ECWDB Success Stories

Workforce Development is all about helping to create successful individuals and successful businesses.

Meet Mauricio!

Mauricio : Carteret Success Story

Mauricio grew up in a violent gang neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, where there were few growth opportunities, and his safety was always a concern. When the opportunity arose, he moved to North Carolina but only found low-wage and physically demanding jobs. Mauricio realized education was his way out of his financial struggles and found a passion in Radiography at Carteret Community College. Mauricio came to NCWorks in April 2022, seeking assistance to help with his Radiography training. When he enrolled in the WIOA program, Mauricio was a single parent, finding it difficult to balance his work-life-school demands.

Once WIOA was able to help him with the needed financial assistance, he reduced his work schedule to part-time and was able to manage all his personal, school, and life responsibilities. He came to the Career Center one day excited that he had rediscovered his love for Radiography! On top of that, he enhanced his support system and found balance. Mauricio completed his training in May 2023 and passed his National Registry of Radiologic Technologists Certification. He then immediately found employment at Onslow Memorial Hospital. Mauricio plans to continue his educational training in Computerized Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Mauricio is grateful that he has earned the opportunity to work in an environment where he can help others and positively impact his community. He has reported to his Career Advisor that now instead of “dodging bullets,” he can help people in distress.

The NextGen Youth Program Helped Travis Find a Promising Future

Travis : Lenoir Success Story

Twenty-year-old Travis of Snow Hill has a new job with a promising career in his future, and it all started at Lenoir Community College (LCC). Career Advisor Tracey Price met Travis while he was attending High School Equivalency classes at LCC’s Greene County Center and thought he’d be a perfect fit for the NextGen, Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program at LCC.

“I mentioned it to Travis several times, but he just wasn’t interested, she said. “WIOA is designed to assist out of school youth ages 16-24 in career exploration, financial assistance with training cost, paid work experience, and support services based on individual needs. The goal of the program is for youth to attain employment become good employees and be financially independent.”

Price said she was talking to a co-worker, Dennis Liles, when she discovered he knew Travis and his family very well. Liles agreed that Travis would be a good fit for the Next Gen program, and he offered to reach out to Travis’s parents about the opportunities the program offered.

In that same conversation with Price, Liles discussed forming a partnership with the Town of Snow for youth to explore careers, providing them with paid work experience jobs. “It was from that conversation, I found out the Mr. Liles was also the mayor of Snow Hill, and we formed a partnership between the College and the Town,” Price said.

With some encouragement, Travis enrolled in the NextGen WIOA Youth program in August 2022.  “With some guidance, Travis set four goals in the program,” Price said. “He wanted to attain his High School Equivalency Diploma, attain his national Career Readiness Certificate, complete a paid work experience successfully, and obtain his driver’s license.”

Travis completed all his goals in record time, and in addition to that, while working with the Town he decided he would like to pursue a career in wastewater management.

“After working with the Town of Snow Hill, I became interested in the wastewater field and the opportunities it has to offer,” Travis said. “I learned new skills through this work experience and through the program.”

Because of Travis’s work ethic, dependability, and interest in becoming a wastewater operator, he was hired full time by the Town, in May 2023.  He plans to enroll in wastewater classes to become a certified operator as soon as possible.

“This is a training WIOA can pay for,” Price said, “but due to the timing of the class that is available the Town has offered to pay for his training. Travis’ story shows that hard work, and dedication does pay off. And the power of networking, people and agencies pulling together is an awesome way to help young people succeed.”

“I am so thankful for Mr. Liles getting involved and encouraging me to make a great choice to enroll in the NextGen program,” Travis said. “The mentoring I received from all the instructors and staff at LCC, and the knowledge I gained from my co-workers & my supervisor, Mr. (Drake) Robart, all played a part in my success. I thank God for making this all come together, from the work experience to landing a job with the Town of Snow Hill. I am grateful.”

Work Experience Partnership

Employer - Town of Snow Hill : Lenoir Success Story

The partnership between Lenoir Community College Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program and the Town of Snow Hill has turned out to be very successful for both agencies and the WIOA youth that have participated in the paid work experience program this past year.

In July 2022, Career Advisor Tracey Price and a co-worker, Mayor of Snow Hill, Dennis Liles discussed the WIOA Youth Work Experience Program. Mr. Liles was excited about the opportunities to partner with the youth program to help young people gain valuable work experience and assisting the Town employees. He stated it was a win win and set up a meeting with Ms. Price and the Town Manager.

Since that time, the Town has employed three Greene County WIOA youth participants, giving them the opportunity to learn valuable job skills and earning a good hourly rate of pay, all while mentoring the youth participants, encouraging them to grow and excel in all their goals. The jobs the Town has provided are very good career exploration opportunities with a range of jobs from the town office, to public works department.

Travis Rouse was hired full time after completing two paid work experiences. While on the job, Travis decided he would pursue his Wastewater Certification and was hired in May 2023 after his allotted hours were completed. Travis’s supervisor Drake Robart stated Travis has a great work ethic and a bright future with the Town.

