Success Story: Charles

Charles Canady had a background in filming and working with drones, as he’d begun filming projects with a friend in 2017. Now he owns his own production company, InvidiaTech Media. Before he decided to work for himself, he was working for Duke Energy.  

“In 2021, I was furloughed from my job,” he explained. “I decided to invest in myself during that time, and I created my own production company. One of the items I purchased was a drone, and I realized to take on serious clients, I would need my Part 107 [license] to do commercial work.”  

Frustrated by the roadblock, Charles decided to do some searching online and found a news article about Goodwill’s free Drone Pilot course 

“The class was an eye opener for a lot of us. We learned about being safe and respecting the airspace,” he said. “For me, the eye opener was the information around the weather and science.”  

“What was great about this class is it got me out of my comfort zone. I reached out to some [of my classmates] and we created a study group and did group chats. I wanted to help them out and see them succeed as well,” Charles emphasized.  

In addition to free courses, Goodwill offers its participants free wraparound services, including one-on-one sessions with a Career Navigator. Robert Johnson, Charles’ Career Navigator, continued to build a relationship with him even after the course ended.  

“To this day, Robert reaches out to me to see how I’m doing,” Charles said. “I just recently had an interview with another company, and I reached out to him, to keep him in the loop.”

One other benefit of participating in Goodwill’s tuition-free training courses is working with the Employer Engagement Team, who provides opportunities for participants to meet potential employers. 

“We did two showcases where we presented our projects to employers. I had an interview with one of the companies that attended,” Charles shared. “The program is very beneficial because it’s not only about flying the drone and passing the class, but about all the career paths you can take with it. We got the privilege to meet people in the industry and learn what they were doing with drones and what they were looking for when it comes to employees.” 

With the filming experience that Charles had, he also wanted to pay it forward to Goodwill. He hosted a 3-day class to help his classmates learn how to edit videos.

“A few of my classmates didn’t have any video editing skills. I did a 3-day course and invited my classmates and a previous class,” he said. “It was amazing seeing my classmates come to the second showcase, because then they had the skills to shoot the video and edit their own footage.” 

Charles wants to continue his career in flying drones, both for a company and through his personal business. More than anything, he wants to share his knowledge with his community.  

“I want to start up a program to teach others how to fly and how to pass the test. I want to target it to youth in inner cities and rural areas, to show them the potential career path,” he said. 

Courses like the one Charles took are available free of charge thanks to donations and shopping at Goodwill’s retail stores, as well as from community and corporate donors. 

If you or someone you know wants to donate to Goodwill to help support the nonprofit’s mission of building pathways that help people pursue the life they want to achieve, click here 

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