Mark Wray was working at the concession stand of a movie theater when the pandemic lockdowns hit last year. The movie theater shut down, and he lost his job.
But instead of looking for another low-wage job, Mr. Wray sought a different path. He found a program teaching basic technology and business skills, completed it and landed a job at a fast-growing online mortgage lender. He started in March, working in customer service and tech support. He makes about $55,000 a year, compared with $17,000 at the movie theater.