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RN Now, Nurse Practitioner Next
Melinda Dial, a single mother of 3 children under the age of 18, was laid off from Jenner Sales. ... Read the Story >>
Melinda Dial, a single mother of 3 children under the age of 18, was laid off from Jenner Sales. She had recently moved back home with her parents because of a broken relationship and the lack of sufficient income. Melinda had been searching for a job but was unable to find self-sufficient employment. Further, moving back home proved to have some challenges because of the lack of space for her entire family. Melinda is an independent woman who takes pride in taking care of her family. She said, “I would rather work than have to use the system to survive”. Melinda did not want to use public assistance but life threw her a curve ball. After careful consideration, Melinda decided she needed more living space so she moved into subsidized housing. Knowing she did not want to live off of public assistance Ms. Dial decided to go back to school to become an RN. When she came to Workforce Investment Solutions she was already enrolled in the RN program at Richland Community College. Melinda was a very determined individual. She had completed all the pre-reqs on her own (including C.N.A.) and had been accepted into the nursing program. All she needed was someone to believe in her and assist her with tuition, fees, and books. Workforce Investment was the hand up that she needed. Melinda worked third shift on weekends, and cleaned houses just to make ends meet. This dedicated mother cooked, cleaned, worked, and assisted her children in school while attending full time training and maintaining a B average.
From beginning to end I have seen Melinda exhibit perseverance as evidenced by her accomplishments in attaining her goals. When faced with adversities from losing a job and a broken relationship she showed outstanding commitment and never gave up. Because of her commitment to complete her goals she now has an Associate’s Degree in Nursing. Further Ms. Dial is working two jobs as a RN. She earns a self-sufficient wage and no longer has to depend on public assistance.
Melinda has since enrolled back in school. Her ultimate goal is to become a Nurse Practitioner. Given her tenacity to complete what she starts I am confident in saying Melinda Dial will certainly be successful in accomplishing her goal one day!
Training: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse.
Initiative and Drive Helped Me Succeed
Paula “Diane” Reasoner came in contact with Workforce Investment Solutions after being laid off in ... Read the Story >>
Paula “Diane” Reasoner came in contact with Workforce Investment Solutions after being laid off in February 2012, from Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). She has worked for ADM for over 29 years. Diane was planning on working at ADM until she retired. She was devastated to find herself looking for employment in her late 50’s.
Diane, like most of her co-workers who found themselves unemployed, was very angry. She was trying to find answers as to why this happened to her and some of her friends. “I was always a good employee, and had great performance reviews; I just do not understand.” Diane attended Rapid Response workshops, and worked with the outsourcing company that was provided for her. She and several others also starting attending a networking group that was for the laid off ADM workers.
Diane attended every workshop and webinar that was giving hoping to gain enough knowledge to help her find employment. One day Diane came to the networking group with a big smile on her face. She told the group that she had an epitome about what she wanted to do about finding employment. She said that she could feel sorry for herself or be proactive and go find herself a job.
Diane picked a company that was in the agriculture field and could use the skills that she had acquired at ADM. Diane researched this company and found the name of one of the vice presidents. She sent him a cover letter explaining how her skills would be an asset to his company and enclosed a resume. Diane was surprised to find out how quickly he responded. He was very impressed with her skill level, and wanted to interview her. He told Diane that it might be several months before he would know if he could hire her. She continued to stay in contact with him, by email and text. She told the networking group that she was very confident that she would be hired at the company in the next few months. She was right. The vice president talked to the owner and persuaded the owner that they needed to make a position for Diane and hire her as soon as possible.
Diane was a role model to the rest of her laid off coworkers. She did not let her age or anything else defeat her. She made an opportunity and started working for the company in September, 2012.
