ECWDB Success Stories

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

Tyree Jones

Tyree Obtains his CDL and Finds Employment with the Help of WIOA

Tyree Jones : WIOA Success Story

Mr. Tyree Jones has been a participant in the WIOA program since May 2021. He has been working with Mr. Duane Clark, WIOA Career Advisor. Mr. Jones visited Mr. Clark concerning financial assistance with obtaining his CDL license from Craven Community College. Duane was skeptical about Tyree participating in the CDL program due to the rigorous training and scheduling demands of the class. However, Tyree assured him that he was up to the challenge. Well not only was Tyree up to the challenge of the CDL class but he turned out to be one of Duane’s most positive and consistent students. He was on time with all required WIOA paperwork and always responded to phone calls, emails or texts and we as case managers LOVE it when our student’s follow-up with us.

In August 2021, Tyree Jones officially passed the CDL class and obtained his Commercial Driver’s License, he is now employed with DPD Concrete in Grantsboro, NC. Tyree is working a lot of long shifts but in his spare time he enjoys fishing and relaxing with family. I’m very proud of Tyree and I feel that he is going to be a real positive role model in his community by communicating to young people that the value of an education is priceless.

NCWorks Helps Eric Find Employment

Eric : Adult Success Story

Eric contacted the NCWorks Career Center in New Bern for assistance applying for a position with the City of New Bern. Eric was working full-time for another local municipality, driving 2 hours every day and wanted to be closer to home here in New Bern.

With Eric employed so far from New Bern, an in-person appointment would not work, so Eileen McGaughey “met” with Eric via telephone. She completed his NCWorks registration including setting up job alerts for positions closer to home and creating a resume he could use for the City of New Bern application.

Eric called Eileen a couple of weeks after applying with the City of New Bern to inform her he was selected for an interview.  Excited about this opportunity and wanting to do his best, Eric asked to complete a practice interview. For the practice interview, Eric and Eileen scheduled an in-person appointment. Eileen and another NCWorks Career Center staff member met with Eric and conducted a mock interview. 

During his employment search, Eric interviewed with two great employers in New Bern. Using the skills he gained in the practice interview, Eric obtained the position that was on the top of his list – Utility Maintenance Worker with the City of New Bern.  Congratulations Eric!

Providing Opportunities to Veterans

Brian Dandridge : Veteran Success Story

On Feb 4, 2021, Brian Dandridge came into the Duplin County NCWorks Career Center for job search assistance and career guidance.  Melvin Sabillon, CSR, assisted Mr. Dandridge with registering into and referred him to Carla Whaley, Career Advisor, for additional services.

Carla assisted Brian with job searching and explained the services offered through the Career Center. He told Carla he was currently homeless and unemployed. He had worked as a swine farmer for seventeen years and lost his housing upon resigning his position.

Brian’s experience working with swine lagoons inspired him to enroll in the Combined Biological Waste Water Operator I and II class at James Sprunt Community College. Carla instructed Brian to update his resume to showcase his work history and enrollment in the Waste Water class. Carla learned Mr. Dandridge was a Disabled Naval Veteran. She explained the NCWorks Veteran’s Program to Brian and contacted Zackary Branch, Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist (DVOP) for Duplin County, to request his assistance with Mr. Dandridge, as well.

 Zackary began working with Brian on Feb 23, 2021 and referred him to several openings within the surrounding area.  Mr. Branch also contacted Charles Lee with the Veterans Services of the Carolinas-Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP).  After enrolling in HVRP, the program paid for Brian to test and receive his Waste Water Treatment Plant I certification.

 Mr. Dandridge continued to receive services from the Duplin County Career Center. Charliss Gwynn, Career Advisor, joined the team focused on assisting with his job search. Charliss found a position with the City of Jacksonville and the Pender County Utilities – Water Department Division. She shared the information with Carla who immediately called Brian with application instructions.  Brian promptly submitted a Pender County application and was soon scheduled to interview.  After completing the interview Mr. Dandridge was extended a job offer with Pender County Utilities starting on May 17, 2021. 

