Being laid off from your job might seem like the worst thing in the world, but sometimes it’s the best thing that could happen so that you can get the job you love.
That’s how it worked out for recent Career and Technical Education alumnus, Matthew “Matt” Todriff.
In June 2014, Matt completed the two-year Power Sports Technology program in one year by enrolling in the morning and afternoon classes in the daytime Career and Technical Education program at the Southern Adirondack Education Center in Hudson Falls.
He had been employed as a Quality Control Technician for five years at C.R. Bard before being laid off. Using Trade Adjustment Assistance funding, Matt took the opportunity to get retrained. The funding covers up to $20,000 for a two-year program in an area with a strong job outlook.
“They also pay you an unemployment wage,” added Matt, who is married with two children and lives in Hudson Falls. A longtime self-proclaimed tinkerer, Matt knew he wanted to fix things and work on engines. “I looked around and the only place I found that offered training on small powered engines was WSWHE BOCES.”
Thrilled with the training he received, Matt explained that his instructor, John Winch, provided opportunities for students to work on four-wheelers, lawn mowers and snow blowers. “It was more than just working on engines,” Matt explained. “We worked on belts, levers and the electrical components of the engines. Plus, we learned the theory behind engines and rebuilt carburetors.”
Right after he completed the program, Sears tracked him down and hired him as one of their home repair technicians. “There wasn’t much training left for Sears to do because I received such a well-rounded training with the Power Sports Technology program,” Matt said. However, in addition to the nine months of training that he received from Sears, he went to Chicago for training on laundry appliances.
In his new role as a home repair technician, Sears provided him with a service van and an account to purchase all the tools he needed. “I get the freedom of the road,” he smiled as he described his territory. He travels as far north as the Long Lake area, over to Burlington, Vt., down to Albany and out to Duanesburg. “Most of my calls are within an hour of home. I work 10 hours a day on average, but it doesn’t matter. I love my job. I feel like hero when I go to a person’s home and his snow blower isn’t working and I’m able to fix it. The customer is so grateful. It feels really good."
Click here to learn more about the Power Sports Technology program.