Help getting a job
Success Through Art Academy Volunteerism
A BEST Inc. staff member met Rachel Shackleford at the Princeton Arts Academy where she ... Read the Story >>
A BEST Inc. staff member met Rachel Shackleford at the Princeton Arts Academy where she occasionally volunteered. After a short discussion, it was obvious to him that Rachel would be a great match for the academy. She enthusiastically agreed and completed the application process. She started her work experience by assisting with some of the building renovation. She cleaned, painted, organized materials and helped set up classrooms. By the end of her experience, she was assisting in the planning and implementation of the 5K Color Splash Dash fundraiser and was instrumental in organizing volunteers for the event. It was no surprise to learn that the Academy wished to hire Rachel permanently at the end of the program. In addition to her prior duties, she now has the additional responsibility of notifying instructors, students and the community of classes, changes and deletions through e-mail, mailings and flyers. She also teaches classes in baking, art, calligraphy and other subjects. Rachel said she is very grateful to BEST for the opportunity to work at the Academy. Her organizational and communication skills continue to improve. Best of all, she discovered she really enjoys teaching and is now considering a career in education.
Special project services: SYEP
Mom Succeeds with SYEP!
LuAnn Short enrolled in the youth WIA program a year ago to work toward her GED. Although she ... Read the Story >>
LuAnn Short enrolled in the youth WIA program a year ago to work toward her GED. Although she worked hard when she came to class and was making progress, she found it difficult to maintain regular attendance due to child care, transportation and financial challenges. LuAnn was especially concerned about her ability to support her 2 year old son and wanted very much to be able to provide for him. Limited to her rural community because of transportation, she applied for as many local businesses as she could. Frustrated about the lack of job offers, her instructor suggested that she apply for the SYEP program. LuAnn completed the online application and met with a Career Advisor to complete the necessary paperwork. It took several attempts, but staff was able to set her up with a work experience at a local residential facility to work as a Dietary Aide. The facility was not hiring but was willing to participate in the program. LuAnn started the part-time job and immediately liked the work and the team environment that existed in the facility. At her last evaluation, her supervisor reported that she was “improving weekly with her job skills”. She improved so much that the facility decided to hire her as a permanent employee at the end of the program. LuAnn said she loves working in her department and enjoys getting to know all of the residents. She continues to work steadily toward earning her GED and is thankful for the opportunity that SYEP provided. Her paycheck helps her to care for her son and she was particularly delighted that she was able to buy him Christmas presents this year!
Special project services: SYEP
JVS' Summer Youth Experience
SYEP CNA Success
Jasmine Robinson is one of our youth that participated in the SYEP program this year through a ... Read the Story >>
Jasmine Robinson is one of our youth that participated in the SYEP program this year through a grant provided by DCEO. Jasmine was homeless when she came into our office for help. We placed her in the community garden project portion of the summer program and she got off to a rough start at first. She was able to work for a few weeks and we transferred her to another worksite where she excelled in her performance and completed the program successfully. Once the program was over, we sent Jasmine to Triton College for her CNA certificate. Jasmine completed her certificate training for CNA and was hired at the worksite that we placed her in during the summer program and now she is working towards obtaining her nursing degree and has a job while she is doing it. I am so very proud of Jasmine Robinson.
, Youth: Education, Summer, Year Round
When Amy Newberry of Union County first came to Shawnee Development Council, Inc. in July 2010. She ... Read the Story >>
When Amy Newberry of Union County first came to Shawnee Development Council, Inc. in July 2010. She was a 29 year old single mother of two small children. working part-time as a hair stylist and the family received food stamps. She and her children had been living with her mother. Amy knew she had to obtain training that would help her achieve self-sufficiency and build a better life for her children. Amy had tested and was accepted into the nursing program at Shawnee Community College with plans to become a registered nurse. Her assessment and test scores indicated that she could succeed in this program and she began her classes in the fall semester of 2010. During the course of her training, Amy learned that she had used her maximum Pell Grant. She had utilized her Pell Grant for living expenses during her training and her limited resources would now be further stretched. Amy's grandmother was her strongest support system and she kept her children while Amy attended classes. She offered emotional support and was her most ardent cheerleader. While Amy was attending classes her sister became very ill and was hospitalized for an extended period of time. Amy also took on the added responsibility of caring for her sister's two children as well as her own. During the course of her training, Amy had to take a break due to complications from a difficult pregnancy and childbirth. Although this set her back in achieving her goals, she persevered and managed to complete the Associate Degree Nursing Program in May 2013 with an accumulated grade point average of 3.179. Amy began work at Petersen Health Operations in July 2013. She is currently working as a registered nurse in Cobden and will be interviewing for a job with Southern Illinois Healthcare which she hopes to begin early in the year. Amy worked diligently to obtain her education. She overcame many obstacles and has achieved a very rewarding career which will provide well for her family in the coming years. Her children can truly be proud of their mom!
