ECWDB Success Stories

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


Janet Landed a Job with the Assistance of Craven NCWorks

Janet : Adult Success Story

Janet is a Veteran who was unemployed during the summer of 2021, and Career Advisor Taylor Lee in New Bern contacted her for a virtual appointment. Taylor thoroughly updated her NCWorks profile, as is the custom in the New Bern office, and encouraged her in her efforts owing to her extensive skills. As part of the registration process, Taylor made a resume for her and emailed it to her that same day.

When a vacancy for the SBE Veterans/JVSG position came open in the New Bern NCWorks office, Janet decided to apply for it and was thrilled to get an interview for the position.

When Janet was hired and reported to work her first day, she was able to meet Taylor in person: not as an applicant, but as a new coworker. Janet then told Taylor that she was appreciative of his efforts, kind words and support, and that she used the resume he had made for her when she reported to her interview.

Janet and Taylor are glad to be working in the same office and can assist each other every day. They are both passionate about helping their customers and look forward to working together to help their clients in the days to come. Janet is pleased that she can help others, in the same way that she was assisted.

Source: Craven NCWorks Career Center

Makayla Gaitan

Carteret Community College Graduate, Makayla Gaitan, Received the Governor's Award of Distinction

Makayla Gaitan : Youth Success Story

After receiving her high school diploma through the Carteret Community College Adult High School, Gaitan pursued her college degree and entered the Human Services Technology program at Carteret CC, during which she worked as a WIOA student worker as the College’s Retention and Counseling Services Assistant.

“I owe a lot to Carteret Community College and the WIOA program,” said Gaitan. “To be recognized for doing my job and pursuing my passion of helping others is such a great feeling. I know I am on the right career path and to have that recognized gives me indescribable joy.”

In May 2021, Gaitan graduated with her Associate in Applied Sciences degree in Human Services Technology from Carteret Community College and is now pursing her bachelor’s degree at Lees-McRae College. She hopes to pursue her master’s and possibly her doctorate.

“I am continuing to work with and for people while preparing for a future career as a therapist,” said Gaitan. “But no matter what, as long as I am able to help others, I will be happy.”

Makayla Gaitan, Carteret Community College graduate, is the recipient of the 2021 Governor’s NC Works Award of Distinction in the category of Outstanding Young Adult. The award recognizes young adults who have been involved in a publicly funded NC workforce service or program and have demonstrated exceptional achievement to attain career-related goals. Gaitan participated in the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) youth program through the Carteret NCWorks Career Center.

“The WIOA program and the NCWorks staff are extremely proud of Makayla’s accomplishment,” said WIOA Youth Program Coordinator Merianne Grigoriciuc. “She has demonstrated academic, personal and professional perseverance throughout her time in the WIOA program and has exemplified professionalism, empathy and quality customer service in each of her work experiences and internships. Makayla’s dedication to help others and serve her community are the qualities that make her deserving of the Governor’s NCWorks Award of Distinction.”

Source: Carteret Community College


The Finish Line Grant Helped Jasmine Graduate from Craven Community College and Find a Career

Jasmine : Finish Line Grant

Craven Community College (Craven CC) graduate Jasmine Hodge has used her success as a student to propel her into the healthcare field. From the WIOA Program, she was able to receive the guidance and assistance she needed to complete her education and join the workforce.

Hodge began her college endeavor in 2011 with the hope of attending East Carolina University. After that didn’t pan out, she realized that Craven CC offered her a perfect alternative that allowed her to continue living with her mother. She first started at Craven CC in the fall of 2011 with the expectation of becoming a nurse. However, after having children, she soon realized that the steep workload of nursing students did not mesh well with motherhood. She sat down with her advisor, Zomar Peter, and figured out a new degree plan in the Medical Assisting (MA) program.

“Advisors provide clarity on students’ academic direction and educational goals,” said Peter. “For example, with Jasmine, her goal was to enter the nursing program, but being a single mother, she was not able to stop working. With the nursing program, students are encouraged not to work or work minimally due to the rigor of the program. Advisors will be able to guide students through the prerequisites for all programs, but specifically health and nursing programs. Medical Assisting was perfect for Jasmine because of the various online options available for her work and personal life.”

