When Christopher “Kelon” Johnson received a transportation stipend through the American Job Center in Humboldt in order to attend the TN College of Applied Technology in McKenzie, he was unemployed and supporting his young son, Jaxton. The stipend helped Johnson offset the costs of traveling to and from training five days per week.
“Transportation stipends are a great program to help students, and my Career Advisor, Jeannie Mathis, always encouraged me to do my best and was always there to help me," says Johnson.
While originally enrolled in the Electronics-Based Green Technology, the death of his instructor in his second trimester of training resulted in Johnson changing his course of study to Production Automation.
He earned his Production Automation Diploma in August 2015, quickly going to work as a Maintenance Technician at UNG, Inc. in Jackson, TN. At UNG, Inc., he used advanced manufacturing techniques to produce an assortment of vehicle components such as carpet systems and dash insulators. Johnson is currently employed at Black and Decker as a Maintenance Technician, earning over $22 per hour.
“Kelon never let the death of his instructor, change of programs, or supporting his son stop him from accomplishing his goals of finishing training” comments Career Advisor Jeannie Mathis. “I consider working with Kelon a privilege and admire him for overcoming so many barriers to accomplish his goals of becoming a successful adult in the workforce.”