Karina Lebron – Prince George’s County Public Schools’ (PGCPS) Career and Technology Education (CTE) Registered Apprenticeship – Success Story - Workforce Development and Adult Learning
Karina Lebron is a proud 2020 graduate of Crossland High School’s Registered Apprenticeship program for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC). To succeed in this challenging program, Karina completed related instruction (RI) in her junior and senior years and earned on-the-job learning (OJL) hours working for the Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) Building Services Department.
This “school-to-work” apprenticeship experience has prepared Karina to move into full-time employment with PGCPS, where she will continue to earn OJL hours while also completing additional RI at Prince George’s Community College. When Karina has completed the RI and earned the OJL hours required for the HVAC Registered Apprenticeship, she will be able to sit for her journeyman’s license.
Asked why she entered the program, Karina replied, “I entered the apprenticeship program because it was a good opportunity to find what I want to be and do. From the first day of class, my dream has been to own my own company.”
Karina’s mother tried to steer her towards nursing or cosmetology, but Karina was adamant about wanting to enter a construction trade. “From day one, she worked circles around the other students,” said her high school HVAC instructor, Kenneth Stewart, “She’s a leader.”
Those skills and motivation were quickly noticed on the job. Karina spends several hours a week working with Jason Walker, Energy Management Building Automation Technician, learning building automation. “This is a part of the field that is in high demand, and there aren’t many places that teach it that offer credentials. Karina comes to work every day with a positive, ready-to learn-attitude. She’s a very hard worker.”
When asked what she would share with young people, particularly young women, considering apprenticeship as an option, Karina replied, “With self-discipline and motivation, you can do anything that you want. It may be hard, but you can do it. I love this program and HVAC. It’s allowing me to build and control my future.”