Mersha Kefeyalhu - HVAC Installation

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Mersha's path has taken her from secretarial work in Ethiopia to an HVAC apprenticeship at Hunter-Davisson through Pacific Northwest Associated Builders and Contractors. Her completion of the PCC Career Pathways HVAC Installation training was one of a series of steps she took in successfully advancing her career.

Mersha had always enjoyed working with her hands, fixing things and working with people.

A career in the trades was appealing but since arriving in the United States she had concentrated on learning English and working to support her family. Mersha's exploration into the trades led her to pre-apprenticeship training through Oregon Tradeswomen,"Oregon Tradeswomen, that help me a lot, you know, to see the world and the opportunity to do something different."

Then, with guidance and financial assistance from SE Works and Rose Development Corporation, Mersha enrolled in the HVAC Installer training, offered in partnership with Career Pathways and PCC's Facilities Maintenance Program. Mersha explains how her PCC experience helped, "Oh that's a big help, cause you know they encourage me to open myself and encourage me to do something… I have the ability to do something. I was discouraged but you know PCC training helped me to say, 'I can do this.'" She credits the hands on nature of the training and quality of her instructors as keys to her success, "They (the instructors) are good and the way they explain in class I understand and hands on helps a lot. They take time at night and before lunch to help us."

Shortly after completing her Career Pathways training Mersha was accepted into the HVAC apprenticeship program through Associated Builders and Contractors and began work at Hunter-Davisson. As part of her apprenticeship she will continue her education in Facilities Maintenance this fall at PCC.