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Moises Maldonado | 2016 Governor’s Achievement Award Winner

While still in high school, Moises helped his uncle at the garage, first learning how to make Maldonado3small repairs and eventually more complex jobs like replacing brakes. He liked making money more than attending school and wanted to quit school and get his own place. Instead, Moises’ father insisted he join the National Guard, where he worked on Humvees and diesel engines. He credits the military with “straightening him out” as a young adult.

In 1993, Moises started working at McConway & Torley in Kutztown for $7.22 per hour but soon discovered he needed a GED to advance to a higher-paying position. While working full-time and on third-shift, he earned his GED from Reading Area Community College. Moises continued working with McConway & Torley until 2012, when he was injured and unable to do his job. Soon after, the company closed adding to his hardship. After Moises was released by his doctor to return to work in 2013, he was able to receive assistance made possible by the Trade Act. With this assistance, Moises could formally study and earn recognized certificates in diesel mechanics. He attended Berks Career & Technology Center’s Diesel Technology program and earned all available certificates as well as a Commercial Driver’s License.

Equipped with these credentials, Moises now works as a diesel technician for East Penn Manufacturing Company, Berks County’s largest manufacturer. Pam Lawson, his manager at East Penn, says “Moises is very dependable, self-driven and eager to advance in all types of vehicle repairs. He is an essential member of our fleet maintenance team and a great asset to the company.

PA Workforce Development Association