of the fact that I was so stressed I was sweating through my shirt, then I was offered the job as a temp.  For eleven agonizing months I hung in there, leaning on my training and thanking God for Charlies’ patience with my mistakes.  Now, here I am, a year and a half later and I start teaching ENG-026 Intro Machining in the spring.

Fred, this job has truly changed my life.  I was so scared to take the plunge and completely change careers at forty and with a family.  It was the skills that the program provided but most importantly the support of everyone there, and especially Todd, that made the transition as fluid as possible.  I am aware that I may be an extreme case, but I believe in the program and the people running it.  Like anything in life, you get out of SAMI what you put into it, but the program has enough breadth of topic to allow many different people to connect with SOMETHING and is just long enough to prepare people to work with employers who have been given realistic expectations.  Don’t hesitate to contact me or forward my name to anyone looking for information about SAMI, it’s the least that I can do in return for what you have all given me.

Thank you, and I hope things are going well.

With Sincere Gratitude,

Jamie Carroll


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