Training: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse.
Back to Work!
Joshua Horton was laid off in November 2012 due to a plant closure. He had been working at Willow ... Read the Story >>
Joshua Horton was laid off in November 2012 due to a plant closure. He had been working at Willow Lake since March 2009. At the time of layoff Joshua was making $23.80 an hour. Joshua had attended the rapid response meetings we held for the miners in December 2012. When he came into the office he had already decided he needed to get back to work fast and was interested in the CDL program at Southeastern Illinois College. Joshua was a perfect candidate for the program; he was single and scored high enough on his reading and math test. Joshua started the CDL program February 11, 2013 and finished the program with a certificate on March 28, 2013. He then proceeded to get his license and started applying for jobs. He started work for Millers Construction in April 2013 making $18.00 an hour. Joshua uses his CDL license in his new job plus runs other equipment for the company. Joshua is not making what he was before he was laid off from the mine, but for six weeks of schooling he has done a pretty good job at recovering his previous wage.
Training: Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operator and Instructor.
An inspiration to those who know him!
Art Chavarria of Pulaski County first came to Shawnee Development Council in May 2009. He was a ... Read the Story >>
Art Chavarria of Pulaski County first came to Shawnee Development Council in May 2009. He was a married father of 3 children under the age of 16 and had been laid-off from his job as a machinist. Since moving to Southern Illinois the previous year, Art had also worked as a part-time landscaper. Art lived in a county with 12% unemployment and knew if he were to be successful in his job hunt he would need additional training. Art enrolled in the Automotive Technology program at Shawnee Community College and took some welding classes with his Pell Grant to enhance his employ-ability. He worked very hard, often taking in excess of 12 hours each semester. He did well in his classes and he even traveled to Chicago to complete an internship. At the end of the spring semester of 2012, Art became employed through the National Emergency Grant assisting in clean-up activities from the flooding of 2011. He was assigned to a crew at Mermet Lake Conservation Area. Art was a hard worker and was well liked and respected by both his coworkers and the site supervisor. He also attended classes necessary to complete his degree while he worked. Art graduated from Shawnee Community College in December 2012, with a respectable 3.378 accumulative grade point average. He has earned a one year certificate in Combination Welding and has completed a majority of classes in the Automotive Technology program. Art was hired by Southern Most Area Rural Transportation (SMART) in early December 2012 while he was still employed through the NEG program. Art is an extremely hard worker who met many challenges and worked diligently to meet his goals and support his family. His dedication to his family also translated to assistance with his ailing parents in Chicago. He worked with his local case manager to access services for his parents. His perseverance won the respect of classmates, coworkers, his instructors, case manager and other WIA staff who all witnessed his dedication. Art is a very conscientious individual and always met his responsibilities to the WIA program by submitting all paperwork in a timely manner and sharing in his employment success. Art is always cheerful and maintains a keen wit and sense of humor even during adversities. Art is an inspiration to those who know him.
