Rebecca and Michael Glandon of Chandler say career and technical education at the East Valley Institute of Technology has not only changed the lives of their children, but transformed their entire family.
Their three oldest sons all received career training at EVIT, and their two youngest children will also likely attend EVIT. In addition, Michael Glandon received automotive training at EVIT when it was located at the old Mesa Vo-Tech school and now operates his own auto repair shop.
“The practical hands-on experience they have received at EVIT has helped to light their passion for hard work,” Rebecca Glandon said. “Giving them this opportunity to get out from behind the desk and into the real world has been valuable to their sense of independence and can-do attitudes. This excitement has extended to the rest of our household and encouraged us all to try new things.”
EVIT offers over 40 CTE programs for East Valley high school students and adults. Every program is built around hands-on training and most programs provide work experience through internships or apprenticeships while preparing students to earn industry certifications.
High school students pay program fees to attend EVIT, but no tuition. Adult students pay tuition, but financial aid is available in many programs for those who qualify.
“For high school students, the opportunity to attend trade programs at such a low cost is one that every family should take advantage of,” Rebecca Glandon said.
Her husband knows the value of such training from first-hand experience. He completed three years of automotive training at Mesa Vo-Tech and graduated in 1990. He then attended Mesa Community College while working at Smith Mesa Nissan dealership. Today, he is an ASE Master Technician who owns Mercie J Auto Care, LLC in Mesa.
“My time in the career training programs definitely prepared me for my career,” he said. “It gave me a knowledge base to grow on, as well as plenty of hands-on practice to do well in the workplace.”
Michael Glandon also serves on the advisory board for EVIT’s Automotive Technologies program, where son Jacob, 17, is finishing his second year.
“I have been able to volunteer some time to speak to the students at EVIT … and have found it very rewarding to see first-hand their interest in the automotive industry,” he said.
Like his dad, Jacob plans to earn his Automotive Service Excellence certifications, become a master technician and possibly run the family’s auto shop in the future.
His brother, Christopher Glandon, 23, took two years of Culinary Arts and brother Isaac Glandon, 21, started out in 3D Animation and then switched to Graphic Design.
While Christopher is not working in culinary, he uses the skills he learned at EVIT to cook for his family. Isaac is currently working in the graphic design industry to help pay his way through college.
“EVIT has changed our children’s lives for the better,” Rebecca Glandon said. “Seeing the passion of their instructors has strengthened their work ethic and helped them to see how rewarding a trade career can be.”
Ninety-five percent of EVIT parents say they would recommend EVIT to other families. EVIT students have a 98 percent high school graduation rate, 2 out of 3 go to college, and on average, 90 percent are in jobs, college or the military within a year of completing their training. More information: evit.com