GSH Academy Update: An Interview with Armando Peraza

GSH Group
July 26, 2019
4 minutes

Armando Peraza

The GSH Academy will be entering its 3rd year with classes beginning in August 2019.  Overall, the Academy has been a tremendous success allowing our students to gain advanced skills and industry knowledge.  Also, our students are building a network of instructors, fellow students, and coworkers that will be able to support them for their career.  We have already seen our students take on higher-level work, and we anticipate that their growth and the expansion of the program will help to solve the industry problem of the aging workforce.

Joe Annino, Regional Engineering Manager, had the opportunity to sit down with our Academy student, Armando Peraza, in his engineering office at 4000 Shoreline to talk about time with GSH and our Academy.

JOE ANNINO:  Hello, this is Joe Annino, and I am here with Armando Peraza, our GSH Academy student currently going into his 2ndyear. So, Armando, tell me a little about yourself.

ARMANDO PERAZA: My name is Armando. I live out here in San Francisco.  I’ve been going to the Academy in Oakland for about a year now. I’m about 40 years old, really motivated, happy with this company you guys have, and really appreciative, and glad you guys came along and invested in me.

JOE ANNINO: We’re happy to have you. You’ve been great, and we’re really happy to see how far you’ve come along in our academy and just in work in general. Being that you are one of the newer people to the academy, and now that you’ve been in it for a year, let’s go back a half-step. Why did you want to join the academy?  What is it about the academy that intrigued you?

ARMANDO PERAZA: Well, I’ve always liked to tinker with machinery, and you know find out how things work, and uh, I’ve just always enjoyed figuring out how to fix things.  When you guys came along you told me about an academy that actually is I guess geared toward helping me to hone my skills and to show me how to do electricity, HVAC, mechanical, all the stuff that I was interested in, and at the same time, you guys are real friendly hands-on with all of your employees so it made me feel more safe and more comfortable working with you guys and so that actually helped a lot with my decision to come to the academy. Then all the stuff you guys offering to help pay for it, it’s just a win-win either way.

JOE ANNINO:  What would you say has been your most-liked piece? Or what has been your favorite thing about the classwork and just the academy structure in general?

ARMANDO PERAZA: Um, I guess it’s the people I work with, some of the other classmates from GSH as well as the teachers are easy going, and they are really hands-on with their students if you ask questions. They help you, and it all falls into play with what you do at work. It all just kind of clicks. And it helps at work as well because when you’re at work something you’ve done in class actually is something that applies to you at work, so the school and the academy are actually geared toward what your job is.

JOE ANNINO:  So, so, it sounds like you’ve been putting some of those things you’ve learned in school to use out here in the field.

ARMANDO PERAZA:  Yes, and it’s helped a lot.

JOE ANNINO:  So, what would you say are your goals just as an individual because obviously you’ve got a few more years left in the academy.  And just as far as a career goes? Where do you see yourself?

ARMANDO PERAZA: Maybe one day becoming a chief or maybe even higher than that it it’s possible. I just want to be able to learn as much as I can from you and as well as other engineers that I meet. Then someday being able to teach others you know the stuff I’ve learned. Maybe giving others the same opportunity, and the same chance that you guys gave me.  And then just making sure my family is taken care of, friends as well, and stay in contact with you as well Joe, and all of the other engineers I’ve met because it’s a close family of engineers.  We all stick together.

JOE ANNINO:   I couldn’t agree with you more. Armando, thank you for taking a few moments out of your day and more good things to come.

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