As the youngest of six children raised by a single mother, when David was 8 years old, he was “spoiled” with his own Radio Shack computer. The young Philadelphia native would study its manual in its entirety and tape-record all his programming and hardware experiments. In high school, David participated in a program where he learned about computer programming at an off-site location. The computers and learning materials at his school were outdated. However, his interest in technology still evolved into a career passion.
David was a fast learner and continued to learn about computers on his own. He excelled at many of his roles throughout the beginning of his career without any formal education or training. However, when the time came where he was ready to advance in his career, David struggled to prove his capabilities to prospective employers.
“When you are job hunting or wanting to move on, there was always some sort of certification needed: A+ or Net+. Employers would ask, ‘I see that you have a lot of experience, but what is your certification level?’”
David came across an ad for Per Scholas Philadelphia’s Network Support A+/Net+ certification training on Indeed.com. When he worked from home as a customer service technician, he could make up his own work schedule, and the training facility was only 30 minutes away by public transportation. This provided the perfect opportunity for him to finally get the certification he needed to advance his career!
Being a Tech Leader
Since David already had a strong technical background, he did well on his exams and hands-on learning. But what was most impactful to him were “Job Training Days” where TEKsystems recruiters helped students perfect their 30-second pitch, how to handle oneself in an interview and tips on how to frame their skills and abilities to a prospective employer. “I knew enough where I could get certified. Having TEKsystems come in and walk us step by step through the interview process really made a difference.”
David was eventually placed at a local hospital as a deployment technician and was quickly promoted to a team lead. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, all junior staff technicians were furloughed. Only the team leads remained on-site to continue with the project. Even throughout this challenging time, David credits TEKsystems for their continued support as an employer. “I’ve been with many agencies, but I have never had the support I had from TEKsystems.” As team members returned to work, David oversaw the onboarding process to ensure all team members were brought up to speed appropriately and successfully complete the deployment project.
“When you are interviewing a Per Scholas graduate, you already have someone who is committed,” David says about what it’s like to hire a Per Scholas student. “You have an individual that is being prepared for the work world and responsible for their time and availability.”
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I worked 12 hours straight nearly every day, weekends included, and missed out on the lives of my friends and family. Per Scholas helped me to discover both a career path and how to have a work-life balance so that I could spend time with my loved ones.