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Son Follows Mother's Footsteps At Pasco County Skills Boot Camp

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Amazon is set to open a second facility in Pasco County.


What You Need To Know

  • AmSkills program gets people ready for manufacturing jobs


  • Zarion Hannah is taking the program, just a few years after his mother did the same
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  • Pasco County economic leaders say jobs will be there thanks to Amazon facility

But this time, it will use a new robotics system. The head of Pasco economic development says this means good paying jobs are coming.

“Not only using one of our “ready sites” but bringing those highly skilled jobs in robotics, which opens up a whole new program for our future talent pipeline,” said Bill Cronin of the Pasco Economic Development Council.

So with hundreds of these jobs coming, we asked how they can be filled, and what skills are required?

As it turns out, there is a program here in Tampa Bay, getting folks ready for manufacturing jobs, including robotics.

“I love learning this stuff. It gives me something to look forward to,” said 19-year-old Zarion Hannah.

Hannah is one of several students taking part in an AmSkills boot camp.

AmSkills is a Bay area non-profit that helps recruit and train for manufacturing jobs. They teach all kinds of skills, including robotics.

In fact, Zarion learned to build this robot arm on his first day.

“In my past, I didn’t get the opportunity to do this kind of stuff,” he said. “I’m really grateful for this program here to expose me to this cool stuff.”

He graduated from Gulf High School in New Port Richey last year and is now exploring his career options and doesn’t want to work at just any old job.

His mother Nikki went through the same program four years ago.

The family had fallen on tough times and were living in a shelter.

So Nikki learned things here that got her a job working on a flight simulator in Pasco County.

“I feel this is more career set than just an everyday job,” she said. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I needed something more self-sufficient to help me and my family.”

That experience encouraged Zarion to give this two week boot camp a shot too.

With more manufacturing jobs coming into the area, including 400 robotics jobs at Amazon in Pasco County near where he lives, Zarion hopes these new skills will go to good use.

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