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Success Stories: Eric Smith

Author: CFUF

November 10, 2019

I became involved with CFUF by way of the Port Covington Manufacturing Bootcamp. I read about the opportunity at The Foundry and knew I wanted to expand my knowledge base.

I went straight there and asked, “How do I get in?” To do so, I had to complete a 3-week STRIVE® program at CFUF that started on Friday. It was Wednesday. I didn’t know how I would pull off 3-weeks without pay but I went into it with an open mind and I’m so thankful that I did.

I took away more from that STRIVE® experience than I thought I would. I found out a lot about myself, my habits, things I wasn’t even aware of. It provides you with a great self-awareness. After STRIVE® and two weeks into the Port Covington Manufacturing Bootcamp, I was offered a job at The Foundry as a fabricator. Soon after I began, I started to take over more of the operations, education, and training, and eventually ran the workforce development program that was in partnership with CFUF. When The Foundry unfortunately closed this past April, CFUF immediately started connecting me with other employment opportunities. I’m now working with Johns Hopkins on drone fabrication, at Openworks, and with a venture-owned real estate company.

People are still reaching out to me asking me to work with them and I chalk up a big reason for this to STRIVE® and CFUF. They helped me connect the dots and see the bigger picture. Most of the team at CFUF have similar backgrounds to us, they’re from where we’re from, so you can’t tell them they don’t know what it’s like. That goes out the door day one. Once that shield is down, you have no choice but to leave or to listen.