Tuesday, September 8, 2020 4:51:00 PM
After seeking jobs with her four-year college degree, Kadejah Young decided it was time for a career change. "I knew I wanted to go back to school, but not for something I wouldn't use," Kadejah said.
Through her mother's longtime employer, Metro Transit, she discovered a new career path through the Metro Transit Technician Program. This work-study program aims to train the next generation of transit mechanics.
"Transit's been good to my family," Kira Young said. "I've driven buses for years, but she'd come home and talk about parts of a bus I've never even heard of."
Kadejah's choice inspired Kira to pursue this career, too. Together, they worked toward earning associate's degrees from Hennepin Technical College, a requirement for mechanic technicians.
Kira had Kadejah when she was 19 years old and has been working ever since. To participate in the program, she needed to take general courses in addition to her technical coursework. Kira earned her first advanced degree in July.
"Sometimes when I was studying, I'd have a problem and Kadejah would be there to help me," Kira said. "She was always supportive, telling me I can do this."
During the program, the duo put in long hours at work and attended classes during the day. They were happy to sacrifice their social lives to work toward a career.
"It was intense, but worth it," Kadejah said. "Even though I've graduated, this is a constant learning process, but we have mentors willing to help us out."
Kadejah moved out of her mother's house into one of her own. But they'll be together again at East Metro as they begin their careers as mechanics. "One day, I'm going to be your supervisor, mom, and I'll enjoy calling you into the office," Kadejah joked.
About the Metro Transit Technician Program
The Metro Transit Technician Program (MTT) is a 34-month mechanic apprenticeship program that puts job seekers with little or no experience in diesel mechanics on a path toward full-time maintenance roles at Metro Transit.
This year, 13 others completed the MTT program alongside Kadejah and Kira. Since 2015, 29 participants in the job-training program have graduated and become full-time mechanics.
“The program has been extremely successful,” said Matt Dake, Director of Bus Maintenance. “Metro Transit needs highly skilled technicians, and eligible applicants need access to better paying jobs and opportunities.”
Watch: Participants talk about what the MTT program has meant for them: