Marvin Harvey earned his bachelor’s degree in business in 2012, and worked in the accounting and finance field through 2017. However, that very same year, Marvin was laid off. This unexpected career hiccup didn’t faze Marvin one bit. He took this opportunity to pursue a brand-new field – one with high-demand and opportunities for growth: information technology. Through his networking contacts, Marvin was connected to National Able Network and IT Career Lab.

Upon connecting with both organizations, Marvin worked with career coach Rocio Montoya and technical education manager Elliot Esparza to ensure that he was taking the right steps toward success. Marvin was successfully enrolled in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and IT Career Lab.

At IT Career Lab, Marvin pursued the Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) certification. “CCNA was the hardest thing I ever had to go through!” says Marvin. However, Marvin’s instructor, Leslie provided support and additional help. Also, Marvin and his peers formed study groups to practice and support one another. “I’m grateful for everyone at IT Career Lab, like [Program Manager] Donna Claxton, she was very supportive. She made sure we had a room to study in.”

After completing the coursework and preparing for the certification exam, Marvin successfully earned his CCNA! Soon thereafter, Marvin and four of his fellow classmates were offered positions at Cisco Meraki! Marvin accepted and is happily employed as their Sales Operations Support Specialist.

Reflecting on his experience, Marvin says, “My peers and I came from different backgrounds, levels of experience, and age groups. We were able to lean on each other and motivate each other to be able to do this. IT Career Lab and WIOA changed my life!”