Training: Automobile/Automotive Mechanics Technology/Technician
Veteran finds success with Chicago Horticulture Society
Early this spring, I received a call from someone I hadn't heard from in years, but had wondered ... Read the Story >>
Early this spring, I received a call from someone I hadn't heard from in years, but had wondered about often. He was a young man who had participated in the Green Youth Farm program as a high school student and had left in the middle of his second summer to serve our nation in the Army. Derrick returned safely from his service and was looking for a job other than day labor. Unfortunately, at that time, all of our positions had been filled for the season, so I had nothing to offer. It was one of the most rewarding days of my summer when I was able to call Derrick after receiving Summer Youth Employment Program funds from DCEO to tell him that we would love to interview him for the position of crew leader. He and his crew of six youth would be charged with the planting, maintenance, and harvest of the edible garden outside of the Thompson Center. We both were ecstatic. After a quick refresher, Derrick was back in the swing of plant care and learned the ropes of supervising youth with training and mentor-ship from more experienced staff. He and his crew traveled downtown and were the ambassadors for the Chicago Botanic Garden's urban agriculture programs for elected officials, government leaders, businessmen and women, and tourists; all who stopped to admire the edible garden, chat with the crew about the plants, and maybe even taste some healthy fresh food! Derrick proved himself to be such an asset to our department that upon his completion of SYEP, we hired him onto our work study crew for the winter and he plans to enroll in our 9-month Windy City Harvest certificate program starting in February to continue his training in sustainable urban agriculture!
With Great Sacrifice, Comes Great Success
In order to succeed, you must have ambition and strive for more. When I found out I failed the ... Read the Story >>
In order to succeed, you must have ambition and strive for more. When I found out I failed the sixth grade, my life came crashing down on me. That’s when I realized that I had to put my social life on hold. On the way home, all I could think of was how I was going to tell my mom the horrible news. There was no way that I could sugarcoat it. I waited until that evening to tell her the bad news. I called her over to my room and handed her the letter. She takes school seriously, so once she read it her eyes locked on me immediately. My mother gave me a lecture on how she always told me to do my best and do all my homework. Unfortunately, I had done the exact opposite. The school I attended was year-round, which meant little vacation. The whole month I had off for break, I spent my time studying as much as I could. My friends would call me daily to go outside and enjoy my time off, but I couldn't because I had to catch up on work. At the end of the month, I imagined myself looking like the guy in movies who emerges with a full beard and long hair after being locked away. Even though I put in all that hard work, I was still afraid to fail again. Just in case, I isolated myself from video games, friends, TV, and computers throughout the school year. It was hard to refuse all the things I enjoyed the most. As much as I wanted to go off track, I kept concentrating on learning more and more. As the school year passed, I made a lot of progress and earned grades I'd never seen on my report card. I knew then I had done something right. At the end of the year when I passed the sixth grade with grades that satisfied me, I learned a valuable lesson: with great sacrifice comes great success. As I continue my academic life I learned that acquiring knowledge brings satisfaction to oneself. My life made a huge turn for the right reason. Now that I’m in high school I stay on top of all my assignments and homework. I don’t let my grades drop lower than 60%. Even with a 70%, I know I have to step it up. My level of responsibility has grown significantly since participating in the Summer Youth Employment Program. I turn everything in on time. I don’t like the feeling of turning in a late assignment and I feel like something isn't right throughout the day. I also learned that staying on top of assignments in school will lead me to have a great future. When I was misbehaving in school, that led me nowhere. Now that I am paying attention, and doing my work, I know I will go far in life.
A Leader for BPNC Youth
My name is Jocelyn Rodriguez I am majoring in Psychology at The University of Illinois at Chicago. ... Read the Story >>
My name is Jocelyn Rodriguez I am majoring in Psychology at The University of Illinois at Chicago. I was given the opportunity to participate in a summer program by BPNC with the youth at Thomas Kelly High School. I was in charge of making follow up phone calls to graduated Seniors who needed Financial Assistance or an appointment with our Academic Counselor. I also updated our sign-in sheets for our youth employers. I wanted to give the youth a leader they could really look up to. The best part about my job was the fact that I could use my skills to comfort someone who needed a shoulder to cry on. It felt great to give back to my community by being a Youth Leader. This was one of the best jobs I have ever had! BPNC is a great program with wonderful workers who are very kind.
SYEP: Everything's coming up roses!