Ms. Price said that working with the Town of Snow Hill has been a great experience for everyone, she has enjoyed getting to know such good people that are willing to work with participants with little to no experience from a variety of backgrounds and challenges to help them be successful in work and lif

WIOA Helped Pay for Esmeralda's Exams

Esmeralda : Wayne Success Story

Esmeralda joined the WIOA program in February of 2023. When she joined the program, she had already started the process towards completing her High School Equivalency Diploma and only needed help with paying for her last two GED exams. After successfully completing her GED exams, she decided to join the US Navy. She left for the Navy on May 8, 2023 the week of her graduation celebration. She said she wanted to travel the world and have a successful career as a Cyber Intelligence Officer in the US Navy.

WIOA Helped Evan Achieve his Goals

Evan : Carteret Success Story

Evan enrolled in the WIOA program in November of 2022 with a 10th-grade education.  He dropped out of high school several years before and has been “on his own” for most of his young adult life. Evan met with his Career Advisor and was able to map out the steps for him to reach his goal, including completing his high school equivalency, obtaining work experience, and preparing for his post-secondary transition. When asked about his interest in law enforcement, Evan shared that he survived a family whereby he reported, the police were called to his house excessively due to his parents’ domestic violence. However, Evan had positive role models in law enforcement in his family, which spawned his interest and motivation to be a positive role model in the field. 

Evan earned his High School Equivalency approximately one month after enrolling in WIOA and entered a paid work experience with the Morehead City Police Department in January of 2023 where he excels in each challenge they give him, including fingerprinting, taser training, and drug sniffing. He revels in the camaraderie of the officers and staff and is hopeful of being sworn into the MCPD next year if a spot is available. Due to his age, Evan will not enter post-secondary BLET training until January of 2024, where his tuition will likely be sponsored by the MCPD collaborating with WIOA to assist with books and supplies. In the meantime, Evan found a position as a Security Officer at the local hospital to help build his skills while continuing to maintain his work experience at the MCPD to continue to network with local officers and absorb their breadth of knowledge. Evan can also be seen “moonlighting” as McGruff the Crime Dog at official police events and when local schools visit the police department. Evan has expressed his gratitude to the WIOA program, his Career Advisor, and his worksite supervisor for being supports to help him be successful in his goals.

Brittney Overcame Great Challenges with the Help of NCWorks

Brittney : Lenoir Success Story

Brittney, a Wayne County resident, was attending Lenoir Community College for her associate degree in nursing when she applied to the WIOA Program. She is a single mother of two and worked part-time while enrolled in the nursing program. After the completion of her first semester, she applied to the WIOA Program and was eligible to receive assistance. As a WIOA Adult Participant, Brittney received financial aid assistance with tuition, fees, books, and Kaplan Testing Fees. Although she worked part-time, she needed supportive service assistance with her clinical sites and school. WIOA was able to provide mileage reimbursement assistance for her monthly until she completed the program. Brittney set goal objectives every semester and enjoyed her counseling sessions with her WIOA Career Advisor Ika Grant. The counseling sessions gave her time to discuss what she was learning in the nursing program, additional assistance needed, and any other factors she felt comfortable talking about. Her Career Advisor would often research topics related to her studies to help her review for upcoming tests or make referrals to other agencies if needed. Brittney rigorously studied about 300 NCLEX questions weekly. During Brittney’s last semester she was hospitalized while on Spring Break. She informed me she was pregnant and had complications. She had to remain in the hospital until she delivered her twins.

Thankfully, Brittney had successfully completed all coursework and clinical assignments. Her instructors permitted her to attend class online for her Kaplan/NCLEX reviews. Brittney delivered her twin babies at the end of April. Her premature son and daughter remained in NICU after birth. Brittney was physically able to return to campus to attend LCC’s Pining Ceremony for Allied Health Students. She was surprised with the Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students. This award acknowledges and honors nursing students for the above-and-beyond care and compassion shown to patients and their families. Brittney was excited and honored to be recognized. She is the first student at LCC to receive this award.

Brittney remained steadfast on her goal and continued studying and preparing to take the NCLEX-RN exam. She asked and received WIOA assistance with the NCLEX exam, NCBON application fee, background check, and graduation regalia. She was able to participate in LCC 2023 Graduation Ceremony and received her associate degree in nursing on May 9, 2023. On May 31, 2023, Brittney achieved her goal and passed the NCLEX-RN exam. She endured a lot and never gave up hope. Her daughter is now home, but her son is still in the hospital improving. Brittney accepted a job offer as a Public Health Nurse for the Lenoir County Health Department. She will start her new role on July 10, 2023.

Brittney thanks the WIOA Adult Program and her WIOA Career Advisor, Ika Grant. She stated, “Ms. Ika is such a sweet person and so open to helping me with whatever I needed. I know it's her job, but I do feel she works beyond her title and genuinely cares about other's success and well-being. Mrs. Grant’s work ethic proves how we know God has her in the right place!” Congratulations and awesome job Brittney!

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