In October 2011, John Codianni, 48 and married with two children, enrolled in the KRA/CTWorks program, in the Greater Hartford area of Connecticut, seeking assistance in gaining fulltime, meaningful employment. Despite a strong work history, as well as a BS degree in International Business, John had been unemployed for almost 2 years; his family was experiencing critical financial hardship, and in fact, in danger of losing their home.
During intake, Steve Duncan, KRA Business Services Consultant, determined that John was eligible for services under the WIA Adult/Dislocated Workers Program, and scheduled him for a series of assessments to pinpoint his specific aptitudes, interests, and skills and abilities. Results indicated that John’s Individual Employment Plan should include One-Stop orientation, interviewing skills and resume preparation, targeted career guidance in job-application and job-search techniques, and placement in an On-the-Job (OJT) position to afford John some immediate income.
Duncan discussed with John what he thought were his most marketable assets: his entrepreneurial experience in the crafts and jewelry industry, and his interest in returning to this type of business to fully maximize his extensive knowledge, skills, and abilities in this area. Using a variety of business-services search engines, Duncan discovered a great opportunity for John with a prominent jewelry establishment in the Windsor area. On November 1, 2011, after an intensive interview process, John was selected to participate in a 6-month OJT program with the store.
Duncan reported, “John was beside himself with enthusiasm and excitement. He not only excelled at his OJT position as a jeweler/designer, he also learned how to manufacture high-end jewelry for the establishment, and showed such promise that the store arranged for him to receive additional training in appraising diamonds and other precious gems and other upscale jewelry pieces. In addition, he has achieved registered-jewelry certification.” When asked about the sources of training and certification, Duncan replied, “John received the appraisal training through RDI Diamonds, a company based in Rochester, New York, that offers this service to upscale jewelry establishments, and after required coursework and training, the American Gem Society bestowed the certification.”
John’s OJT position successfully led to a well-paid, fulltime job on May 1, 2012. Kim Staley, Program Manager, concluded, “John is so grateful for securing this position, that he has volunteered to speak at KRA/CTWorks to advocate for the OJT program, the many other free programs and workshops that we offer, and the dedicated staff that helped him so much. Mr. Codianni stated to us, ‘I hope that these programs can do for others what they have done for me. It certainly has provided a new and better future for me and my family. Thank you KRA and CTWorks’.”