When the phone stopped ringing, Mark Boody knew hard times were coming.
Boody had his own home-remodeling business. In good years, he would get 20 calls a month, give 10 estimates and land five projects. Then, the economic downturn hit, and the housing market weakened.
The calls dropped to three or four a month. The projects slumped to one a month.
“My employment picture went from feast to famine, from steak to ramen noodles,” he said. “I was treading water. It’s not fun. It’s not a … pleasant feeling.”
The 45-year-old father and grandfather had previous experience in industry, but it had been 10 years since he used those skills. To be competitive in the job market, he needed a refresher.
A family member told him about Roane State Community College’s Advanced Materials Training and Education Center (AMTEC), a no-cost, high-tech training program for those who are unemployed or underemployed. Boody believed the program’s courses would bring his skills up to date, and he felt AMTEC’s network of industry contacts would benefit him.
The program takes approximately 14 weeks to complete, and participants are trained to work as manufacturing technicians. Courses include OSHA safety certification, computer skills, basic lean manufacturing, basic machining and measuring, basic plumbing and basic computer-aided drafting and design (CADD).
AMTEC participants also receive specialized instruction in composites and solar energy technologies, and they learn how to write effective resumes, perform well in job interviews and other job search skills.
Kim Harris, Roane State’s Placement Director, worked with Boody on his resume. They revised it to showcase Boody’s previous experience in industry rather than his work in home remodeling. Harris and Jacquelyn Wilson, AMTEC’s administrative assistant, helped arrange interviews for Boody.
“Kim and Jackie were instrumental in getting me interviews through their network of contacts,” Boody said. “I think Kim is the unsung hero of the program. She really pushed people to get their resumes up to date, and she beats the streets with all those companies.”
Boody started the AMTEC program in April 2011. A few months later, Harris submitted his resume for an opening at MillenniTEK LLC. Within three hours, Boody had an interview scheduled. A week later, he was hired.
“It was a relief,” said Boody, a maintenance technician with MillenniTEK. “We had been struggling. It felt so good to have the potential for stability, rather than waiting for the phone to ring once or twice a week.”
The AMTEC program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor/ETA/OGCM.
For more information, or to apply, call (865) 481-5436 or visit www.roanestate.edu/amtec.