Graduate Q&A with Maintenance Technician Graduate, Javier Solis
Inspiring a Family of Carrington College Graduates
When Javier Solis decided to enroll in the Industrial Maintenance Technology program at Carrington College, his son Darius—newly graduated from high school—enrolled alongside him.
Their instructor, Bryan Como, saw firsthand what a great asset father and son were to each other.
“The experience allowed Javier and his son to connect and bond more through learning together,” Bryan says. “The synergy in the class was fantastic as they supported and motivated each other. They learned not just industrial technology, but also life great life lessons from Carrington faculty, staff, and classmates.”
Javier had perfect attendance with just three days left to graduate when car issues caused him to miss his first and only day, but he stayed behind at the auto mechanic’s shop while he arranged to get his son to class, allowing Darius to maintain perfect attendance.
Javier and his son enjoyed the program so much that three more of Javier’s sons decided to enroll in the industrial maintenance program; they are on track to graduate in 20 weeks. One of Javier’s daughters, too, is a student at Carrington College, in the Veterinarian Technology program.
Javier and Darius graduated in August of 2021 and immediately found jobs in their field. Here, Javier shares more here about his experience, and how learning became a family experience.
What did you do before you enrolled in the Industrial Maintenance Program?
I was working at a warehouse. I had worked in maintenance for years; I’ve always loved working with my hands and am fascinated by how machinery works.
Throughout my career, I noticed that general managers wanted people with degrees. Other people were able to get better positions based on having a certificate or an advanced degree. My wife encouraged me to advance my career in maintenance; I had a lot of emotional support from her.
When I started school, my kids wanted to join me. My son Darius enrolled with me, and we graduated at the same time. It was great to do it together; we gave each other support. He had more insight on computers and the tech side of things, and I encouraged him with my knowledge of tools and electrical.
What was the best part of the Industrial Maintenance Program for you?
My instructor. Bryan Como was the best instructor; you can’t get better. He brings experience to the classroom as well as knowledge he teaches from books. The students in our classroom ranged from 18 to 46 years old, and he was able to reach us all, from a variety of backgrounds and experience. Some of us had years of maintenance experience, some had none, some were there because an employer was sending them for certification.
We had a good class; we fed off each other based on our experiences. We had good study groups and hands-on training; it was a good time. I enjoyed the class, I really looked forward to both class and the hands-on training. Every module we did was new and exciting; it was like having a new toy to play with. I’m a person that has learning disabilities, and I didn’t need to use the ADA accommodations for dyslexia because my instructor communicated so well.
It was a family decision to enroll our other kids in the program—but the teacher was the biggest reason. I knew he would not only give them the knowledge, but he would teach them safety—so when they are in the field, they won’t hurt themselves. Because I had already experienced his teaching myself, I encouraged my kids to enroll.
What did you find the most challenging?
I’m not too great with reading, so doing the hands-on and seeing it in real life was a bigger help for me, and same for Darius—he performed the work, rather than just seeing it in a book.
Some of the work was a challenge, but I wrote down notes or took pictures of what I didn’t understand, and Mr. Como would come in early to explain it to me. He was able to sit there with me; he took his students very seriously, he made sure that students understood the material.
Where do you work now? Do you enjoy what you do?
Right away, I found a couple of job offers and accepted one for Alsco uniforms in Phoenix; I work as a level 2 maintenance position and it’s basically everything I learned—it’s hydraulics, air, mechanical—all industrial electrical. My son is also working at the same place.
Going in, I wasn’t intimidated by the equipment, I was confident to perform the tasks safety; I remembered what Mr. Como said: “Examine it, study it before you perform the work, be sure it’s safe. If you don’t understand, ask supervisor so you don’t go in blind and you are safe.”
Working 8-10 hours a day on this big machinery, I don’t feel discouraged or intimidated, I always step back and observe before I step in to work with live electricity.
Is there anything else you’d like to share? Is there anything you might tell someone who is just starting the program?
For those just starting the program, I’d say be respectful to the instructor because he has the knowledge, he just needs to know how to reach you. He brings the knowledge to Carrington. I can’t speak for others, but I was with him for 500 hours total during my program, and I got to know him. He is really understanding. If you get discouraged, ask Mr. Como, or any other instructor—they will teach you.