Military Service Helped Student to a Bright Future

Ryan Chapman’s path to college graduation included many starts and stops. Life experience and military service gave Ryan the time he needed to uncover his passion and learn skills to better inform what his future.

Ryan Chapman ended high school and started college with the intent of eventually taking over his dad’s business. Eventually, Ryan decided to take a break from college and started working full-time. After a few years of working, he decided to attend college again. By the age of 26, Ryan still wasn’t sure what his career path was, but he knew that he always wanted to be part of the United States military. “I always wanted to be a part of the United States military.” Ryan reflected. He followed that desire, put college on hold, and enlisted. Ryan made the commitment to join the United States Marine Corps, where he proudly served for nearly nine years. While in the Marines, Ryan learned very technical and specialized skills, but these skills were needed in jobs found primarily on the east and west coasts.

Now in his mid-30’s and the father of two young children, Ryan wanted to return to family in Minnesota. He knew that he wanted to add to his technical skills to have a better chance becoming employed in Minnesota. Ryan considered training in the electrical union, but RCTC’s Veterans advisor, Glen Saponari, encouraged him to look at the Facility and Services Technician (FAST) program after connecting with him. FAST appeared to be a great fit because of its focus on electrical, HVAC, refrigeration, plumbing, and welding. Ryan has really enjoyed the variety of skills he has learned in the FAST program. Although he initially wanted to work in the electrical field, Ryan has discovered that the HVAC industry is a better fit for his interests and skills. Ryan is currently working part-time at Tonna Mechanical in Rochester and has been offered a full-time position after graduating from RCTC in December.

Your life path is full of twists, turns, and obstacles to overcome. You may start out working toward a goal, then as you age and mature your goal may shift. That’s ok. That’s life. When you’re ready RCTC can help you on your path to a bright future.