“I felt Blessed to have WIA help with my Schooling”
Submitted by: Jamie Arndt, Forward Service Corporation’s WIA Case Manager
Download a printable version of Matt’s Success Story.
In May of 2010, Matt was dislocated from his job of nearly ten years. Feeling he needed a change Matt decided to return to school. He turned to the WIA Dislocated Worker program at the Wisconsin Rapids Job Center and was soon placed on their waitlist. Undecided about what educational path to take he enrolled in MidState Technical College’s (MSTC) Career Awareness course. The course led Matt in the direction of Information Technology (IT). From there, Matt took the initiative to earn his National Career Readiness Certificate earning himself a gold certificate.
In fall of 2011, Matt started school on his own in the IT Network Specialist program at MSTC. He was later referred to the WIA Adult program where he met with case manager, Jamie Arndt. Matt and Jamie reviewed his results from the Career Awareness class and his academic assessments. It was very apparent to both Matt and Jamie that he was in the right industry. Jamie could see that Matt was extremely motivated and would really benefit from the WIA Adult program. Matt and Jamie worked together on developing an employment plan. Matt talked with Jamie about his financial struggles to attend school full-time, and pay for daycare costs for his two boys. Matt also began to worry about his failing marriage, and the possibility of supporting his two boys while in school full-time. Throughout his training program, Matt and Jamie maintained contact monthly to help keep Matt on track. WIA was able to assist Matt with tuition, books and even some childcare expenses.
In addition to his full-time class schedule, Matt was very active on campus. He served as the president of the Campus Crusade for Christ Club, which Matt contributes to helping him keep on track to complete his program. In addition, Matt served as a computer center volunteer, tutoring at the Lowell Senior Center in Wisconsin Rapids. Matt also worked on campus as a student IT technician for MSTC’s IT Department. He was very excited to work with the great faculty and staff on campus.
In August 2012, Matt was taken off the waitlist for the WIA Dislocated Worker program. Being co-enrolled in both WIA programs, Matt was able to get the majority of his unmet needs met. The case managers from both programs worked closely with Matt throughout the remainder of his training program to ensure his success. Even with WIA assistance, Matt sought out scholarship opportunities. Matt knew he was fortunate and blessed to have the financial assistance, and took advantage of these opportunities to complete his program.
Matt was offered a full time position as an IT Support Specialist with a local manufacturer prior to graduating in May 2013. Matt is very satisfied in his new career and feels his training program provided him the experience and professional skills needed to become a valued employee. Matt had this to say about the program and his case managers, “This funding helped greatly to reduce the financial stress while I was in school and showed that WIA cared and wanted to help with more than just tuition or books.” Kudos Matt!