An apprenticeship 40 years in the making

Posted by on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 @ 11:04 AM

This article appeared in the Spring Insulators Journal


 Anthony Randolph, a U.S. Army veteran, received the title he has waited nearly four decades to achieve: an apprentice with HFIAW Local 24.

Born and raised in Washington D.C., Randolph joined the Army in 1972 and served in the 37th Air Defense Artillery Unit. While stationed at the U.S. Army Garrison in Schweinfurt, Germany, he was able to complete his high school education requirements and receive the diploma he desired after leaving Fairmount Heights High School in the pursuit of becoming an auto mechanic.

Upon returning home in 1975, Randolph enrolled at Strayer College, but he desperately wanted to become an apprentice and start a career in the trades.

I really wanted to get into an apprenticeship," he said, 11but being a young, black man in the early '70s, it was hard to get past that and get in."

Instead, Randolph went to work at the Defense Printing Service of the U.S. Department of Defense. It would take nearly 40 years - including the births of two children and seven grandchildren - until he would finally set out on the career he always saw for himself.

 In October 2014, with a little luck and, perhaps, some divine intervention, Randolph learned about the Helmets to Hardhats program and immediately signed up. He was quickly referred to Local 24 and began his apprenticeship with Advanced Specialty Contractors on Nov. 12, 2014.

It took a while, but I finally got the opportunity," said Randolph, who celebrated his 60th birthday last year. 11I consider it a blessing. I am happy to be able to have a career and eager to get the classroom training started now that I am working in the field."

Since 2003, Helmets to Hardhats has helped veterans make the difficult transition from the military to the civilian workforce. The organization is 11dedicated to helping National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active- duty military members connect to quality career and training opportunities in one of America's most challenging and rewarding industries - the construction industry."

You can learn more about this great organization at

The HFIAW would like to wish Anthony Randolph well in his apprenticeship and the career he has worked so hard to achieve. Thank you for proving that it is never too late to follow your ambitions.

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Pictured left to right are Edwin Recinos, Lino Cressotti, Anthony Randolph, Brian Cavey and Mike Moneymaker.

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