High Hopes: Iraqi immigrant dreams of job at Boeing
Michael O'Leary/The Herald
Hussain Sabah, 18, splits his time between Mariner High School and the Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center where he is learning precision machining skills. The high school senior and Iraqi immigrant also works for an airplane parts supply company and hopes to work at the Boeing Co.
Michael O'Leary / The Herald
Hussain Sabah, 18, splits his time between Mariner High School and the Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center, where he is learning precision machining skills. The high school senior and Iraqi immigrant also works for an airplane parts supply company and hopes to work at the Boeing Co.
Hussain Sabah, 18City: Everett
Program: Precision machining at Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center
Q: How did you come to enroll in this program?
A: Actually, Sno-Isle came to my school (Mariner High) and they showed a video. I liked it. I interviewed and I got in.
Q: Are you particularly interested in aerospace, or are you simply looking for steady work?
A: My dream is to work at Boeing. I think about Boeing because of the money and it's a real good place to work, especially getting to work in aerospace. It has a real good future.
Q: Why this and not something else?
A: With precision machining, you can work in a lot of places. With precision machining, you can work on cars, work at Boeing and other jobs. That's why I like it. I see people going to college who don't get work when they graduate, and college is super expensive. With a job as a technician, I think I can get work. From there, I try to go up.
Q: What skill in particular are you hoping to acquire?
A: Just good technical skills and certification. I'm learning you also have to have a math focus and just avoid kidding around at work or you might do something wrong.
Q: What would be your ideal first job after this education/training?
A: I would love to work for Boeing. Any place that gives me good money, I will go for it.
Q: What would you like to be doing in five or 10 years?
A: I would like to be at Boeing. I want to go to higher levels of precision machining. If I work for a long time, maybe I can be a supervisor. (Sno-Isle teacher) Tom (Clemans) said I should always try to learn from other machinists. Older machinists have a lot of experience and can teach you a lot. They have a lot of information you have to know.
Q: Do you follow Boeing in the news? How do you feel about the company's prospects?
A: I work at New Breed (Logistics), a company that supplies for Boeing. I work at picking, filling an order. Boeing sends orders to us. I look at (aerospace) magazines there and that's how I follow the news. I think Boeing will be around a long time. I moved here from Iraq. The life I lived before made me think a lot about the future. That's why I wanted the job I have and why I am taking precision machining.
Q: Would you be willing to relocate to get the right job in your field, or would you prefer to stay in the Puget Sound region?
A: Wherever Boeing is, I will go. Middle East, anywhere, I will go. I will go anywhere they send me, wherever there is good money.
Q: When did you first travel by air, and where did you go?
A: I went to Syria before I came to the United States. I spent three years in Syria. Coming here, it is like going from hell to paradise. I now have a future. In my country, I don't know. When I got here, everyone smiles to me. I was surprised.
Q: What will air transportation be like in 50 years?
A: This time, I don't know the answer. I don't know what will happen. Maybe in 50 years, I will be like Tom, teaching precision machining. I was so excited to come to Sno-Isle. They spent a lot of money on the precision machining program.
High school students from Snohomish and Island counties can take courses in precision machining, welding or robotics and electronics technology at Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center. Students spend half a day at Sno-Isle and half a day at their local high school. In many of the programs, students also can receive college credit for the high school courses.
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