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From GED to Job

From GED to Job
Posted on 04/06/2020
This is the image for the news article titled From GED to JobWhen Jason Hernandez dropped out of high school, he didn’t feel like he was going anywhere. Then he learned about TC Futures from the superintendent of the Kennewick School District where Jason attended. TC Futures serves youth ages 16-24, helping them to receive assistance in finishing their education and/or connecting with employment opportunities. After working with TC Futures, Jason has earned his GED and started a successful career at a car dealership.

Jason started working toward earning his GED with support from his case manager, Felipe Zavala. He had always enjoyed working with cars, and when Toyota of Tri-Cities reached out to TC Futures looking to fill a position, it seemed a perfect fit. Employment Specialist Kim Hamann helped Jason create his first ever resume and other hiring materials to apply and get hired.

“I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere before,” he says. “Working at the dealership was a real push into adulthood.”

As his first “real job,” Jason was eager to start learning how a workplace and professional car shop worked. Having mostly only worked with older cars, he had to learn how to service the various newer models that came into the shop. Beyond building technical skills, working at the dealership taught Jason shop etiquette and how to take responsibility for himself while proactively jumping in to help co-workers and clients as needed. When he wasn’t changing oil or rotating tires in the shop, he was looking for someone who needed help with anything.

“I always want to be there to help and to learn,” he says. “That’s really why I was there—to learn everything I could.”

Perhaps the greatest challenge was learning to balance work and studying for the GED. Jason says that time management is a struggle for him, but with Felipe and Kim there to support him and help structure his time, he made it through.

After completing his GED in January 2020, Jason moved back to the west side of the state and is currently working at a different car dealership in Issaquah. His experience at Toyota and having his GED has been helpful in getting and being successful in his new position.

Looking back on his experience, Jason is glad TC Futures is available for students in need of direction like himself and others reaching for educational or career goals in tough situations. He says the center felt like a home away from home, with a friendly atmosphere, staff ready to help with any issue, and a fully stocked fridge.

“TC Futures was really something I needed. I feel like I accomplished something,” Jason says. “For anyone looking at TC Futures, I would highly recommend it.”

Through closures and uncertain times, TC Futures staff continue to be a resource for young adults wanting to finish their education or find employment opportunities. Staff are available via phone and email until the TC Futures building is able to re-open.

For more information on the full range of services provided by the TC Futures Center, which operates in partnership between Educational Service District 123 and the Benton Franklin Workforce Council, visit www.tcfutures.org.
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