Anthony is a recent welding school graduate and participant in our Housing First program. He previously experienced chronic homelessness. We talked to Anthony about his accomplishments and next steps.
What was your experience like at welding school?
“I recently graduated from the welding and fabrication program at the Philadelphia Technical Training Institute (PTTI). I enjoyed learning and expanding my skills but I did see a lot of my classmates not taking the program seriously, which disappointed me and led me to take it less seriously at times. I am interested in attending the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) to expand my skills and participate in a more serious welding program. Also the program at PTTI claimed that they offer certifications when you complete the program, but that was not true. It’s been difficult to find job opportunities without the certifications, I hope to apply for the program at CCP in order to obtain the necessary certifications and have a stronger resume.”
Congratulations! What’s next for you now that you’ve graduated from the program?
“I am taking a brief break now that I have graduated but am looking for a job. I am facing obstacles due to the fact that my program didn’t offer certifications and the fact that I have a few arrests on my record from several decades ago. I keep being offered leads for government jobs which unfortunately won’t consider me due to my record. I am meeting with a lawyer to work on having those old charges expunged. I have also been looking for jobs within Philadelphia and in New Jersey, but face some obstacles in terms of accessing affordable transportation. I hope to get a job that allows me to save money in order to buy a car and have more employment options. I am now focusing on studying for the entrance exam for CCP and get my mindset ready for work. I then aim to get an apprenticeship with the Boilermakers Union, which is in New Jersey, so I may need to figure out how to get there consistently in a way that I can afford.”
How is your life different now that you’ve encountered Pathways to Housing PA?
“I am overall happy that I am getting my life together and I now have the drive to continue to learn and expand my skills. I am proud that I completed the program and made many good friends along the way. I want to keep working hard to live the most successful life that I can and appreciate all the support from Team 6 at Pathways to Housing PA. I am not giving up and I am hungry for success.”