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Becoming an HVAC technician in Baltimore

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Written by: Sana Wiqas, Americorps VISTA Data Analysis Coordinator

Like many refugees, Mohammad Bashir Temori arrived in Baltimore with big hopes for his future here. A linguistic interpreter for the U.S. Army in his native Afghanistan, Mohammad hoped to pursue a career in information technology. With the help of the IRC in Baltimore, Mohammad has been taking steps to achieve that dream.

After arriving in Baltimore in the spring of 2016, he worked with IRC’s employment team to find a position at a hotel, where he honed his English skills and gained U.S. work experience. After one year he enrolled in IRC’s career development program and completed a certified apartment maintenance technician vocational training course with Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), which led to a position as an engineer at a local hotel.

Last summer, IRC organized an information session for clients who had previously completed the apartment maintenance training and were interested in furthering their careers by become certified technicians in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Mohammad tested and enrolled in the six month IRC-sponsored course with CCBC, along with four other clients. The classes gave him the skills to move into a role more aligned with his goals. He says, “The HVAC training is a good stepping stone to my goal. The classes were great – nice, smooth, and interesting. I learned a lot. Everything was so good.” He speaks highly of his instructors, who he says taught him everything he needed about HVAC.

Photo of Mohammad Bashir Temori working as an HVAC technician.
Mohammad working as an HVAC technician. Photo: Courtesy of Mohammad Bashir Temori

With the help of his instructor, Mohammad quickly found a job at Baltimore Gas and Electric Corporation, where he now works as an HVAC technician. In his new role, he uses the information he learned in training daily. He says his new role is “good, it’s what I wanted, so it’s pretty exciting”. Mohammad also recommends the training to others. He says, “I would definitely recommend the training to other people and that’s because it is the number one fast growing field in the US and I have a good salary.” Still, Mohammad has big plans for the future. His eyes are still set on information technology and he hopes to enroll in further coursework to enter the field.

Mohammad’s work ethic and drive exemplifies the perseverance of many refugees who come to the United States. In Baltimore and elsewhere, they work to integrate into the social and economic fabric of their communities, lifting themselves and our communities.

Employers interested in hiring refugees can contact our economic empowerment team by emailing HireBmoreRefugees [at] Rescue.org.

Clients interested in career development services can fill out our appointment request form: http://bit.ly/IRCBaltimore.