Aurelio Santiago working as Construction ForemanMeet Aurelio Santiago

Aurelio Santiago was a superintendent for a commercial building contractor. Like many others in his field he was laid off due to the economic downturn. He needed to find a job to support himself and his fiancée.

Even with all of his experience Santiago wanted to gain more technical certifications before re-entering the construction field. He was specifically looking for heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) certifications. He obtained funding from the Gwinnett County Workforce Development Office and entered the Goodwill Apartment Maintenance program.

Santiago enrolled in the seven-week program and learned about home repairs, appliance repair, earned nationally recognized certifications in pool operation as well as OSHA 10, and obtained two EPA certifications in heating and cooling systems. As a part of the hands-on training for the Apartment Maintenance Tech Program, he was selected to train at B & M Management’s Hartford Run Apartments in Buford. By August 27, 2012, he had a job! He is now working at Prodigy Construction Group earning $24 per hour as a Construction Foreman.

“I learned a lot from the instructors, and I am glad I participated in the program. I must say that I am more well-rounded with the additional skills and certifications that I acquired in this great program,” he says.

Goodwill’s Maintenance Technical program has trained more than 30 people since February of 2012. Over 75 percent of those graduates have found permanent employment.