Through a new partnership with City Colleges of Chicago, Facilities Services (FS) employees have an opportunity to earn an associate degree. The tailormade program offers virtual and on-demand learning as well as tuition assistance. The 61-credit hour program provides basic business skills along with more in-depth study in a chosen field such as management. Created as an avenue to upward mobility, and developing a more robust internal pipeline, this is a win all around.
Fixture Cleaner Electrician, Kevin Malagon Moreno recognizes it as a great opportunity and refuses to let it pass him by. In 2011, immediately after graduating from Thomas Kelly High School, located on the southwest side of Chicago, Moreno, moved out of his parent’s home and entered the workforce, and life just sort of happened. Living on his own with many financial responsibilities, Moreno became accustomed to office work. However, being dexterous, he pushed himself outside of his comfort zone and eventually enrolled in an electrical program at HVAC Technical Institute.
Moreno completed the 12-month program in spring, 2020 and earned his NCCER Certification (National Center for Construction Education and Research). Now employed at the University, when Moreno learned of the partnership with City Colleges of Chicago, he knew this was his moment, and declared, “Going to college has always been a personal goal.” Moving swiftly, Moreno has already taken his placement exam and is on to the next step of enrolling for the spring term. Unintimidated, he feels confident about the virtual and on-demand options of the program, and recalled his interviewing and hiring process in autumn 2020, with FS being virtual and taking place over Zoom. He went on and stated, “I’m constantly learning and staying up-to-date with what’s being used right now.”
As a first-generation immigrant, Moreno felt he did not have any standards to look to. He did however hold fast to his mother’s teachings, that opportunities would present themselves, and it would be left to him to decide whether or not to pursue them or to let them pass. It is important for Moreno to participate in this program because it is not only an investment in his education but also allows him to create a standard for his family. Becoming a father this year has definitely been his motivation. His family and colleagues alike are cheering for him and are excited about how this will continue to help develop him professionally.
This opportunity is available to all interested FS employees seeking to earn an associate degree.