Thirty-three-year-old Akin Odebiyi was born and bred in New Jersey. He graduated Thomas Edison State College with a degree in information technology and began his career, never thinking he would leave his home state. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020, Akin lost his sales job in the transportation industry. His ensuing job search proved unsuccessful, so by December, he decided to move his family to Georgia, as there were friends in the area. Settling in Douglasville, he began looking for work and spent six months completing applications and going on interviews to no avail. After almost two years of unemployment, his savings were depleting and panic set in. Akin was deeply concerned about how he would provide for his wife and three children. 

A Google search for job fairs in his area informed him of an upcoming event at Goodwill’s Stockbridge Career Center. He made plans to attend yet overslept and almost didn’t get to the center in time. When he arrived, he met Goodwill C3 Navigator Capri Taylor, who learned of his experience and interests and suggested that the Technology Careers Program would be a good fit. This program, now in its fourth year, is the result of a partnership between Goodwill and TechBridge. More than 100 individuals have completed this program and embarked upon career paths that offer good-paying jobs with tremendous opportunities for advancement. 

Given his technology experience, Akin easily passed the assessment exam and enrolled in the program. When classes began in late August, Akin, although quiet, immediately distinguished himself as a leader. He was supportive of his peers and sought to assist them when they needed help. Although he had a minor setback and missed a few classes due to his phone breaking, he was able to catch up quickly. Akin found the instruction to be of the highest quality and was particularly appreciative of the virtual format, which was very convenient. 

As the program concluded, Akin passed three certification exams – ITIL, Certified Systems Administrator (CSA) and CISHR, a ServiceNow certification. He also participated in an interview with ServiceNow and was thrilled to be offered a permanent position with the company. Akin began his work as a technical consultant at a salary more than double what he was earning in his last job.  

In his first few weeks at the company, he has found the culture to be very supportive and is looking forward to growing with ServiceNow. The valuable credentials he earned have opened new doors and he is confident about the future. In summing up his experience, Akin says, “This program came just in time. Thank you to those that were part of my journey. You changed my life.”