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Tech Talk

Tidewater Tech Graduate Spotlight – Tony Jones

Tony Jones holds up blueprints for house he plans to build.
Tidewater Tech grad Tony Jones holds up blueprints for the house he plans to build.

Tony Jones was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia. Having prior construction experience in addition to attending courses at Tidewater Building Association, with a specialty in Auto CAD (Computer Aided Drafting), he desired to further his education and academic experience in the trades and construction field. With that, Jones enrolled here at Tidewater Tech. Growing up, Tony always desired to someday build houses and had a knack for hands-on learning and skills, leading him to the trades field.

Time at Tidewater Tech

Tony first enrolled at Tidewater Tech in the (BMR) Building Maintenance and Repair program in January of 2017, graduating later that year, in August, with a cumulative enrollment GPA of 4.00. Promptly following graduation of the BMR program, Tony then enrolled into the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program to further his education in September 2017, graduating on June 10th of 2018 with an overall GPA of 3.43.

When asked his review of Tidewater Tech in regards to skills and knowledge he obtained throughout both the Building Maintenance and Repair and the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning programs, Jones stated that he believed he obtained necessary skills to feel confident in anything from interviewing, creating resumes and cover letters, to successfully having the knowledge to obtain employment in his field of interest.

“The instructors and staff whole-heartedly want you to succeed,” Jones commented when talking about his time at Tidewater Tech, after graduating from both programs.

Tony discussed overcoming obstacles throughout his academic journey. “There’s a lot to learn, you’re getting back into the classroom setting which takes time to adjust to, staying on track with homework, testing, memorizing all of the terms, it wasn’t easy. But I stayed consistent in both my classes and the program overall.”

In regards to support systems, Tony recognized his family and friends outside of school. “They were constantly encouraging me and checking in on me as far as how I was doing and where my grades stood.” Additionally Jones noted, “The whole administration, staff and instructors, all played major keys in both recognizing and supporting me”.

Tony provided encouraging advice to others who may feel overwhelmed or that they won’t make it through. “Be patient, believe in yourself, and know that you can accomplish your goals.”

What’s Next After Graduation?

Since graduating in June, Tony enrolled in Villanova University, with goals to obtain his certificate in Project Management in order to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and hours to get his PMP Certification.

Additionally, Tony is associated with Virginia Organizing, where he assists individuals who’ve been directly affected by anything from lack of health insurance, affordable housing, to the school to prison pipeline. Not only is Tony active in his local community, but he also is the Director of a youth mental health program, HYPE (Helping Young People Everywhere), where he utilizes his past experiences to educate and advise young people.

Jones has partnered with both Tidewater Tech and Centura College for multiple back-to-school supplies drives in working towards giving back to the local community. When discussing Tony’s long term goals, he brought his blueprints of the first house he wishes to build and sell once he gets his developing company started. He discussed his prior education and how it has all played vital roles in all of the knowledge he’s obtained throughout his academic journey thus far.

Best wishes go out to you Tony. Your family at Tidewater Tech knows you can do anything you put your mind to!


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