“Thank You WIA—For Giving me a Better Life!”
By: Jody Giese, 2014- Dislocated Worker Program Participant of the Year
Download a printable version of Jody Giese’s Success Story.
To The North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board,
I had been working at Wausau Paper, Brokaw division for 22 years going on 23 when I got the news that our plant was shutting down on February 10th of 2012. Wausau Paper gave the required 60 day notice to all employees. What a nice Christmas present that was. My first reaction was anger at management for allowing this to happen. I didn’t know what I was going to do. How do I continue to take care of my family? I think I went through every emotion possible.
Shortly after getting the news of the shutdown, my Labor Union was contacted by Cindy Kiesling. She explained how the WIA Dislocated Worker Program worked and how it would help the Brokaw group to move on. This program is absolutely unbelievable!!!!!!! I had the opportunity to be trained as a peer advisor and assist the program in explaining the benefits that were available to all dislocated employees. I can’t say enough how organized the program is and how professional the staff was at getting everyone signed up and heading in the right direction. You could see emotions and attitudes change for the better. People saw hope for themselves and families. I know the people of Brokaw are forever in debt to the staff that helped them get through one of the toughest times in their lives.
For me personally I have to give a special thank you to Ellen Hope, Erica Erdman and Robert Bauer for helping me through the program. Two years they worked by my side making sure I had everything I needed to get through my education program. I would have never accomplished this goal and step to recovery without them and the program.
The WIA Dislocated Worker Program offered numerous classes and workshops that I attended and gained valuable knowledge from. The program helped me improve my communication, writing, and job seeking skills. It also helped me identify my interests, which lead to my decision to go back to school and get a degree. From that point forward I knew what I wanted to do.
I entered the Mechanical Design Technology program at NTC in Wausau the fall of 2012. I made the President’s List every semester with a 4.0 grade point average. I did an Internship at Donaldson Company the summer of 2013. I had the opportunity to speak to Mechanical Design Advisory Committee Board on behalf of our class on the importance of Internships in the industry. I was asked to write a letter of nomination for Laurie Schulz (Mechanical Design Instructor) for the Robert C. Altman Educational Excellence Award.
I was awarded the Outstanding Graduate in the Mechanical Design Technology program for 2014. This award not only recognized my 4.0 GPA but also my Leadership, Design quality, and involvement in the program. The fall semester of 2013 I accepted a part time job working for Greenheck Fan Corp as a Part Time Drafter. In March of 2014, Greenheck made me an offer to work full time as a Mechanical designer upon graduation in May.
I am happy to say I am enjoying my job with them. I work at their Mosinee plant which is located 3.5 miles from my house. No more long drives to work battling traffic and the weather. I work Monday through Friday 6:30am-3:00pm. No more shift work and no more working weekends and holiday. I have more time to spend and enjoy with my family. People say everything happens for a reason. My quality of life is better now than when I was working at the paper mill.
In closing I need to say thank you again to the WIA Dislocated Worker Program and the North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board for getting me through a difficult time. Thank you for the training, financial help, and the quality of living needed for my family and I during schooling. Thank you for giving me a better life!!