COVID-19 Didn’t Stop an Edison Job Corps Graduate From His Career Goals

Emmanuel Tolentino enrolled at the Edison Job Corps Center in February 2019. His goals were to complete a vocational trade, obtain his GED, and graduate with a great job. Emmanuel’s first career technical training choice was HVAC. Within a few months, he obtained his high school diploma and was off and running in HVAC.

Within nine months, Emmanuel was awarded his HVAC trade completion certificate. He then attended a career transition readiness course where he worked on multiple job-readiness assignments, financial literacy, and resume writing. Edison career transition services staff met with Emmanuel on multiple occasions to conduct mock interviews and address any pending barriers to employment.

He was ready for a new job! Then, the COVID-19 Pandemic hit. Like all Job Corps students, Emmanuel was sent home for break; however, he continued to interact with the center via distance learning and completed assigned tasks. Emmanuel expressed interest in participating in an online solar panel installation training that was being offered by one of the center’s employer-partners: Solar Landscape, a leading New Jersey developer, designer, installer and owner of commercial and community solar projects.

Emmanuel was committed to the virtual training in the midst of the pandemic because he wanted to better himself. After successfully completing this training, Emmanuel was offered temporary employment. Hiring managers at Solar Landscape were very impressed with Emmanuel and decided to offer him a permanent position making $63/hour! Emmanuel was thrilled.