The journey, which landed me where I am today, began about two and a half years ago when I joined a program in San Francisco called CityBuild Academy. After coming across a brochure about CityBuild in 2011, while I was out of work due to a poor economy, I decided to join. At the time, I was attending City College of San Francisco and studying construction management.

Though I was somewhat skeptical during my first week of the 18-week program, I was convinced it would lead to good things for me by the time I entered my third week there. I realized how much I could benefit by committing myself to what they had to offer.  While in the program, I received several certifications, was introduced to welding, picked up some mechanical skills, brushed up on my math, earned 18 college credits, and practiced successful interviewing and public speaking skills. Through CityBuild Academy, I was also introduced to Southland Industries.

My first encounter with Southland occurred when a team of employees from the company came to CityBuild to work with program participants on a copper and sheet metal project.  At that point, I knew a company with the focus and culture that Southland showcased was where I wanted to be. Working to show my interest, I was persistent in maintaining contact with one of Southland’s superintendents during my process of getting into the union.  By cultivating that relationship and showing what I had to offer, my path led me to my current position with Southland.

As a second year apprentice of local 467, I have worked for Southland Industries for two years.  CityBuild Academy taught me that hard work and perseverance allows one to accomplish any goal in sight, and I am grateful for having had that experience. Today, I continue my journey by pushing forward to advance closer to my next goals and frequently returning to CityBuild to teach current participants some of the lessons I learned there.



  • Ian Zimmermann

    Second-Year Apprentice

    As a second year plumbing and pipefitting apprentice, Ian Zimmermann has worked on several of for Southland’s key project on the Northern California region. From fabricating in the shop to installations in the field, Ian has played an integral part on many project teams. As a graduate of CityBuild Academy, Ian is also frequently asked to return to the program and speak to future graduates.

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