‘The best job I’ve ever had’ — Harold Lathan

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During his 32 years as a warehouse manager with a local textile company, Harold Lathan had survived round after round of layoffs as the jobs moved overseas. So he wasn’t surprised when it was finally his job that went away a few years ago.

Still no job

What did surprise him was how difficult it was to find a new job. After all, Harold had a great work record and had proven his value many times. He thought he would simply take his skills to a new company.

Weeks of looking for work turned into months, so after a year had passed and still no job, Harold knew it was time to take some decisive steps toward getting back to work. That’s when he decided to strengthen his skill set at South Piedmont Community College.

“It was a great decision,” Harold said, “one of my best.”

South Piedmont makes the difference

At South Piedmont, Harold made some good friends and gained practical experience in electrical and mechanical work, HVAC repair, and more. He earned continuing education certificates in mechatronics, basic electro-mechanical, and solar installation. He also achieved gold level Career Readiness Certification.

Harold’s new credentials prompted potential employers to pay attention. Soon he was getting interviews, eventually landing a great position as the facilities manager with the Levine Museum of the New South in uptown Charlotte in December 2011.

“This is the best job I’ve ever had in my life,” Harold said. “And there’s no doubt in my mind that the certificates I earned at South Piedmont—in electrical, mechanical, and project management—showed them that I could do the job.”

Michael McAllister

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