April 2022 Member Spotlight – Grady Harold

Grady Harold is originally from New Jersey, where he attended trade school at Lincoln Technical Institute to study Computer Numerical Control machining. After graduating in the top 5% of his class and having come to love Naples from his periodic visit, Grady moved to Naples full time in September 2020. Grady is an enthusiastic member of YP Naples and is thankful to be a part of the YP community.

YP: Did you grow up in Naples?

GH: I am originally from Bergen County, New Jersey. I was born and raised there and spent most of my life there. I did not start coming to Southwest Florida until after I graduated high school in 2015. My parents purchased a condo in Treviso bay off of Tamiami not long after I graduated. After visiting periodically for a few years, I decided to move to Naples to work and live here full time in September of 2020.

YP: How have you charted a course for yourself since high school?

GH: Unlike most people my age, I did not attend college. I figured out when I was in high school that I learn and retain information differently compared to others. I mainly learn auditorily, through hearing, or by having my hands on something. Knowing this, reading textbooks and slideshows made it difficult for me to retain the information I needed to.

YP: What did you do instead of attending college?

GH: Instead of going to college, I attended trade school at Lincoln Technical Institute in Mahwah, New Jersey, and I graduated in 2018.

YP: What did you do study there?

GH: I studied CNC machining technology while I was there and graduated in the top 5% of my class (Computer Numerical Control machining is a manufacturing process in which pre-programmed computer software dictates the movement of factory tools and machinery.). I learned when I moved down to Naples that not many people have the same opportunity to get the education I did when I was in New Jersey, which has subsequently given me a substantial advantage over others. My background and education has allowed me incredible opportunities in the area that I never would have expected, and as of right now I have landed in Aerospace Machining.

YP: What advice would you give to someone looking to go into a trade?

GH: The advice I would give to anyone intending to go into a trade is to think hard about what you would take interest in and find what you would be most passionate about before starting their journey. Trades are a great profession to go into in our current world, as it offers a substantial amount of security and allows to start working quickly with very little to no debt from the education.

YP: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

GH: In 10 years I see myself in a much higher position based on both salary and responsibility. Whether or not I will still be CNC machining I do not know, however I do know that I will not cease to continue to grow and look for more opportunities and responsibilities.

YP: What has your experience participating in non-profit organizations been like in Naples?

GH: I have attended a few fundraising events and charity events with my parents over the past couple of years. Both they and I are very thankful for what the area has provided for us and try to give back whenever we get the opportunity. I would like to continue to attend more non-profit events and give back to the community. YP Naples has had a profound effect on me and has greatly opened my eyes as to how much of an effect of such an organization can have on one persons life. For example, the organization allowed for me to meet and network with many people I am incredibly thankful to have met. The community that the group provides changed my life in such a great way and I cannot emphasize that enough. As a newcomer to Naples, the group allowed me feel included in the community and develop a sense of belonging that I felt I did not have before I joined the group.

YP: Is there anything else you would like to share?

GH: I am very thankful to have found the Young Professionals of Naples. I consider it a privilege to be part of the group, and it has allowed me to meet many great and respectable people, some of which I now call friends.