In 2018, Jae Mar was employed with the Golden Nugget as a Spa Attendant earning $13 per hour. Once the COVID-19 pandemic turned the Las Vegas economy upside down, he was unfortunately laid off from the Golden Nugget and didn’t know where to turn. As businesses began to reopen in Las Vegas, Jae Mar was never able to return to work because the Golden Nugget spa permanently shut down.
In August 2021, he became the father of a beautiful baby girl and knew he had to find a new path to support his daughter. He leaned into his passion for technology, and researched local colleges that offered IT programs. Jae Mar began to face unexpected barriers on his journey to a new career, as he was unable to find a program he could afford. With the support of United Way of Southern Nevada and our partner Tech Impact, Jae Mar was able to meet with an ITWorks alumni who shared their experience with Tech Impact and the ITWorks program. Immediately, he knew that this was his opportunity to have a stable career doing something he loved! He was so excited that he completed the program’s online application that same day. After being accepted into the 16-week ITWorks program, Jae Mar excelled! Throughout the program, he was able to complete a 5-week paid internship and graduated with flying colors, earning two IT industry recognized certifications.
After graduating, Jae Mar continued his education by completing more certifications and internships to build out his resume and prepare to enter the IT industry. Upon completion of his third certification, Jae Mar has been offered a full-time position with ECF Data as a Cloud Security Specialist earning $52,000 per year which will help him support his family. Jae Mar shared, “Getting laid off from the Golden Nugget was the best thing that ever happened. Because of the knowledge, certifications, and on the job training I have gained in IT [through the ITWorks program], I will not live in fear [of] not earning enough money to provide for my family.”
Jae Mar’s story is just one example of how UWSN and Tech Impact leverage technology and training to advance social impact in our community by helping Southern Nevadans secure jobs they love.