After 31 years of working at the Ford Motor Company in Brook Park, Ohio, Bret Scott is ready to retire – sort of.
Park, who drives a forklift for the auto company, earned his pre-license real estate sales agent certificate at Lorain County Community College (LCCC) in 2021. And he plans to spend some of his future retirement years building a new career.
“I have two friends who are in real estate, and they’ve been bugging me for 20 plus years to help them out,” Scott says. “I’m ready to get into something different.”
Everything about what Scott’s done over the past couple years while earning his license has been different. He started working at Ford right out of high school, never considering college, and for the past three decades, has had a predictable and reliable work routine.
“Ford is a good place to work,” Scott says. “I get there at 5:30 a.m. then load and unload the trucks. When I get off work, I pick up my son from basketball, he does his homework and I put him to bed. And then I get back up and do it all over again.”
A Fast Track opportunity
In August 2021, Scott started LCCC’s Fast Track to Employment program to earn his certificate of completion in real estate. Fast Track focuses on in-demand fields with projected job growth in the coming years and is designed for people starting new careers like Scott. Most programs can be completed in just 16 weeks tuition-free.
Still, Scott was nervous about altering his and son’s routine, throwing his classes and study time into the mix. But his son Nathan, who’s 11, has been a positive influence on Scott’s studying habits.
“I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to handle the workload,” Scott says. “Nathan has helped me study. He’d help quiz me. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know if I would have done it.”
Scott says his son spent so much time studying with him, Nathan began to master the course concepts, too.
“He could probably have done better than I did in the test,” he says. “Maybe he’ll get into real estate with me one day.”
At his own pace
The program’s online course offerings also made it easy for Scott to work at his own pace and keep his home routine with his son.
“I would do one class, get that done and go on to the next class. It made it super easy because you could do it at your own time,” he says.
Scott also found endless guidance and encouragement from LCCC instructors, no matter what time he reached out.
“Every one of the teachers was just phenomenal,” Scott says. “They were always available. You know, you type and usually an hour later, they are always answering your questions. That’s pretty amazing.”
Now that Scott’s done, he’s ready to leap into a new industry and is excited about the possibilities.
“I’ve been doing the same thing for 30 plus years, so this is something new and exciting, and it’s always good to change it up,” he says. “I feel really good about what I’m doing.”
Scott says he’ll retire once his real estate workload picks up and hopes he and his son can spend more downtime enjoying their hobbies, like boating, jet skiing and riding snowmobiles.
As for those who might be nervous about starting school later in life, like he once was, Scott says to just go for it.
“You just can’t sit back and let the world pass you by,” he says. “Try something new.”