It’s not uncommon for YouthBuild students to be attracted to one aspect of the workforce development program more than another. Although they all get hands on training in a variety of skills including carpentry and HVAC, often times they find something that sparks their interest. And for Albert Cundiff, sparks actually flew.
Albert was very lucky that he had a school counselor who didn’t give up on him. When he was struggling and it became apparent that he probably wouldn’t graduate, his counselor took the time to sit down with him and find a program to help him succeed. And that’s how he found VOACC’s YouthBuild.
“I just didn’t do well with a traditional classroom and teacher lectures. But now spending more time reading about subjects like Science, I enjoy studying.” Says Albert, who recently passed the core components section of the GEDs and has done well in his practice tests for the Science section.
As for the hands-on training Albert is getting, he is also doing really well. He really enjoys the carpentry work and is looking forward to building a shed with his classmates soon. But it was when he was introduced to welding, that he has really excelled.
“I remember being really nervous at first, but the more I did it the better I got.” Albert recalls. And he has also learned some valuable lessons. “I was making a video of my work with my phone one time and sparks flew all over it. Luckily it was ok, but I won’t do that agin.”
Recently Albert was part of a 2-day job shadowing program at QED systems, an engineering and technical services company in Norfolk, VA. Albert was able to work side by side with QED welders and see what that career might look like. After graduating YouthBuild Albert hopes to get a job with QED as a sheet metal welder.