|Jillian Jimenez, Air Traffic Controller|
Hi Jillian, thanks for joining us on the blog. What's it like being a student in the Air Traffic Control program at Green River?
I love being a student in the Air Traffic Control program. The teachers are very thorough and have effective teaching styles that help me understand the material. Flying in the flight simulators also helps with the hands on learning, especially when we are learning about how to fly the airplane and how to use the instruments. When I first started school at Green River, I was five months pregnant with my daughter--a challenging but exciting time.
What made you decide to pursue training in this particular field?
My parents both worked for the FAA as Air Traffic Controllers over thirty years and they are both now retired. My mom was a tower controller and started her career when she enlisted in the Army in 1977. She worked at Kitzingen Tower in Kitzingen, Germany from 1978 to 1980; Campbell Tower in Fort Campbell, Kentucky from 1980 to 1981; Palomar Tower in Carlsbad, California from 1982 to 1984; Santa Monica Tower in Santa Monica, California from 1984 to 1989; and Los Angeles Tower in Los Angeles, California from 1989 to 2010. My dad worked at Los Angeles TRACON for five years; High Desert TRACON for three years; Flight Service for five years; and Regional Headquarters for nineteen years. Both my parents were very successful in their careers; as such, I felt very comfortable going into this field.
How has the Workforce Education department helped you towards completing your goals?
It's unfortunate when people have to put school on hold simply because of their finances, but Workforce Education helped me tremendously with being able to get my textbooks and being able to go to school full-time so that I could obtain my degree in the shortest time possible.
You already have a foot in the world of work. Can you tell us about your position at Crest Airport?
I am an office assistant at Crest Airpark in Kent, WA. I handle some accounting, minor maintenance on planes, give tests through systems called PSI and Lasergrade, dispatch flights, answer phones, check fuel, and perform tasks on the computer. I do a little bit of everything. I am just a small part of what makes the airport operate.
You're a working parent and a full-time college student--and incredibly successful at it all. What's your secret recipe for balancing so many different responsibilities?
It's hard but I try to manage my time in the best way possible. Sometimes it is difficult, but I do have a very supportive support team that helps me out with the kids so that I can focus on my studies. I am seriously blessed with all the support that I have!
Funding Tip! All four Workforce Education funding programs--BFET, Opportunity Grant, Worker Retraining, and WorkFirst--support training in Air Traffic Control at Green River.