Christopher loves his job flying Hawker 850 jets.
Kari Hernandez (Ellet) reports on her customer. “When I first met with Christopher in January 2022, he had been unemployed for 2 years after being “laid-off” from his full-time Aviation job when work slowed for his position. Christopher told me that he had been struggling to pay for food and gas while attending school. He had been working part-time as a flight instructor to help pay for his living expenses while attending school full-time at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale (SIUC) to earn his degree in Aviation Technologies,” Kari explains.
“Christopher was required to include his parent’s income on his FAFSA, even though he did not live with them, which made him ineligible for Financial Aid. He needed to complete his degree in Aviation Technologies to be eligible for the job he had always wanted. WIOA funding paid for Christopher’s tuition, fees, books, tools, exam fees, and transportation costs to help Christopher be successful in his training program,” Kari adds.
“In September 2022, while he was still in school, SC Aviation, Inc. hired Christopher for an Officer Hawker 850 position where he is currently working 60 hours per week and earning $75,000 annually. In this position, Christopher will fly Hawker 850 jets for passenger carriage in a two-person crew with a captain. He will fly to locations within the United States, Mexico, Canada, and sometimes South America. Christopher is finally getting to do what he always wanted and is working full-time,” Kari adds.
“Christopher has always been great at communicating and meeting with me to discuss his education or his file whenever I asked. In May 2023, Christopher graduated from SIUC with a 3.85 GPA, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Aviation Technologies,” Kari reports.
Christopher has this to say about the WIOA services he received from Man-Tra-Con: “I started receiving assistance from Man-Tra-Con in the spring semester of 2022. From books to testing fees, I was able to be one of the first students among my classmates to finalize all of my certifications, and get my foot in the door of my first life changing job position in my third and final year. Fast forwarding to today, May 2023. I am now graduated from SIU Carbondale, with my degree as I had planned 6 years ago. The only difference is I am not a slave to large levels of debt from college. Instead, I can focus on being competitive and fierce in my career field and a contributing member of society. I can’t put into words how it feels to have achieved career fulfillment at such an early point in my career. In closing, every day I am grateful for the chain of events that has helped me get where I am today. I will never forget the assistance Man-Tra-Con has provided me!”