First, we would like to say hats off to the State of Illinois for their work placement program! We ... Read the Story >>
First, we would like to say hats off to the State of Illinois for their work placement program! We feel this program is an excellent source of training for the young people getting ready to enter the working world. It teaches them all the aspects of job placement, responsibility, skills, respect for themselves and others and professionalism. It prepares them to go out in the public workforce with the confidence and professionalism to tackle anything put before them at work and everyday situations. We don't have a lot of help for our young adults to prepare them for life after school, but this program definitely does that. We were assigned Justin Smock. He is a 17 year old junior at Harrisburg High School. His interests are art and band. He had never had a job other than cleaning his church. One of his friend's grandmothers told him about the program so he applied. A flower shop was not on his want list, but we are glad his first choice would take too long for background checks and a drug screening. Justin was setup with an interview at which he arrived on time, polite, professionally dressed, and very grateful for the opportunity to fill a gap in our work schedule. He started the next day. He had no experience in the floral business, but was eager to learn. We started with bow making and he turned into a bow making machine! He was taught to answer the phone, take orders, help customers and deliver flowers. He said it was very gratifying to see the smiles and tears when he delivered the flowers. It took him no time before he was making vases, mixed baskets, cemetery vases, and saddle arrangements. He learned all the aspects of the cooler and care of the flowers. In a very short time, Justin could do it all! We turned the shop over to him to run without any hesitation a couple hours a day and Saturday mornings. He is very trustworthy and professional. Needless to say, we are grateful Justin accepted our shop as a job experience. He has a long list of things he has learned from us, but we don’t hesitate to let him know that he has also taught us many things. We learn from each other. We can’t speak for other participants, but we feel we got one of the best. Justin has a permanent job at our business for as long as he wishes. We are very proud of him. When he changes the tassel on his graduation cap, he will be ready and will be an asset to the workforce. When we asked Justin about his experience through Mid-5 his response was they are very kind and hospitable. He feels blessed he had the opportunity to participate in the program. We also asked him if he would recommend the program and for what reason. His response was yes because it lets you get hands on in the workforce and a feel for the real outside work experience.
Gaining work experience through SYEP
Laqes D. worked as an office assistant with Asian Human Services this summer. Laqes is creative, ... Read the Story >>
Asian Human Services
Laqes D. worked as an office assistant with Asian Human Services this summer. Laqes is creative, friendly, kind, and extremely organized. As an office assistant, Laqes greeted customers, directed them to the correct staff member, answered phones and maintained office equipment and assisted with youth room art projects. Laqes is a talented artist who was able to develop his communication skills and learn how to work in a office environment. Before SYEP Laqes had very limited work experience he plans to use his employment with Asian Human Services to help him apply for a long term job in art and administration.
Special project services: Asian Human Services
Valuable experience with Asian Human Services
SYEP reveals career path!
SYEP - Wayne County Golf Course
On July 29th Clint Atwood walked into the WIA office a bit discouraged, as he had some bad luck ... Read the Story >>
SYEP - Wayne County Golf Course
On July 29th Clint Atwood walked into the WIA office a bit discouraged, as he had some bad luck retaining employment. Feeling as if he would never find a job, he decided to try SYEP. After speaking with Clint, it was obvious he was a hands on, outdoors kind of guy. I immediately thought of the Wayne County Golf Course and Avery Sphere, the greens and maintenance supervisor. Avery has been an excellent supervisor for WIA and he works very well with youth. From day one, Clint and his supervisor worked well together. Avery stated "Clint listens, does what he is told, needs little supervision, and never misses a day of work." When Avery heard his assistant would be retiring at the end of this season, he mentioned to the manager of the golf course that he wanted Clint to be hired as his new assistant. As it turned out, Clint now feels he made a very good decision. Not only did he look forward to going to work every day, enjoyed what he was doing, and learned many valuable skills, he was offered a permanent job. Clint accepted the offer. He now feels self-sufficient, proud of what he does, has more self-esteem and is still able to help with the family farm.
