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Dan Hounsell June 2, 2016 -
Jayson Pendergrass doesn’t take opportunity for granted these days. As a high school basketball star, Jayson dreamed of fame far from his hometown of Pikeville, Tenn.. But he struggled to find employment because of a criminal record.
While working odd jobs on farms, Jayson learned about the National Farmworkers Jobs Program offered by Tennessee Opportunity Programs, which helps workers find employment opportunities in a chosen field of study or work.
The program’s counselors encouraged him to attend a pre-enrollment session at Tennessee College of Applied Technology, which led him to enroll in the school’s HVAC technician program. Jayson excelled in the 20-month course and finished several months ahead of schedule.
But Jayson discovered that he could not get his license because of his criminal record, and no one could hire him without it. Upon learning about his situation, his instructors, friends and program administrators wrote letters of recommendation to the licensure board. The board granted Jayson his license, joined a local union and has been hired by a federal contractor.
Thankful to be employed in his new field, Jayson continues to excel and recently completed his level two building operator certification.
“I’m happy to say that the look of disappointment on my mother’s face has been replaced with joy and pride,” he says.
Read the full story at: http://blog.dol.gov/2016/03/03/training-program-heats-up-tennesseans-future/
This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell, editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, email@example.com.
Read about proven strategies for technician training at https://www.facilitiesnet.com/16422FMD.