Ali arrived in Charlottesville in December 2019 with his mother and younger siblings. He immediately began working as a chef at a Turkish restaurant to help support his family and was eager to learn skills that would help him decide on a career path.
In his first year in the U.S., he registered and completed several trainings through Piedmont Virginia Community College’s (PVCC) Workforce Services, including a Commercial Drivers License class and a forklift heavy equipment operator class. Then he heard about a special training class for HVAC and Construction, which was developed in partnership with IRC, PVCC Workforce Services, Network2Work and the Thomas Jefferson Adult and Career Education ([email protected]). He jumped at the chance to be part of this special class, which was specifically designed for those who need additional assistance with English language skills and vocabulary and had tutoring and other supports built into the class curriculum.
The class met two days a week on Zoom plus alternating Saturdays in person from January to May. Ali successfully graduated in May and so impressed his instructor that he arranged for Ali to have an interview at the company where the instructor works. After several interviews, Ali was hired as an HVAC Assistant Technician at W.E. Brown. “I like this job and I am so happy,” he said after his second week of work. He was so excited to start working and begin his career as an HVAC technician!