Former business owner finds new career, training through HBOTT program

John Curtis Jr., an Army veteran and graduate of the University of North Florida, has made considerable changes in the last five years. With a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology and Project Management, Curtis came to CareerSource North Central Florida (formerly FloridaWorks) in need of career focus and guidance. After a series of project management jobs and recently closing his own business, Curtis was at an emotional time in his life.

Not sure what his next step would be, a friend suggested Curtis take advantage of CareerSource North Central Florida. With the help of workforce professionals, he was placed in temporary project management jobs with the City of Gainesville and SumTotal Systems, Inc. During this time, Curtis received green certification training through CareerSource NCFL. He learned to locate the most energy-efficient solutions to industrial progress as well as how to discover ways to use resources to minimize solutions and understand how people work.

Curtis’ wife shared a magazine article about Prioria Robotics, Inc. After researching the company, he read about a customer project management position, and immediately thought, “That’s my job.”

Prioria Robotics focuses on implementing leading-edge systems designed to perform sophisticated surveillance or security tasks. Prioria Robotics is an employer in the CareerSource NCFL Healthcare, Biomanufacturing, Occupational & Technology Training (HBOTT) Program. Funded by the H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant through the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, HBOTT is designed to allow employers to hire, train and retain qualified program-eligible employees in permanent positions by providing on-the-job-training (OJT) funds. The grant-funded program provides more than $3 million of training funds for local unemployed workers in healthcare, bioscience manufacturing and technology occupations often filled by foreign workers under the U.S. H-1B visa program.

Curtis updated his resume with the help of HBOTT career developers and applied to Prioria Robotics, eventually landing his dream job. In addition to becoming employed, being treated with professionalism and feeling confident to call for assistance were integral to his experience with CareerSource NCFL, he said.

In November 2013, Curtis began his career with Prioria Robotics in a customer project management position. In this role, he manages scheduling and handles budgets and resources, among other tasks. Working alongside the sales team, Curtis manages the execution of customers’ business plans.

Don’t be afraid of the system. It’s there to work for you and help you

John Curtis, HBOTT participant

Prioria Robotics and CareerSource NCFL HBOTT program set up a six-month training plan for Curtis. Not only does he learn about customer service, but he also learns about Prioria Robotics entire product line.

“I can now talk more intelligently with customers,” Curtis said confidently. “I love my job. You’re always working to make things better.”

“Don’t be afraid of the system. It’s there to work for you and help you,” Curtis said when asked to give advice to job seekers in similar situations.

Now that Curtis is employed with Prioria, he is excited to put his previous jobs behind him for a career with Prioria Robotics. “This is the next chapter of my book,” he smiled.