Am I Dreaming? Is this Really Happening?
Submitted by: WIA Dislocated Worker Participant, Kevin
Download a printable version of Kevin’s Success Story.
In May, 2010, the company I worked for announced they were closing the plant I worked at. My first reaction was thinking, “What am I going to do now?” I was 50 at the time and had gone to work at this factory right after
I had graduated high school and had spent my entire working life at the same place.
In the fall of 2011, I heard about a program being offered through the North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (NCWWDB) and Northcentral Technical College (NTC) to help dislocated workers learn a new skill set. The program was a five month version of the one-year program that NTC offers on Machine Tooling, with an added emphasis on CNC Machining. After talking with WIA Dislocated Worker Employment Specialist, Erica Erdman from
the Marathon County Job Center and NCWWDB’s Special Projects Contractor, Ray Rogers, I decided to enroll in the
On February 7, 2012, I started my schooling as a part of the program. Once I got going, I thought about what a wonderful opportunity this was going to be. As a part of the program, Ray Rogers had arranged multiple visits with area employers to show us what we would be doing with our newly learned skills and to expose us to prospective employers.
On June 19, 2012 (4 ½ months into the program), I along with the other students in the Machine Tooling program participated in an employer roundtable meeting with multiple local employers. This was a truly nerve racking experience, but it was a great opportunity to meet with the employers present and hand out resumes to them as well as talk with them about potential job opportunities. After having many good conversations with the human resources managers and plant managers present, I walked away feeling positive that something good would come from this.
The next day when I got home from school, I had a message waiting for me. One of the employers from the roundtable event had called and said they were interested in setting up an interview with me the following day, June 21st. When I got to the interview, I met with the plant manager. He took me straight to his office, sat down, pulled out a packet of information and proceeded to show me what my hourly wage would be and what benefits I would be receiving. All I could think was “am I dreaming and, is this really happening?” I was being offered a job and I hadn’t even finished my schooling yet. This opportunity was based on the new skills that I learned in the Machine Tooling program and the conversations that I had at the employer roundtable. Without either of those two things, I would not have had the opportunity to get this job.
There are a few people that I would like to thank for helping me along the way: TAA Coordinators Gail Hurd and Jan Wegner, Ray Rogers, and an especially huge thanks to Erica Erdman.