Two years ago, Amirreza Afzali left his home country of Iran and came to Austin. Amirreza received help from refugee support organizations, but still struggled with barriers like cultural differences and fluency in English. While seeking help to integrate into his new home, Amirreza was recommended to Workforce Solutions Capital Area early in 2018.
At Workforce Solutions Capital Area’s North Career Center, Amirreza met with Saunya O’Dwyer, a career counselor. They explored job search assistance and skills training opportunities funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program.
After entering the WIOA program, Amirreza received training to become a heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) technician through Austin Career Institute, a trade and technical school. Additional WIOA services Amirreza received included job search and resume building assistance, and the purchase of tools necessary for his new job.
“The HVAC training was a life-changing experience, and the people at Austin Career Institute were wonderful,” Amirreza said. “The teachers were very knowledgeable and caring and the staff were supportive. They really wanted me to succeed.”
At Austin Career Institute, Amirreza improved his English fluency by attending a no-cost ESL class: “The class was wonderful. It was an intensive class where we learned English from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday, for four months,” he said.
Amirreza completed his training on October 5, and today he works as an HVAC technician for Protex Restaurant Services.
“As I was going through the HVACR class, they found jobs for many of the students. I was able to find a great job at a local HVACR and restaurant equipment repair company as a technician before I finished school, where I have been learning a great deal more,” said Amirreza.
“My training at Austin Career Institute has put me on the path to have a great, long-lasting career where I no longer need government assistance and have growth potential beyond my expectations,” said Amirreza. “I am grateful for Workforce Solutions Capital Area and Austin Career Institute for giving me this opportunity to improve my life.”
“Amirreza overcame the fear and intimidation of being new to a different country, with vast differences in culture, and successfully sought out training support,” said Saunya. “He used that training to get a job in a high-demand field.”
For others seeking to improve their situation in life, Amirreza recommended keeping a serious outlook and working hard: “My advice to people who are seeking assistance is to take this opportunity seriously. This is an opportunity to change your life through Workforce Solutions’ help and your hard work.”
Workforce Solutions Capital Area offers financial assistance to eligible individuals for job search assistance, training, and other support services through funding from the WIOA program. This is a no-cost employment program designed to give job seekers the support and/or skills training they need to find a job.
Visit Workforce Solutions Capital Area’s WIOA page to learn more.