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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Pima County Community Services Employment and Training

Meet Brandon

Workforce Challenge

Brandon is a Navy Veteran from the first Gulf War. After leaving the military, he had a series of low-paying jobs and struggled with alcoholism. He wanted to go back to school so he'd be able to find a better job, but didn't know how to pay for it making minimum wage. He felt stuck and hopeless.

A contact at Comin' Home, a provider of transitional housing for veterans, told Brandon about Sullivan Jackson Employment Center (SJEC), part of the Pima County OneStop Centers. SJEC assists the homeless in entering the workforce and becoming self-sufficient.

Workforce Solution

Brandon enrolled at SJEC. He enjoyed the structured environment, and from the classes, he developed a better understanding of his career goals and the qualities needed by employers.

Brandon had experience with aircraft maintenance during his time in the Navy. His SJEC counselor recommended an aviation program offered through the Pima Community College Aviation Technology Center. The SJEC assisted with tuition, books, and a bus pass to help Brandon attend classes. In addition, they helped him find part-time retail employment that helped him qualify for housing assistance through the Salvation Army. Brandon's life began to change. He worked 20 hours per week and attended school 40 hours per week. He also joined AA and maintained sobriety.

Outcomes & Benefits

Eighteen months later Brandon graduated from Pima’s Airframe and Powerplant Technician Program (A&P) with straight A’s. SJEC paid for him to take FAA oral and written exams, and then to go on into Pima's new Avionics degree program. Brandon is now employed as an A&P Mechanic, working on aircraft forty hours a week and absolutely loving it. He's making more money than he ever has in the past, and in a few short weeks will complete his Avionics program and have his FCC/A&P/Aviation Electronics Technician certifications.

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