Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board
Tim Warburton, a 13-year Army veteran from Philadelphia, served the country during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Following his time in the Army, Tim worked a variety of jobs including auto parts manager, clerk typist and welfare case worker, but struggled to find one he truly loved. In May 2009, Tim was laid off from a construction equipment company.
A few weeks later, Tim saw a PA CareerLink® advertisement announcing opportunities for job seekers interested in learning how to work with solar panels. The notice piqued his interest, as he’d done telecommunications work while serving in the military and had an interest in electronics. With the help of a PA CareerLink® counselor, Tim was able to get training assistance money through an Individual Training Account (ITA) and enrolled in a three-month intensive training course with the Maxwell Education Group. The course was the first official class in Pennsylvania using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for certifications in solar power. During the first two months, Tim took classes in photovoltaic installation, design and sales, as well as core curriculum which reinforced leadership and work readiness skills, math and electricity theory.
Outcomes & Benefits
During his final month of training, Tim secured an externship with a Richboro, Pennsylvania company called Eco-merica Consulting and Construction. Two weeks later, they offered him full-time employment as the head of installation. Tim is enjoying his new career; his positive experience with the PA CareerLink® encouraged him to refer several friends to apply for ITAs and pursue additional training and career development using the funds available through ARRA. For more information on this story, contact the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board at 215-717-2010.