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Apprenticeshop Alumni Update - Michael Norgang
Bregnano, Italy - 9/25/2008
Apprenticeshop Alumni Update - Michael Norgang <br /> Bregnano, Italy
My name is Michael Norgang. I am currently living and working in Bregnano, Italy. I came to the Apprenticeshop in the winter of 2005, basically because I was running out of options. After attending one of the best private high schools money can buy I found myself in a college in Maine with a low GPA and lacking excitement for any major. I felt lost and subsequently focused on finding jobs that were fun. In the end, with my parents’ opinions weighing heavily on me, I realized that white water rafting, snowboard lift operations and crewing on schooners were not really solid career moves for me. Finally, facing an ultimatum from my father to find a career or join the Navy, I listened to his suggestion to just take a look at the Apprenticeshop since it was so close to where we lived. He had done a small-boats course there years ago and said that it was a really neat place. I volunteered for the two-week period and was stunned with what I found. Here was a place so different from the ivy-covered prep schools I had attended (where I was told when to eat, sleep and study), that I could not help becoming engaged.

I can honestly say that in my two years at the Apprenticeshop I found something within myself that just kind of snuck up on me. Where I once worked at working-round the system, at the Apprenticeshop I became part of the system. For the first time I began to want to work harder and perform better. I had lived in Maine all my life and was literally surrounded by boats and builders, yet I was incapable of seeing their worth. While at the Shop I began to look differently at these things right in front of me; I began to see them as opportunities. I saw that by learning to work with my hands I could take my skills anywhere I wanted. By learning the process of building boats I had learned to create my own processes and apply them to anything. Since graduating from the Apprenticeshop I have had job offers in Antigua, Australia, and Italy. I am about to start building a 27’ cold-molded runabout. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I laugh and think back on all the things that have brought me all the way from Maine to building boats in Italy.

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