Corey Smith and Edwin Rivera
2017 Building & Property Trades Technician Graduates
Service and Installation Technicians, Home Healthsmith
“Going to MTTI was life changing. Before MTTI, I dragged myself to work. Now I look forward to going to work. It’s a learning experience. I love learning and going to my job at Home Healthsmith.” -- Edwin Rivera
“The instructors at MTTI were a good team--they brought the ‘school side’ and the ‘real world side’ together. It was a big, life-changing decision to reduce my work hours to part-time so that I could attend school, but I really wanted to move forward in my life. I’m so happy that I did!” --Corey Smith
“The two candidates we hired have turned out to be true team players who have integrated seamlessly into our team.” — Linda Bohmbach, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Home Healthsmith
Before coming to MTTI, Corey worked at a little bit of everything, including retail and restaurant jobs.
“I was trying different things to make a living while figuring out what I could do as a career. I did some work for ModSpace – remodeling of trailers that are used at construction sites. My dad has always been in the trades, doing electrical, carpentry and plumbing—I’ve watched him on the job and have done some work with him.”
Edwin worked at a restaurant. “I started as a ‘dish boy’ and moved up to a cook. It was just a job to me.”
“I’m blessed that a friend who had enrolled in MTTI’s Automotive program told me about the school. In the past, I had done some construction with a cousin, so I was interested in learning the Building Trades. I’m a hands-on person. When I toured the school and shop, I thought it would be a great fit for me.”
Corey drove by MTTI almost every day, on his way home from work.
“I saw on the sign that MTTI was having an Open House. I talked with Susan in Admissions. It was a big, life-changing decision to reduce my work hours to part-time, but I really wanted to move forward in my life. I’m so happy that I did!”
Edwin was a little bit nervous when he started the program, but also excited.
“I wanted to go in to class and learn. I hoped it would be everything I thought it would be—and it was—especially as we started to work on the modules. Plumbing, electrical and carpentry were all really hands-on.”
Corey enjoyed the Building Trades program from the beginning.
I liked getting to know the shop, the OSHA-10 training, using hand tools and making the Trestle tables.
“The instructors were a great balance to one another—Pat has so much experience—he had his own company with guys who worked for him. Don is closer to our age and a graduate of the school—he encouraged us because he went out after graduating MTTI and was successful in the industry. The dynamic worked—Pat brought the classical time-honored approach and Don contributed a fresh view from working more recently in the field. They were a good team--they brought the ‘school side’ and the ‘real world side’ together. Gregg, who taught us OSHA-10, was a great help, too.”
Each area of the program was challenging. Corey found that he had to study more than he expected.
“The Instructors, Don and Pat, were always willing to give you extra help after class hours; they would show us things and answer more questions. By the time we went through each section, I felt like we all got it—everyone in the class had a good grasp of the theory and skills.”
Corey found everybody at MTTI was helpful.
It would be the same if I took a different program at MTTI—all of the Instructors take pride in what they know and can do—and want to pass it on to you.”
Edwin appreciated that Erin in Career Services was a great help.
“She really cares about her job. Every time a new position came in, she came to the classroom and helped us with applications and resumes. She invited employers to the class to meet us.
Corey added, “It’s great that the school reaches out. Erin still checks in with us—even after we have completed the program. I have friends who, after they graduated from college, didn’t have anyone to help them. You can still go the school after graduating and get help; it is part of MTTI’s core goals to continue helping. I imagine that one day after we’ve been out working for a while, Edwin and I will come back to the school to recruit other students.”
Corey interned with an electrician, who was good friends with Linda and Bill at Home Healthsmith.
“HHS calls Ray when they need work done by a Licensed Electrician. Ray told me that Linda and Bill are nice people; he said they were looking for help. I contacted HHS—and coincidentally, our Career Services Representative, Erin, also knew about them and had information about the open positions.”
Corey and Edwin agreed, “Reading the job description, we each thought, “I can do this—I learned these things at school.”
