KRA CTWorks Gets Navy Vet Back on Track

Michael Castelvetere is a current KRA/CTWorks customer, and former Medic.  After his discharge from the Navy, he worked for many years with photographers and in the photo-lab printing industry. However, he was continually laid off from these positions as the industry shifted more and more from film to digital technology. When Melissa Cordon, KRA/CTWorks Enfield Site Coordinator/Team Lead, met with Mike, she learned that he had been living in a motel for 7 years, had exhausted his 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, and was in need of both food and money. Tackling the most pressing needs first, Cordon assisted Mike in completing applications for the USDA SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) that provides EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards for purchasing food, and for the SAGA (State Administered General Assistance) program, which provides cash relief, and often rental housing support to adults, with no dependents. Cordon also referred him to a VA representative for additional assistance and resources.  In discussing his educational and vocational goals, Mike shared that he really loved his Navy position as a Medic, and wanted to re-enter the healthcare field by training to become certified as a Medical Assistant.

While in the process of designing a plan that would lead to Mike’s training and employment goals, he was evicted from the motel and had to move into a shelter for the homeless. Switching gears, Cordon now had to address the issue of immediate employment, and got Mike an interview…and subsequent part-time job, which he started on July 1, 2011, at Auto Zone. 

Mike started saving his money and, with assistance from the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, was soon able to move into his own apartment. Once he had stable employment and housing, Cordon returned to working on Mike’s goal of Medical Assistant training, which required an ITA (Individual Training Account), which is a voucher to purchase services from State-approved training providers. With his ITA approved, Mike began his 1-year training on September 23, 2011, at Asnuntuck Community College. Cordon said, “When he stopped in to see me to get his ITA, he said he couldn’t thank me enough and would be forever grateful for what CTWorks and our partner agencies had done for him. I look forward to watching Mike excel at his training, and to assisting him in reaching his ultimate goal of working as a Medical Assistant in the healthcare sector.”