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Spotlight: High School Intern Victor Montoya

Victor working on the docksBy Kulana Hall

Welding, woodworking, electricity, and plumbing are just some of the skilled trades internships offered by the Port of Seattle. Victor’s internship this summer in Marine Maintenance focused on plumbing. He heard about the opportunity while at the Puget Sound Skilled Center (PSSC), just hours before the deadline. He had been looking for a summer job and jumped at the chance to be a part of the Port’s internship program. He completed his application and turned it in with no time to spare.

No day is the same when it comes to being a skilled trades intern at the Port. On the days when Victor finds himself at Pier 66, he may be in the boiler room replacing the old copper pipes with new ones or he is in the kitchen cleaning out the foul-smelling grease traps to prevent grease fire hazards. There are days when he’s at Terminal 91, where the cruise ships dock, changing out the pumps at lift station 7.

If there is ever any last minute plumbing emergencies at one of Victor and his mentor at work.the Port’s locations, Victor and his mentor, Augie Montoya, no relation, are the ones to answer the call. One time while at Terminal 91, Victor was working with his mentor to test the backflow system that ensures that the fresh water that is transferred and used on the cruise ships is clean. “We’re keeping the drinking water on the ships safe,” says Victor.

Victor takes online high school through Internet Academy and also attends classes at PSSC. He is a rising senior and his post-high school plan is to join Local 32, which is a labor organization focused on piping, plumbing, and HVAC. If he’s not able to get a job there, he plans to do an apprenticeship with them so that he can still be learning and exercising the same skill set. In fact, Victor was able to continue exercising these skills this summer by getting a two-week extension for his internship. This internship has given Victor valuable experience and helped him build a career path for his future. “I was feeling really down before I got this job and now I feel like I’m maturing and becoming an adult. I’m doing my part.”

Published Date
Aug 28, 2019
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