Meet Gilbert. Gilbert was on his way to his minimum wage job when he decided to stop at the New Mexico Workforce Connection (NMWC) office to use their computers to access the internet.
Our Graduate! ABQ coach had just set up an office there and was ready to start helping adults take the needed steps to get more education. She struck up a conversation with Gilbert, which inevitably led to a discussion about college.
Gilbert likes to work with his hands. “Is there a college for that?”
Long story short, Gilbert received guidance on the steps needed to get into college, was able to find funding, and then enrolled in the three-term Diesel Equipment Technology certificate program at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM). He was then introduced to a CNM staff person who guided him the rest of the way on his journey.
Enrolling and completing are two completely different things.
It wasn’t easy. There were unexpected expenses that came along, but Gilbert found solutions. He received his certificate and finished his classes with a B+ average.
Now with confidence as a student and a better understanding of how to navigate the process, Gilbert aspires to become a master mechanic. He’ll start stacking credentials on his way to a higher degree. His instructor recommended pursuing a welding certificate to complement his first certificate.
To fund that endeavor, our coach helped him obtain WIOA funding, (Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act). She’ll also help him to continue securing funding through other traditional means such as the Pell grant as necessary.
With that under his belt, he’s on his way to – in his own words – “building a fatter paycheck,” and becoming a business owner.