Tom decided he wanted a career in the trades while in middle school rather than to home-school but then enrolled to get his General Education Diploma and started working. Tom has attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and is at his best when he is busy and learning. He took courses in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning at Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College. While working, Tom combined his savings and the Cares Act Grant with his mother’s 50/50 match to purchase a car. His plan is to be on his own at age 18, to build his skills and eventually become a licensed plumber.
Tom’s mother made a connection with the Business Services Lead at Mountain Area Workforce Board who suggested the NextGen On-the-Job Training Program with Ambica in Asheville, NC to develop Tom’s employability skills and to train him in facility maintenance while complying with Department of Labor guidelines. Tom began training at $14/hour in maintenance at Holiday Inn Biltmore West. He then received a raise to $15.30/hour. His training site became The Element, a new green hotel in downtown Asheville and under the Supervision of the Corporate Chief Engineer and the Maintenance Manager, Tom has experienced impressive personal and professional growth. He helped renovate a break room at Holiday Inn Biltmore West where he learned drywall, painting, and basic carpentry. He is training in guest room maintenance, fundamentals of electricity, electronics and has observed computer aided design, rapid prototyping and will learn core software.
Tom loves the variety, the oversight and guidance that he receives on his work. His supervisors give him outstanding marks for work ethic, dependability, interest in learning and have noticed how “Tom has come out of his shell and is a remarkable bright young man, and he is a great employee.”