 The NCWorks Career Center continues to assist Brian with locating affordable housing. Zachary Branch (DVOP) referred Brian to Volunteers of America and Charliss Gwynn referred him to the Homeless Emergency Solutions Grant operated by Greene Lamp Community Action.

Kara Thomas

NCWorks Helping Job Seekers

Kara Thomas : Adult Success Story

In March 2021, Kara Thomas utilized our AWS to request referrals for positions with two local municipalities posted in NCWorks. Kara and Eileen McGaughey met via telephone to complete her NCWorks registration including setting up virtual recruiter and completing her requested referrals. Kara’s situation was unique so she and Eileen spent time discussing how to manage the application and interview process.

About a week after their initial meeting, Kara called with great news-she had two interviews scheduled for early April. Kara and Eileen met to strategize and plan for her interviews, also reviewing Kara’s career portfolio. 

Kara worked her plan and on April 12 called Eileen to share the wonderful news-she was offered and accepted a position with Pamlico County!

Lateesha Taylor

Connecting Job Seekers with Employers

Lateesha Taylor : Adult Success Story

Lateesha Taylor is a Chapter 31 referral John received in January and immediately began working with her to find part time employment that suited her specific needs. She desired to stay local and had specific considerations that determined her ability to work. John has been working with her on her resume and provided resources outside of Career Services that could assist her in other ways.

John submitted a referral for a part time position with Blue Arbor Staffing for a part time position with NCWorks as a receptionist. Lateesha was offered the position 4/26/2021 and began work on 5/3/2021. John will continue to monitor her progress and provide assistance if needed.

Sharika Lender

WIOA Helps LCC Grad Follow Her Passion

Sharika Lender : Adult Success Story

Sharika Lender of Kinston was a single mother making minimum wage to make ends meet to provide for her family when she enrolled in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Adult Program at Lenoir Community College. 

The WIOA program, through the NCWorks Career Center, was established to assist adults and dislocated workers in retraining and obtaining employment and it offers a mix of employment, training, and job placement services. Participants may access individual training accounts to assist with tuition, fees, books, supplies, and accident insurance.

Lender had a passion and love for teaching children and was working part-time at daycare centers and would volunteer at after-school facilities to gain experience. 

She was enrolled in Early Childhood Education at LCC working towards earning an associate degree. During her courses, she struggled with completing her required math for the program. Lender was juggling working at Greene Lamp, raising her daughter, and trying to complete her coursework online. With the weight of all her responsibilities, her grades began to slip. 

“I became overwhelmed with the coursework and not being able to keep up. I began to doubt myself and was unsure if I would reach my goal of earning my degree.” Lender leaned on her WIOA Counselor, Ika Grant for guidance on how to be successful in the program.

“I suggested Sharika receive tutoring or extra help from her instructor when she began struggling with the class. I worked with Sharika to establish better study habits and to help her better manage her time with all her responsibilities,” Grant said.  

Lender began to prioritize her schoolwork and scheduled time for extra studying. She received encouragement from her friends and Greene Lamp work family.  Her co-workers tutored her in math, a subject she was struggling with and she graduated in July 2019. While enrolled in WIOA, she received numerous certifications, a diploma, and an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Early Childhood Education She worked as an EDU Care Lead Teacher for Greene Lamp until February 28, 2020 and is now working Embracing Kids Child Care Services, LLC. 

“With faith, encouragement and support, I did what I needed to do for my family and myself. I'm forever grateful for my teachers and Mrs. Ika Grant at LCC. Never give up and always keep God first.”  

For more information on the WIOA Program, contact Samara Taft, Director of WIOA Title I Programs/ NCWorks Career Center Manager, at or (252) 527-6223, ext. 111.

Source: Neuse News

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