Success StoriesFormer construction supervisor designs second career in drafting
David Wright of Eugene was laid off from his job as a construction supervisor and foreman after 15 years with the same company. Mindful of the downward turn in the economy, he was not surprised.
He paid off his debts and started looking for options. He found them at Lane Community College.
This fall he begins the two-year associate of applied science degree program in drafting to train for his second career. He’s 63 years old.
Wright enrolled in Lane’s ARRA Dislocated Worker / Low Income Training Program in January 2010 and started working with advisor Lynn Nakamura. The program is funded through the Lane Workforce Partnership by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. He took short-term training in solar technology and earned Green Advantage certification which qualifies him to work on LEED projects and helps LEED owners earn ratings points and tax credits.
At the same time, he took career development workshops with Randa Law through Lane’s Walmart Brighter Futures Project, a two-year grant program for displaced workers. This “helped me sort out what I want to do,” and he identified drafting as his ultimate second career. So far he’s held a 4.005 GPA “even though I haven’t had an algebra class since 1962.’’
He is not an idle man. If not studying, he’s on Facebook or building computers or volunteering or just enjoying life with his wife and two cats. He formerly served on the boards of the Willamette Leadership Academy charter school and the Pioneer Youth Corps and he is an active member of First Christian Church of Springfield.
Wright has no interest in retiring. “I don’t believe we’re done,” he says, when we reach retirement age. He plans to keep working. “The beauty of this is it’s optional. I can choose. I can freelance. The future’s wide open.”
Affording college has been possible thanks to unemployment benefits through the Trade Act, and early retirement income. Wright has applied for financial aid and scholarships this fall. His only concern is lack of health insurance until he qualifies for Medicare. But, he says, “I refuse to be negative. It’s unproductive.”
- Information about ARRA Dislocated Worker / Low Income Training Program
- Information about Brighter Futures Project services for displaced workers
- Information about Drafting Associate of Applied Science
Published by Lane Community College Marketing and Public Relations July 2010. For information contact Joan Aschim, Public Information Officer, (541) 463-5591, firstname.lastname@example.org