In 2014, Vernon’s life took a turn. That was the year he was arrested while living in Georgia. Two years later he was convicted and sentenced. After serving out his sentence, Vernon—seeking a new life in North Carolina—wasn’t able to convince employers his mistakes were those of the past. Determined to provide comfort and stability for himself and his 10-year-old son, he actively looked for ways he could increase his employable skills and knowledge. Friends and family eventually directed him to Passage Home. In July 2021, Vernon began attending classes at the North Carolina Department of Transportation Highway Construction Academy (NCDOT). From the day he arrived, Vernon was focused and determined, attending each class eager to learn. While enrolled, Passage Home provided Vernon with additional support, helping him build a resume and cover letter and improve interview skills. Vernon—never satisfied—continued to ask questions of his instructor and case manager and always showed an enthusiasm to learn more. While heavily focused on developing his occupational skills, Vernon never lost sight of his number one priority--his child. Passage Home—recognizing a need—worked with Vernon to purchase school supplies, a new backpack, clothing, and other items to prepare his son for the new school year. Before the end of the summer, Vernon’s cohort visited a construction site in Fayetteville, and Vernon really shined. Vernon showed his knowledge of the equipment and the skills he had gained since joining Passage Home. Vernon completed the class, earning industry recognized Flagging, CPR, and OSHA certifications. Since graduation, Vernon has received referrals to other certificate classes such as Drone Operation and CDL Training to further increase his opportunity for living-wage employment. Because of his hard work and dedication, Vernon had interviews with two leading construction companies in the region and has already been offered employment.
He is excited to begin the next chapter of his life as he continues to demonstrate a high level of determination that will take him far.
Passage Home is our agency that serves Wake county. Passage Home provides workforce training, homelessness prevention, veteran, and children and youth services. Learn more about them at https://www.passagehome.org/