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Success Stories

Brandon Collins

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In November 2013, Brandon lost his job as a maintenance mechanic in a company that he worked with for 13 years before it moved its plant overseas. Prior to becoming an adversely affected worker, Brandon held an associate's degree in Mechanics and a certificate in Welding from Southeast Community College.

Under the TAA Program, Brandon decided to enroll in the Nursing program at North Central Missouri College. The TAA Program provided Brandon the opportunity to pursue a completely different career, which he had been interested in for many years.

Brandon, a single father raising a son on his own, received training under TAA to become more competitive in the job market. In July 2015, Brandon successfully completed his training and received a Certificate in Nursing. He is now using his newly acquired skills and is working at a hospital in Fairfax, Missouri as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Brandon has been inspired to further his education and pursue a Registered Nursing Degree.

Debbie Kendrick

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Debbie Kendrick found herself unemployed after 24 years of dedicated service when the plant where she worked closed. But, she soon found that she was eligible for TAA benefits and services. Having paused her educational pursuits after receiving her high school diploma, Debbie decided to use this as an opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream to become a nurse.

Because Debbie had always wanted to be a nurse, she had already begun planning for a career change by taking a few classes to apply toward a nursing degree. Thanks to the TAA Program, case management, and her pre-planning, Debbie was able to complete a Diploma in Practical Nursing in less than a year.

Debbie secured a position as a Licensed Practical Nurse with a local doctor's office in August 2014. Debbie said, "I am very thankful to have the opportunity to achieve the goal of becoming a nurse, something I have always dreamed about." Assisting adversely affected workers like Debbie to obtain the skills and credentials to become reemployed is what the TAA Program is all about.

An Ho

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Mr. Ho worked for a company in Oregon for seven years as a Product Service Technician before being laid off. When Mr. Ho and his fellow adversely affected workers were certified under the TAA Program, he became eligible to enroll for TAA benefits and services. Mr. Ho held a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, but he lacked the work experience in the Computer Science field to make him more marketable. Mr. Ho wanted to expand and enhance his current level of education to make himself more competitive in the Computer Science field.

Mr. Ho's TAA training was approved for the occupational goal of Software Developer. In March 2014, he successfully completed his training program and obtained multiple Microsoft Certifications. Upon graduating, his local American Job Center (WorkSource Oregon) helped to connect him with a company that hired him as an ERP Integration Developer.

Mr. Ho is grateful for the opportunities that the TAA Program gave him, as it helped him "pick up new skills," that put him back to work in a very short period of time.

Jose Martinez

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Despite limited education and work experience, Jose Martinez found employment performing packing and assembly operations. In his six years with his company, Jose was promoted to Forklift Operator in the warehouse department, but was eventually laid off due to a shift in work overseas.

Being an adversely affected worker, in May 2013, Jose took advantage of TAA Program benefits and services at the ValleyWorks Career Center (VWCC), including a Career Center Seminar, and attended a meeting with the VWCC staff.

Following an initial and a Comprehensive Assessment, Jose was counseled on programs and workshops available for those impacted by the layoff. Jose had a foreign high school diploma from his native Dominican Republic, but no other credentials. During these consultations, it was determined that Jose could benefit from English as a Second Language (ESL) training, since improving his English skills would allow him to better transition to an occupational training program.

With continued TAA support, Jose was able to later enroll in a Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) occupational skills training program at a local vocational school. Jose was praised by the school as a student who was instrumental in assisting and motivating other less knowledgeable students. Jose graduated from the training program in July 2015, maintaining an overall G.P.A. of 4.0 throughout his studies. Upon graduating, Jose had three job offers and accepted employment as a Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic in July 2015.

Kathy Motley

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At the age of 50, after 25 years of service, Kathy Motley was laid off from her production job at an Oklahoma factory. After being certified as eligible for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, she worked with her case manager and decided to attend school at Gordon Cooper Technology Center to become an Aircraft Mechanic. Kathy excelled in Aviation training and was chosen as the Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year for the 2009-2010 General Class, and was given a perfect attendance award. Shortly after earning her degree, she was hired at a local Air Force Base.

Because of the training experience, she enjoys sharing her knowledge with students. She volunteers two lunch hours each week to tutor an intern who is studying for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exams. On weekends she meets with aviation students at a local library to go over class material.

She is grateful for her chance to participate in the TAA program. "Thank you to Workforce Oklahoma for the tuition assistance and supportive services, which changed my life!"

Jennifer Honn

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After working as a forklift operator at an Indiana factory for 10 years, Jennifer Honn lost her job when her company moved operations overseas. She was certified for Trade Adjustment Assistance, and took advantage of the training provided through the program to further her training. Working closely with her case manager, Jennifer decided to attend a local community college to earn a degree in Business Administration. After she earned her degree, she was hired as a Human Resources Administrator at a local pharmacy.

"This has been a rewarding and exciting career change. Looking back ten years ago, I never would have dreamed of this new career path. It shows you that with hard work and determination, dreams are possible."

Paul Harter

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Paul Harter was laid off from his job at an automotive plant in Michigan in February of 2010, where he had been working as a warehouse coordinator. He was certified for Trade Adjustment Assistance, and after a period searching for a job, Paul decided he wanted to enroll in training. After working with his case manager and conducting some research, he was convinced that pursuing a career in the wind energy field was the best choice for him. He enrolled in a six-month Wind Turbine Technician Academy Program at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and five days after completing his training, he was offered a job in Minnesota. With the help of another TAA benefit - a job relocation allowance - he and his family moved so he could start his new job, where he began earning much more than he had been earning as a warehouse coordinator.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity I was given to change the course of my life, and the staff at Michigan Works! made it all possible."

