My name is Diana Diaz a wife and mother of two children. I have been a part-time meter reader for the past four years. Last year, I had to put our home up for short sale to avoid foreclosure due to the economy. I was working about 30 hours a week but now I’m only working 20 hours a week. The 10 hours has made a big difference in my paycheck. I was seeking any opportunities to enhance my skills needed to advance my career with the Gas Company. This is when I met Yvonne Elizondo from ACCORD, a sub-contractor with the Local 132.

Yvonne explained the training opportunities provided with Los Angeles Trade Tech and I decided to take the Plumbing Class. I began my class on 09/14/10. Even though I had many personal challenges, I still hung in there and attended class every day. My instructor, Willie Galvin, took the time to research what skills were needed to advance within the Gas Company and applied them to his teaching curriculum. This has made all the difference in the world.

Today I have learned safety and hazardous material handling, customer service skills, tools and materials associated with gas systems, sizing and assembling gas systems, carbon monoxide efficiency and combustible gas leaks locating, calculating BTU input, and installation of furnaces, water heaters and other gas appliances. Because of these courses, I feel competent to take the next step…apply for a full-time position with the gas company. But my training does not stop there. I will be continuing my training in the “Small Appliance Repair” next semester.

I have learned so much in these classes and I tell my fellow colleagues to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by ACCORD. I am a proud member of the Local 132 and now I have been more actively involved with the Union. Thank you for given me this opportunity!