Two GCTA Instructors, One Common Goal

With numerous training programs on the schedule at any given time, the Goodwill Career & Technical Academy (GCTA) is a great place for anyone who’s interested in starting a new career. It’s an inclusive community, where students — especially those facing obstacles to educational or employment opportunities — feel a sense of belonging and comradery with fellow program participants. And by course completion, they’re prepared with the necessary skills and knowledge to take a certification exam for an industry credential.

The GCTA is part of The Henna Education Center, which is newly constructed and also home to The Goodwill Excel Center, a free adult high school. We got the chance to catch up with two GCTA instructors who recently onboarded some students in their new classrooms.

Ted Roan, GCTA Instructor

OSHA Safety Construction
General Industry National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)
Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAM-T)
NCCER Electrical 1

Q: How would you describe your students before and after completing a course? 

Ted: At first, they’re looking for career pathways that can provide for them and their family. Afterwards, they’re satisfied that they can see a tangible outcome from their training.

Q: What’s your favorite part about teaching?

Ted: Seeing the awareness when a student “gets it.”

Q: Describe what the labor market looks like for skilled trades. 

Ted: The local labor market is in dire need of skilled trades workers — like CDL drivers, construction workers, building maintenance techs, and electrical helpers — and we hope to help solve that shortage.

Q: What’s the career trajectory for a skilled tradesman/tradeswoman? 

Ted: It’s up to the individual. If they choose to be a technician or a journey worker as a career, that can be a satisfying and successful path. If they want to increase their knowledge and position rank, the trades offer a very open career trajectory for that.

Q: What are some common misconceptions about skilled trades?

Ted: Common misconceptions are that skilled trades don’t require intelligence, that you can’t make a career out of it, that women can’t be successful, and that you can’t make a good living.

Q: How does the GCTA defy these misconceptions?

Ted: We have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to identify career pathways for individuals and to help them achieve the goals that they couldn’t see in the past.

Q: How would you describe the GCTA?

Ted: It provides an introduction to careers and helps people transition to a new opportunity. We have a fabulous network of community partners who introduce GCTA grads to stackable credentials that start at the GCTA and allow students to create their path within their own timeframe.

Cynthia Jones, GCTA Instructor

Phlebotomy & Medical Assistant Courses

Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching at the GCTA?

Cynthia: The success of my students and knowing they will earn a career.

Q: How would you describe the employment opportunities available for grads who earn their credential?

Cynthia: During this time of COVID-19, there have been plenty of opportunities for our graduates to seek employment in the medical field. I receive lots of requests from employers looking to hire our students.

Q: What’s the benefit of being a Medical Assistant AND a Phlebotomist?

Cynthia: Having both certifications may make applicants more desirable to employers and opens up more career opportunities. A Certified Medical Assistant with a Phlebotomy certification is a versatile healthcare professional.

Q: How did you get started in the healthcare field?

Cynthia: Like many others, I started off as a caregiver for my family, not knowing that it was a career. I decided to take a Medical Assistant class in the evening while I worked full time. After working in the field for three years, I decided I wanted to go into the classroom and share my real-world experience.

Q: What’s your greatest hope for students?

Cynthia: I always tell my students on Graduation Day, “We’re co-workers now.” I just want them to teach others.

Explore career training programs

Thank you, Ted and Cynthia, for sharing your thoughts about your teaching experience. You are inspirational instructors who are helping people in our community realize their career goals.

To explore the career training programs available at the Goodwill Career & Technical Academy, including upcoming sessions and course requirements, check out our new website.