Robert Amaya, a Chicago native, joined the U.S. Navy right after high school. Throughout his nine-year career in the Navy, Robert worked as a diesel engine mechanic, lead instructor, and maintenance manager which lead to careers in facilities management and instructional design in his civilian life. Robert felt that his true passion was in instructional development and design, an industry he was happily employed in when circumstances led to his layoff. However, Robert was aware of the resources available to him, so he went to National Able Network’s Workforce Center and attended Job Ready Boot Camp, a workshop specifically for veterans, and also enrolled in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program.

“The Job Ready Boot Camp was helpful,” says Robert. During his time at National Able Network, Robert worked with career coach Tammi Smith. He says, “She’s a vet as well, so she had a really great insight into my experiences, and helped me translate a lot of that into job search.” Determined to continue to work on his job search skills, Robert participated in many other workshops available to him, but noted that the resume workshop was most helpful. Robert attended that workshop three times! He says, “I always learned something new.”

As he was job searching and thinking of his prior work experiences, Robert felt that he had learning theory down pat, but that he could perfect his skillset by dominating graphic design. This insight led to Robert pursuing the Certified Technical Training program. While Robert completed his training, he was actively job seeking on LinkedIn.

Robert successfully completed the program and was hired! He is currently employed as an Instructional Developer at Sonalysts, Inc. – which happens to have many contracts with the U.S. Navy! It seems that Robert has come full circle, armed with even more skills! “National Able Network really helped me get the skills I needed to be marketable in the field I wanted to be in,” says Robert.

Advice that Robert would like to pass along to other job seekers is: “Take advantage of all the stuff that National Able Network offers. I don’t think I even took advantage of all the stuff that they offer! It makes you marketable with a competitive advantage and helps you get back on your feet.”