“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” That popular adage may or may not apply to teaching Fido to fetch or roll over, but it certainly doesn’t apply to humans searching for the right career. That’s the powerful lesson AmSkills is teaching as it continues to improve lives in the Tampa Bay area.
One of Amatrol’s Regional Training Centers, AmSkills was created in 2014 in Florida by Pinellas, Pasco, & Hernando counties as “an economic development and workforce training initiative for the manufacturing industry.” Its stated mission is “to transform lives and strengthen communities through workforce training & apprenticeships for youth, adults, veterans and the economically disadvantaged.”
That’s exactly what AmSkills is doing today via “programs that focus on RECRUIT, TRAIN, and SUSTAIN, with high school programs, bootcamps, training classes, pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships.” The communities served by AmSkills have been impacted in a positive way and people are taking notice.
In a recent article in The St. Pete Catalyst, author Ashley Morales highlights the story of Sharon Brindamour, a Pinellas County woman whose “life took an unexpected turn as she found herself at a crossroads in 2021. After years of being a devoted caregiver for her mother with Alzheimer’s and her husband battling cancer, both died within two months of each other.”
Brindamour, 62, was at a loss as to how to make ends meet. She says, “I knew I needed to go back to work, but at my age, I didn’t know what I was going to do.” Then she discovered AmSkills’ Career Discovery Bootcamps at a local career fair.
Of course, she “was hesitant, believing her age and gender weren’t the right fit for a career in manufacturing, but the AmSkills staff encouraged her.” Alisa Franz, Bootcamp and Admin Manager for AmSkills, explained that “[y]ou don’t have to have any manufacturing background to get an entry-level manufacturing job.”
Brindamour attended a Career Discovery Bootcamp, where she learned hands-on skills in “precision measurement, soldering, electrical and mechatronics basics and workplace safety.” The day she graduated, she had her first interview and soon “landed a job…as a Production Assembly Maker at Custom Manufacturing & Engineering, a woman-owned engineering design and manufacturing company.”
Was this a good choice for Brindamour? Here’s how she describes her experience so far:
“I’m training people now. I’m training people how to make cables and harnesses and things, something I never in a million years thought I’d be doing at 62 years old. I wanted to make sure, especially my age, that I was going to do something I actually like doing. The job that I’m doing now, I can actually make a difference…I never thought I’d be doing what I’m doing now, but it’s fun, it’s exciting.”
Morales sums up the importance of organizations like AmSkills as follows:
“The AmSkills program not only provided Sharon with the technical skills needed for her new role, but also equipped her with the confidence and preparation essential for re-entering the workforce. This successful transition highlights the valuable support that organizations like AmSkills can offer to individuals seeking to revitalize their careers or begin a new journey into manufacturing and engineering.”
To hear more about Sharon Brindamour’s story, click below to watch a video that details her experience with AmSkills:
Visit Amatrol online to learn more about its many different types of training programs. For more information about how Amatrol can help you inspire and train the next generation of workers, contact an expert at Amatrol today!