Tesfaalem grew up in Ethiopia, where he had a variety of hands-on jobs from furniture making to working at a shoe factory. In 2011 he came to the US and immediately began looking for ways to put his hands to work. “I love taking things apart and finding out how they work.” He said. He knew from early on that he wanted to take some practical courses.
On arriving though, he didn’t initially see the opportunities he was looking for and had to find basic, low-growth jobs at Dunkin’ Donuts and a car park. He found out about AACA by word of mouth and he joined the Building Energy Efficient Maintenance Skills (BEEMS) program, seeing that it offered opportunities for someone with his practical background. He has now been working as an engineer at the Hilton in Back Bay for a month, getting a great deal of satisfaction from it, learning, for example how to maintain the pool’s chlorine levels and control the heating for the whole building by computer.
He looks back on his BEEMS training with fondness. “Everything was useful: the electrical, the plumbing, the carpentry.” He said. “Working the overnight shift you need to know a little of everything; you need to be able to fix anything.” He also found his lessons on industry-specific English incredibly useful: “There are so many words that are changed by prepositions. “Cutting in” and “cutting out” have completely different meanings!”
Tesfaalem is particularly grateful to those AACA staff that repeatedly went beyond the call of duty to help him on his way. We know that with his great attitude, the pride he takes in his work and his love of learning, he’s going to continue from success to success.
This post is also available in: Chinese (Traditional)