Alejandro Francis currently works at a heating company on the Upper East Side, and is immersed in year four of a five-year apprenticeship with Local 638, learning how to design, build, install, maintain and repair steam and water piping, fire sprinklers and heating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in commercial, residential and industrial buildings in New York City and Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

Thanks to New York’s Helmets to Hardhats, established in 2003, Francis already had interviews scheduled with the president of the local union prior to completing his military service.

Anne Trenkle, executive director of the program, which provides direct entry into apprenticeships, says it fast-tracks veterans pursuing this highly sought-after field. Otherwise, the wait can take several years to penetrate it.

From Veterans revamp the tri-state area one project at a timeNew York Post: March 6, 2016