Home Healthsmith was looking for people whose skills included basic finish and framing, carpentry, dry wall, high and low voltage, control circuit knowledge, ability to install electrical conduit and wiring. They wanted workers who could read technical drawings (blueprints) and manufacturer’s specs, plus have a broad knowledge of different types of tools and how to use them. Corey explained, “Electrical conduit was not part of the Building Trades’ curriculum, but Pat showed those of us who were interested some basics about electrical conduit. I also assisted in installing conduit during my internship with the electrician.”
Home Healthsmith wanted workers who would help keep the shop organized and clean, and make sure all tools were put back daily. Corey explained, “Pat and Don had us do this every day during the program. Same as at school, we would be expected to work as a part of a team. HHS wanted people capable of working safely—MTTI is very big on safety; Pat and Don drilled that into us!"
When Corey interviewed at Home Healthsmith, he got a really good feeling.
“It was my first interview in which I met with more than one person at a time—I spoke with Linda, Bill and Scott (who is now our Supervisor). They were open and honest about their business and the position.”
“I could have gone on to work in electrical, but I wanted to get my feet wet in everything
My goals is to be well-rounded and knowledgeable in all aspects of the building trades. Working now for Home Healthsmith, I see that everything ties together.”
Edwin also felt good about his interview at HHS.
“I recognized that working on elevators and stair lifts would be a new and different experience. I like learning new things.”
Once on the job, Corey found that Home Healthsmith is big on training.
“It’s like an extension of MTTI. Pat told us to keep learning.” Edwin added, “We’re continuing to learn on the job. We keep moving forward.”
Corey explained, “Everything is specific to elevator installation.” “We see it from start to finish…from looking like a giant closet to an actual working elevator. Every elevator has a control panel that has to be wired. The wiring goes from the motor all the way to the control panel, which then gets wired into the disconnect. Also, safety mechanisms are directly wired from the control panel to door lock or switch. Before we install the elevator, we go in and pre-wire inside the walls, so that the rest of the construction crew can move on with the job.”
Corey and Edwin appreciate that, “We are all part of a team—different businesses working together to achieve the same goal.”
“The job involves a lot of communication with other trades people on the work site. If we have concerns about wiring, we have to bring them to the Electrician; we bring concerns with the hoistway to the Construction Site Supervisor.”
Corey feels that, unlike being employed by a larger corporation, he is a person the company needs.
“They need me just as much as I need them. We’re working with the company owners and employees to grow the business. I wake up every day excited to go to work. I enjoy that you don’t know what will happen—each day is something new that I’ve never seen or worked with before. The company is always trying out new products to get something accomplished or to fix something—it’s never monotonous. Even Monday morning meetings are great; they are about good communication: co-workers to boss or to other workers. It's about being part of a team. There’s a sense of pride knowing that other people count on you.”
In addition to elevator installations, Corey and Edwin outfit homes for seniors and people living with disabilities.
Corey explained, “We have helped put up aluminum ramps and stair lifts and grab bars that help people live safely and with dignity in their homes. When you see the look on the face of someone who has been struggling, it makes you feel good—gives you a sense of pride.” Edwin added “The look on someone’s face who you have helped is something you remember forever.”
Summing up his experience, Edwin offered, “Going to MTTI was life changing.”
“Before MTTI, I dragged myself to work; it felt stressful. Now I look forward every day to going to work. It’s a learning experience. I love learning and going to my job at Home Healthsmith. “
Home Healthsmith LLC
Our mission is to help you stay in your home longer. We provide mobility and safety along with the assurance of maintaining your dignity, despite your physical limitations.
Contact: Linda Bohmbach, ECHMP Co-Founder & Vice President Sales & Marketing Mail: PO Box 719, Portsmouth, RI 02871
Location: 207 High Point Ave, Unit #2, Portsmouth, R.I., 02871
TOLL FREE 1.855.HHSMITH (447-6484)
Photo: Corey & Edwin in front of almost completed elevator in another part of the building.