Jason Johnson was newly-unemployed, discouraged and facing an uncertain future when he walked intoUrban Ventures’ Minneapolis offices looking for help finding a new job.
His visit came at an opportune moment: that afternoon, representatives were there promoting a new program that would offer a path toward a full-time role as a Mechanic-Technician at Metro Transit.
It had been 20 years since Johnson graduated high school and worked as a mechanic with the U.S. Marines. He applied with little expectation it would amount to anything.
But more than a year later, he found himself standing alongside 18 other participants who had successfully completed the first phase of the inaugural program to celebrate how far they’d come.
“It’s a second chance at life I never expected to get,” he said after the program, held amid the sounds of power drills and other activity at Metro Transit's Overhaul Base. “It’s been such a huge boost – to my confidence, to my happiness. I have no idea where I’d be without this.”
The transformative experience is precisely what Metro Transit and partnering agencies hoped to provide in creating the Metro Transit Technician program last year. An industry first, the program combined empowerment training, tutoring and 300 hours shadowing current Mechanic-Technicians.
See the full article on Metro Transit's Rider's Almanac blog.
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