I wanted a job to support myself but needed skills. Job Corps was great, especially because it's free.
Raja Arsian enrolled at Potomac Job Corps Center in Sept. 2013, only a year after immigrating to the United States. A native of Pakistan, Raja was working a series of customer service jobs, unhappy with his hours and unsatisfied with his career path.
He enrolled at the Potomac Job Corps Center, pursuing a high school diploma while training in an electrical trade. Soon, Raja was recommended for advanced training by an instructor and left for New York’s Oneonta Job Corps Center.
Once at Oneonta, Raja took advanced training courses in both overhead line maintenance and automation. He took advantage of other programs as well, refining his interview skills and earning a commercial driver’s license. Raja graduated from Oneonta in July 2016 and immediately took a position with the Eaton Corporation in New Jersey as a production technician, making $17.29 an hour.
Currently, Raja works for the Alexandria Sanitation Department in Alexandria, Va., in a four-year apprenticeship program. In addition to on-the-job experience, the new job pays for Raja to attend night classes so he can become a journeymen technician. On his own, Raja attends a local community college, with the goal of transferring to the University of Maryland and studying electrical engineering.
“Job Corps is a great opportunity if you are dedicated and genuinely want to make something out of it,” said Raja. “It taught me a lot about life, patience and working with people of other backgrounds. It definitely made me a stronger person.”