Juan Bustamante

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Juan Bustamante worked as a machine operator in California for over eleven years at a company that produced aluminum car rims. However, when a large nearby auto manufacturing plant shifted its operations out of the country, Mr. Bustamante and 300 of his colleagues lost their production jobs. Even through his financial and family obligations, he was able to pursue training through the TAA program at the Los Angeles Valley College Job Training Center, where he took remedial courses in English, Math, and Speech. He then qualified for and completed the Transportation Metro Bus Operator Bridge Training Program, after which time he was hired on through a paid internship, and then as a full-time employee with full benefits and career ladder opportunities.

"I would like to thank the TAA Program for helping me achieve my goal, and to Los Angeles Valley College for preparing me to succeed with a career at LA Metro!"

Michael Benson

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At 48 years old, Michael Benson was laid off from his New York auto plant job after almost 17 years of employment. He had been working in the machining industry in a variety of capacities for over 30 years, but could no longer find stable employment as a machinist. Due to this, and a variety of other personal and professional circumstances, Mr. Benson decided to pursue medical training through the TAA program. Entering training was not an easy decision for him to make, but was the one that provided the most promise for his future.

With funding available through the Unemployment Insurance program, Mr. Benson and his wife decided to re-locate to Nevada, where he enrolled in a Respiratory Therapy training program. In two years, at 50 years of age, he graduated with honors from his program and earned a license to practice Respiratory Care in Nevada. He was hired on a per diem basis by a local hospital, and is earning considerably more than he had ever earned as a manufacturing worker.

"I am so very grateful for all of the help from the TAA Program!"

Kim Franklin

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Kim Franklin was laid off from a manufacturing company in January of 2009. As a single mother of two boys, Ms. Franklin had to care for her children and pay all he household bills on her own. After being laid off, she received unemployment insurance benefits, which were significantly less than her previous wages - she knew she needed to consider a new career. Ms. Franklin was introduced to the workforce network through a Career Transition workshop held for those impacted by the layoffs, and through the TAA Program, she was able to enroll in training as a Medical Assistant training at a local community college.

Ms. Franklin graduated from the training program with on May 15 of 2011, with an overall grade point average of 3.9. She is currently employed at as a Medical Assistant at a local community health clinic.

"I would like to say thank you Workforce Network, you made it possible."

Jacqueline Elmy

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Jacqueline Elmy was laid off in January of 2010 from a Pennsylvania insulation production company after working there for 21 years. Throughout her time there, she performed forklift operation, warehouse, and production work. After she was laid off, she decided to pursue training as a Certified Nurse Aid, which she did through the Dislocated Worker program. However, her long term goal was to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), which was paid for through the TAA program. Ms. Elmy began training at the Wilkes-Barre Career and Technical Center in March 2011 for LPN under the Trade Act 2009 and completed her course work in June 2012. She graduated with honors and received awards of excellence for perfect attendance and for professionalism in the clinical setting.

Ms. Elmy secured seasonal employment on August 23, 2012 as an LPN working at an immunization clinic, and additional employment working for a health agency that educates and conducts health fairs for local businesses. Her hourly rate at this position includes travel time and mileage.

"I am grateful to have qualified for and participated in the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, which has allowed me to embark on a new and rewarding career!"

James Reynolds

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James Reynolds was 52 years old when he lost his job of 18 years as a Tube Bender at a factory in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, and was certified for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). Mr. Reynolds had always thought about returning to school if given the opportunity, but had been hearing impaired since childhood and wondered if this might present a problem. During his first few meetings with a career specialist at a local American Job Center, James had trouble hearing. His career specialist, Krys Fisher, referred him to the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS): Division of Rehabilitation Services to find out if he was eligible to receive assistance to purchase hearing aids. Within no time, they had him evaluated and fitted with a pair of hearing aids - all at no cost to him. When Mr. Reynolds first put the hearing aids on, he was amazed at how much he could hear.

In the fall of 2010, James began the Automotive Mechanics Technology Program at a local community college. It was a difficult time for him - not only had he returned to school after more than 30 years, but he also had to deal with the loss of his mother and put all of her affairs in order. James persevered through it all and managed to finish the semester with straight "A"s. He completed his two-year program in May of 2012 with a GPA of 4.0. James was also a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and was named Outstanding Automotive Tech Student of the year. In August of 2012, his dream was realized when he was offered the job he had always wanted - an automotive mechanic position at the Wayne County School District.

Career Specialist Krys Fisher said, "Jim was very appreciative of the assistance he received through Man-Tra-Con Corporation and the Trade program."

Timothy Dean

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Timothy Dean was employed with a textile factory in Georgia for over ten years when it shut its doors, at which time he was certified for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits. However, shortly after his layoff, Mr. Dean was able to secure employment with a tire company, a company he thought he would retire from. However, after another ten years of employment, he was laid off from this firm as well, and certified for TAA again. This time, Mr. Dean was determined to take advantage of the training available through the program.

Working closely with a case manager, he enrolled in school to receive training as a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA), an occupation in high demand in his area. Mr. Dean made it through the stringent selection process, and with hard work and dedication, was awarded an Associate of Science as a PTA in December of 2011. Timothy went on to pass his boards and was hired as a PTA, January 2012. Recently, Mr. Dean accepted a position with a nursing home located in Albany, making a substantial salary with an impressive benefits package.




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