Hodge admitted that the workload in the MA program was still very stressful at times, but the bonds she formed with her classmates and the realization that everyone was going through similar situations helped her through it. She also found comfort in assisting other students who were having difficulty, several of whom were mothers as well.

“We all have the same struggle with trying to study but also be a parent,” said Hodge. “We’re trying to come to class and also be a parent; to help your kids with their schoolwork and still having your own workload of school and homework. We had a lot of the same struggles but we also all helped each other.”

Hodge's story is one of perseverance and dedication. After a time, the workload was too much and she was forced to leave the WIOA program. She did not give up on her goals though, and in 2019 she was able to take the MA test with the help of the Finish Line Grant. The Finish Line Grant provided the funding that allowed her to take the MA test and graduate from the program. She is currently employed at Coastal Carolina Health Care Endoscopy Center and encourages other parents who are in school or thinking about starting to not get discouraged and put forth maximum effort.

Students are able to seek assistance through financial aid, scholarships, and grants to help them complete their education when facing unexpected challenges. Contact Craven Community College or your local NCWorks Career Center to find out more on what programs are available to help you succeed.

“In order for students like Jasmine to be successful at juggling school and motherhood, we provide not only academic advising, but we do provide financial assistance for those who are struggling financially,” said Peter. “It is important for students like Jasmine to have someone who provides continuous encouragement, hope and a very good listening ear. At Craven, that is what we provide.”

Source: Holly Desrosier, Craven Community College


Paid Work Experiences at Wayne Community College Helped Diamond Find her Career Path

Diamond : Youth Success Story

Diamond was on a paid work experience through the NextGen Youth Program at Wayne Community College. She started as a Literacy Connections Intern before moving on to her second position as a Registrar Assistant. Each position helped her gain the skills that she would need to work in her desired career path. She was able to gain exposure to the working world and its requirements. In addition to that, she was exposed to many community events such as festivals and career fairs and was able to participate in volunteer opportunities. Last month, after a lot of hard work and dedication, she passed her GED exam. She is currently working as a clerical assistant for Wages Inc., and she is also enrolled in curriculum courses in the Business Administration Program.

Source: Wayne Community College


Sharieka Excelled in the NextGen Youth Program at Wayne Community College

Sharieka : Youth Success Story

Sharieka joined the WIOA out-of-school youth program in the summer of 2016. When she first started, she immediately expressed her interest in working with and helping others. At first, her desired career was to become a Clinical Nursing Technician, but as she continued through the program, she discovered that she was interested in the childcare field. She eventually decided that she would love to own her own childcare center. To accomplish this goal, she would have to attain more education and training. Sharieka committed the time and effort into receiving her High School Equivalency in the spring of 2017.

While she was working on her GED®, she participated in work experiences at several local daycares. Sharieka then enrolled in the Early Childhood Program at Wayne Community College in the summer of 2017. After 3 years of hard work, dedication, and commitment, Sharieka was able to participate in the drive-thru graduation celebration at Wayne Community College in the spring of 2020. Due to the pandemic, she could not be awarded her degree until she completed the required practicum hours. She successfully completed her hours in the fall of 2020 and is currently operating her own in-home day care!

Source: Wayne Community College

Veronica Enrolls in the WIOA Youth Program

Veronica C. : Youth Success Story

Veronica C. recently enrolled in the WIOA Youth Program at Carteret Community College. She came into to the program while enrolled in the Basic Skills’ Adult High School Diploma program, seeking to earn a high school degree. Veronica would like to attend college and has her sights on being a Writer one day. Veronica indicated an interest in gaining work experience and building her resume. She wanted to get experience in customer service, administrative work, and work that would allow for a creative outlet. Shortly after enrolling, we were able to arrange for an interview with the campus library, as they needed a Library Page. Veronica prepared well for the interview and impressed the library director in so many ways. In her position, she will interact with library patrons, shelve books and assist with special projects such as creating bulletin boards and special displays for the library. Veronica started her work experience this week and the library staff feel she will be a valuable asset to their program.

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