My Story: Weston Orf

Weston Orf had recently been laid off from his former employer a few months before coming to Goodwill®. At the time, he was in the process of closing on a house and had already sold his former home. In the months between leaving his previous job and enrolling in digital skills training, he had been living with his in-laws.

Weston always had a strong passion for technology — having a lot of personal experience troubleshooting and building systems for himself and friends and family — and he was interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity in the fast-growing government sector in Colorado Springs. His résumé didn’t yet meet the job requirements, though. The IT certifications that he had earned in the past were expired, and his prior work experience consisted primarily of sales and customer support roles. Weston recognized that he needed to enhance his skillset in order to be a more competitive applicant and achieve his job goals.

After initially learning about Goodwill’s digital skills training through a family member, he visited his local Goodwill organization, Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado, and enrolled in CompTIA Security+ training. Often seen as the first security certification that IT professionals should earn, the CompTIA Security+ certification establishes the core knowledge required of any cybersecurity role. The certification training is available from Goodwill at no cost to participants, which was perfect for Weston, because he did not have the income to pay for certification at the time.

While training for his Security+ certification, Weston was offered employment in technical sales at a local software company. In his new role, he leverages his IT and information security knowledge on a daily basis. When interacting with prospective clients, he clearly communicates the features of his company’s software, as well as how it integrates and benefits the client’s current systems.

Looking back, Weston says that Goodwill’s digital skills training had a positive impact on his life. The training not only made him a more marketable job seeker allowing him to earn a good job, but after completing the certification, Weston learned that he was in line to receive a promotion to sales engineer. He is currently being groomed for this position, which will become available in the first half of 2021. Not only is the base salary for a sales engineer much higher, but the position also allows him to utilize his technical knowledge to an even greater extent.

Weston is eagerly awaiting this next opportunity. “I’m excited to move into a sales engineer position. This certification has allowed me to get started on that path.”