Story submitted by: WIA Adult Program Case Manager, Joan Hartmann – Forward Service Corporation
Download a printable version of Lindsey Huffman’s Success Story
When Lindsey was a little girl, she knew exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her father played a huge role in shaping her career goals. She grew up watching him work on diesel engines and heavy equipment. It didn’t matter the smell of gas or oil, the loudness of the engines, or even if she got grime under her fingernails. Lindsey wanted to become a diesel mechanic like her father. Lindsey understood following this career path would not be easy, but she never wavered.
During high school, choosing a final senior project was an easy decision for Lindsey. She was going to rebuild a CUMMINS 3.9 liter diesel engine! Tragedy struck Lindsey and her family. Her father suddenly passed away and her world crumbled. Fortunately for Lindsey, a family friend stepped up and offered to help her complete her senior project. Lindsey reached her goal of rebuilding the diesel engine. It was a difficult time, but Lindsey was determined to make her father proud. Finally, the day came when she had to demonstrate the completed project to her teachers, classmates, and family. Lindsay had to explain how the engine worked, and then start it. Lindsey turned the toggle switch and it started! That was a very proud moment for Lindsey.
After high school, Lindsey enrolled at Nicolet College, moving forward on the career path she had dreamed of for years. With the financial challenges of attending college, Lindsey was referred to the WIA Adult program where she met Joan Hartmann. Together Lindsey and Joan developed an employment plan that included tuition assistance and other WIA support services to help Lindsey stay on track. Eventually, Lindsey had to transfer to Fox Valley Technical College to complete her degree as a Diesel Mechanic. Moving away from her family, her hometown, and being the only female in her class, Lindsey faced new challenges.
Using technology and the weekends, Joan and Lindsey stayed in touch.
Lindsey made the Dean’s list each semester and mentored other students in her class. Lindsey’s instructors encouraged her to get involved with their summer Girl Tech program where she provided more than 70 young girls with hands on experience in the school’s shop.
In addition to her college classes, Lindsey also attended Joan’s workshops to develop a resume and to practice her interviewing skills. Joan and the WIA Adult program also provided information about money management.
With assistance from the WIA Adult program, and Joan’s constant moral support, Lindsey was able to complete the Diesel Technician Associate Degree with high honors and numerous certificates. A month after graduation, she became a Diesel Mechanic for Bowen’s Bus Service in Rhinelander. Needless to say, she loves her job. Lindsey would like to thank Joan and the WIA Adult program in helping her “succeed and accomplish (her) dream of becoming a diesel mechanic…”