Many times it takes work to find work. This was especially true for Edwin Gonzales, who as a 20-year-old left behind his native El Salvador in search of a better life in the U.S. The young man dreamed of transforming his lifelong passion for computers into a job in the tech sector, but he was at a loss of how to turn a hobby into a career.
So, he took the usual path and became a restaurant worker.
That is, until a friend told Edwin about MEDA’s free services … and everything changed.
Having heard about San Francisco’s booming tech economy, Edwin finally saw his in: MEDA’s Mission Techies program. This 12-week training course puts 17- to 24-year-olds on the path to a high-paying career in tech.
Edwin graduated from this young adult program, completed a three-month internship and was hired by Jones IT in San Francisco.
States Jones IT CEO Evan Jones: “Over the last year, Edwin has become an integral part of our company. He’s been an exceptionally quick learner and hard worker, and we are lucky to have him at Jones IT. It’s amazing to think that if it weren’t for MEDA and the Mission Techies program, our paths would have never crossed. We’re grateful they did!”
Part of the reason Edwin has thrived in his new career is because of the supportive environment at Jones It.
“Everyone helps each other. It’s such a great work atmosphere,” says Edwin with a smile.
With days filled with handling network issues and reinstalling software to creating access points and setting up new computers, Edwin’s career in tech has taken off. Edwin acts as support for a trio of teams at Jones IT, each day heading to clients’ offices to take care of issues. He’s a problem solver.
The main challenge, as with any new job, is to make sure to exhibit the utmost in professionalism at all times, with the goal of keeping clients happy. That’s why the curriculum of the Mission Techies program also includes soft skills, such as customer service.
Edwin is still learning every day. This includes being offered the opportunity to keep studying to better his skill set.
He explains, “I am interested in software design and Web development. At Jones IT, I can study by reading books or researching online in the office.”
Having just celebrated his one-year anniversary at Jones It, Edwin looks forward to continuing to move forward his tech career, possibly becoming a programmer.
Explains MEDA Technology Training Coordinator Leo Sosa of Edwin’s success: “Retaining a job in the tech industry for a year is an example of Edwin’s commitment to excellence. MEDA thanks Jones IT for extending an opportunity for Edwin to follow his career path.”