Special project services: SYEP - Wayne County Golf Course
SYEP Helps Temporary Work Grow into Permanent Work
As an ex-felon, it is hard to find a good job, or any job for that matter. It is even harder to ... Read the Story >>
As an ex-felon, it is hard to find a good job, or any job for that matter. It is even harder to refrain from going back to a life of crime and fast money. I stumbled across Windy City Harvest Transitional Jobs while being incarcerated and they gave me a chance to be the man I always dreamed of becoming. Windy City Harvest understood my trials and tribulations and encouraged me to become the working, proud father I am today by giving me a chance. This magnificent program offers counseling, informative classes every week, and a very supportive, motivating staff. I recommend Windy City Harvest to a lot of ex-felons and investors, because the program worked for me and I know it can work for other ex-felons. I recommend Windy City Harvest to investors because we need to expand, providing a better source of organic vegetables to our society, while helping others succeed in life. I finally have a real job with a real check stub, and I feel like I made not only myself proud, but my family and co-workers proud also. Working at Windy City Harvest as a transitional employee gave me the boost of confidence I needed to fly straight. I’m back in school, learning, and helping others in need. I get to take my children out without watching over my shoulder. I even landed a new job for when my transitional job ends. Benefits! I never thought I would ever have benefits and it feels great to accomplish goals that I thought were not achievable anymore. I told my supervisor “thank you, I couldn’t have done it without you” and she replied “that was all you, Cordero. You worked hard and you deserve it.” I plan on continuing on to my new job and hopefully returning to WCH next year as a crew leader and help the program expand.
Special project services: SYEP
SYEP- Teacher Assistant
Chelsea is a 19 year old youth with minimal work experience. She learned of the SYEP program ... Read the Story >>
Chelsea is a 19 year old youth with minimal work experience. She learned of the SYEP program through her aunt and decided she wanted to learn more about it. She came into our LWIA 16 office to learn more about the program and her brother and sister also came in with her. After talking with them about the specifics of the program, they all decided this would be a great chance to gain some real life work experience. Chelsea wanted to work with children, but hadn't had any actual work experience in this field. We sent her to interview at the Debra T. Thomas Learning Center in Bloomington, IL and they felt she was a good fit. She started working in the infant room and loved every minute of it. She said she has learned a lot about infant care and how to talk with parents about their individual child. She said one of the biggest lessons she has learned so far is that it is very important every morning to put the "right hat on" no matter what is going on in your personal life. The kids learn by watching everything you do and say, so you need to make sure to be a good role model for them. It has been a joy for her to work in the childcare center and she has built great relationships with the staff and the students at the center. She is very thankful of this opportunity and all she has learned from it.
Special project services: SYEP
Tashae is a 20 year old youth who came into the LWIA16 office after hearing about the SYEP program. ... Read the Story >>
Tashae is a 20 year old youth who came into the LWIA16 office after hearing about the SYEP program. She was looking for a job in childcare, but didn't have a lot of work experience. After meeting with her, we knew she would be a great asset to the Summer Youth Employment Program and set her up with an interview at YWCA. After she met with the supervisors at the YWCA, they instantly knew she would be a great fit with their team. Her supervisor said she was mature, helpful and became an important part of the classroom very quickly. They enjoyed her and felt she did such an outstanding job, they are going to hire her on as a regular employee once the grant ends. Tashae said with this experience, she gained knowledge of the rules and regulations in the child care industry and built experiences to put on her résumé. She is very appreciative of this experience and looks forward to joining the YWCA team as a regular employee.
Special project services: SYEP- YWCA
Summer Youth Employment Program
Success with Living 4 Childcare Learning Center
Success and Happy Faces
Summer Youth Employment Program
Keara Foxworth completed her work readiness training through Illinois workNet and received on-site ... Read the Story >>
Summer Youth Employment Program
Keara Foxworth completed her work readiness training through Illinois workNet and received on-site job training at the City of North Chicago in the Human Resources Department. Keara performed administrative tasks such as answering phones, making appointments, filing paperwork, and even helping with promotion at the summer festival in North Chicago. Through work readiness training, her case management worker helped her tweak her resume and apply for open positions near her town. After several interviews, Keara was hired as a sales representative for Best Buy.
Special project services: Summer Youth Employment Program
Stories count: 25