Local man goes from trained chef to computer technician due to pandemic shift
The pandemic ripped jobs away from people across the city. For many, they had to find a new line of work, learn a new skill, or just try to get by with what they could. One man went from the kitchen to the computer.
Jevante Smith is no stranger to the kitchen. He's a trained chef who was cooking meals at a restaurant and going to culinary school when COVID struck.
"My boss came up to me and said it's going to be your last day here - we got to close everything down," Smith explained.
That's when he discovered NPower. Smith's girlfriend told him about the Brooklyn-based company. If he made it past the application process, he could learn new computer skills and NPower would follow that with lessons on networking and resume making.
After taking the free classes and learning IT, he secured a job working with Citi, and says he makes sure digital assets are in regulation. What he learned over the course of this year is, "Being able to push through the hardships. And don't be afraid to try new things [and] put yourself out there."
Smith still cooks when he can, since it is his passion. He says Asian cooking is his specialty and he plans to use money from his new job to keep his culinary skills sharp.
"Working in tech allows that funding because food is really expensive, and it would be easier for me to work this and on the weekend cook and sell it to people."
NPower says its next round of free training starts in August. A spokesperson for the non-profit tells News 12 that in New York City, there's shortage of people qualified for tech jobs, even entry level.