Young KRA Customer’s Career is Flying High
In 2015, KRA launched its proprietary Knowledge2Career (K2C) Academy, providing Out-of-School Youth, 18-to-24, occupational-skills training linked directly to employment with local businesses in high-demand industries.
Established in 2019, the KRA/K2C Academy in Greater Hartford, CT—operated in partnership with the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) for Capital Workforce Partners—targets the Manufacturing Industry, providing 72 hours of Tooling U-SME coursework that complies with CT/DOL Pre-Apprenticeship requirements.
Anthony “Tony” Harrington, KRA/K2C Operations Manager, reports, ”Traditionally, one of the most challenging aspects of developing a truly diverse K2C training program has been recruiting and encouraging young women to consider manufacturing careers.
“We are making progress in this area, and are pleased to shine the KRA Spotlight! on one such successful and inspiring young woman, 24-year old Kaliyah Bethea!”
Prior to K2C enrollment in December 2020, she had already worked in several professional arenas—Medical Records, Patient Services, Pharmaceutical, Human Services—but had not yet found her “niche”.
Completing the KRA Job-Readiness Workshop program, a critical component of the K2C career-development process, Ms. Bethea enrolled in Tooling U-SME, which she completed in February 2021, anxious for advanced, specialized training in one of the many sectors of the manufacturing industry.
Amazingly, at this time, the K2C team became aware of a new 12-week Goodwin University (GU) Mechatronics Certification Program for operating and maintaining computer-controlled systems in automated-manufacturing environments…one of which is Drones, the most advanced equipment in the field of aeronautic and electronic robotics.
At almost the same time that GU accepted Ms. Bethea’s application for Mechatronics certification—which she completed in March 2021—CCAT submitted her resume to Aquiline Drones, an award-winning Black-owned company founded by CEO Barry Alexander.
In start-up mode at the time, Aquiline was considering several candidates, calling Ms. Bethea in for an interview on April 4, 2021, and offering her a position on-the-spot as a Technician at $24/hour!
Mr. Harrington, concludes, “KRA/K2C and its invaluable contributing partners and training providers express our best wishes for Ms. Bethea as she embarks on this new journey. She is indeed a role model for other young people, especially women, considering careers in the manufacturing field, and has an open invitation to return and share her knowledge and experiences with us.”
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