Mason Brouillette is like many 19 year old young men trying to determine their future career. He knew he wanted to learn a hands-on occupation but was uncertain which career to pursue. Then his mother, Jane, told him about a program she heard about where he could learn the advanced manufacturing skills needed to be a machinist. There was a history of machinists in their family because Mason’s Uncle Steven was working towards his apprenticeship 27 years ago. Unfortunately, Mason’s uncle never completed his apprenticeship because he was killed in a car accident in 1985. Mason decided to follow in his dear Uncle Steven’s footsteps.
Mason attended the advanced manufacturing orientation at NEIT’s Shipbuilding/Advanced Manufacturing Institute, SAMI. He was accepted into the program and began classes in July with lead instructor, Todd Sposato. Mason was a quick learner, and after several weeks of hands-on classes in the SAMI lab, Mason was ready to continue his training with a local manufacturing company, Colonial Tool, in Coventry, RI. Soon after his training began, the company offered Mason a permanent position. Mason along with his instructors and family were thrilled.
Machinists use their own set of tools on the job so Mason asked his grandmother if he could use his Uncle Steven’s tools. She gladly turned the toolbox over to Mason which had been stored in her basement for the past 27 years. Mason brought the toolbox to class and asked Mr. Sposato to help him restore the toolbox and re-calibrate the tools. Looking through the toolbox, they found his uncle’s apprenticeship log book. When Mr. Sposato read the log, he realized that he knew Steven back in the 1980’s when they were both completing their apprenticeships. As Sposato stated, “Mason and I felt an instant connection.” He told Mason that he bought supplies at a company in Pawcatuck, Connecticut, where his uncle worked and the two of them would chat. Then one day when Mr. Sposato returned to the supply company, Steven was no longer working there. He never knew what happened to him, until now.
When Mason told his grandmother that Mr. Sposato knew his uncle, she immediately called Jane who stated, “That night when I received a call from my mother, and she told me Mr. Sposato read Steven’s apprenticeship log book and realized that he knew him. The sound in my mother‘s voice was amazing. She sounded alive again.” Mason’s mother later sent the following message to Mr. Sposato, “This is not a coincidence! This was meant to be! The SAMI program is not only a wonderful opportunity for Mason, but it has meant much more to us as a family. I can’t thank you enough for what you did for Mason. The entire SAMI process has been such a positive family changing experience.”