Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Inspiring Success Story: David Peckham

"Honestly, I don't know where I would be right now without Kam (Todd). He really guided me." ~ David Peckham, Machine Trades graduate

David Peckham started his job at Macro Manufacturing in Portland the week after he finished his Associate in Applied Science degree in Machine Trades at LCC.

David Peckham checks out new Computerized
Numerical Control (CNC) equipment at LCC.
LCC Machine Trades instructor Kam Todd says he's in good company.

"There are jobs out there, but only for people with skills...All of my Spring and Summer graduates are working, if they want to be."

Employers looking for good workers often contact Todd, who freely refers his graduates

"My Manufacturing Occupations Certificate and Process. Manufacturing students are getting jobs too."

Actually, Peckham started out in the Manufacturing Occupations Certificate (MOC) program as part of a wave of MOC students who received American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funding to pay for their first year at LCC. The ARRA assistance "was a great help to me," Peckham said.

He'd been laid off from his forklift-driving job, and came up dry in his job search. "There was absolutely nothing out there for work. I had a couple friends who were going to college and they really recommended it."

David and  his youngest daughter
Heather visit the LCC Machine Shop.
He came to LCC to get his GED, thinking he needed that before he could go to college, and was steered into the I-BEST Manufacturing Occupations program. I-BEST helps students succeed by providing extra help with the reading and math aspects of their training. It's also available for Business Technology, Early Childhood Education, Health Occupations Core and Nursing Assistant certificates.

The MOC program includes some Machine Trades training, and he really enjoyed it. "I like to watch things take shape."

So, after earning his one-year certificate in Manufacturing Occupations, he continued on to get his Machine Trades 2-year degree.

Because he completed an Associate in Applied Science degree, Peckham also received his High School Diploma, which especially delighted him. As graduation approached, he researched employers online, found Macro and sent his résumé. "My interview was my last day of class." He started work the following Wednesday.

He says Todd and his LCC education did more than get him a good job so he can support his family (he and his wife have four children).

"Kam Todd changed my life," says Peckham, who graduated with honors and was named the Machine Trades Student of the Year.

"Honestly, I don't know where I would be right now without Kam. He really guided me. He not only taught me the skills, but he transformed my attitude. He'll be one of the guys I'll always remember; always come back to check in with."

Instructor Kam Todd and David Peckham enjoy a visit.

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