November’s Spotlight! shines on the achievements of three Waccamaw Region, South Carolina, customers whose futures are significantly brighter due to the efforts of two dedicated Career Agents and the resources of the WIA Adult/Dislocated Workers Program that specifically assists unemployed individuals, who, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs.
When Kathy Hammond, KRA Career Agent, met with Vertanza Cunningham, she learned that this accomplished, well-educated professional was seeking assistance with resume preparation, effective job-search techniques, and ultimately meaningful fulltime employment. Despite two BS degrees…Information Technology and Management Information Systems…and solid work experience, Ms. Cunningham was having difficulty finding gainful employment in this economy. Through KRA’s extensive assessment process, Ms. Hammond discovered that, in addition to a strong work ethic, Ms. Cunningham’s work history included experience in both business management and human services. She reported, “Through our local network of businesses and community partners, I learned that Williamsburg Technical College had an opening that fit Vertanza perfectly. I knew she could follow through on her own, so I gave all the job-order information to her, rather than pursuing the lead on her behalf. Sure enough, she submitted her resume, got an interview, got the job, and is working with Williamsburg Technical College as an Academic Counselor!” The College’s website states, “Williamsburg Technical College [WTC] is the place where people’s lives are changed for the better and, in turn, the community is enhanced.” It appears that KRA and WTC are in the same business: developing workers and strengthening communities.
Cathlean Legere’s success story actually begins with her being laid-off from her job as a seasonal employee at a local beach resort hotel, and ends with a new career and successful employment in her new chosen field. On June 2, 2010, she started working with Unandi Ward, KRA Career Agent, to assess her goals and objectives, and to design and implement a year-long Individual Employment Plan (IEP). By June 29, 2010, Ms. Legere was enrolled at Horry-Georgetown Technical College to train as a Clinical Medical Assistant. Ms. Ward stated, “Cathlean was highly motivated to begin classroom training immediately, and to find employment once she graduated. She completed the training program in early May  and by May 23, was employed fulltime at a local plastic surgery practice. I am so pleased that Cathlean was able to make a smooth career-transition, and that I was a part of it.”
When Steven Lipari was laid-off from a job with a newspaper company, he enrolled with KRA in search of many services, especially since he was considering a career change. He and Unandi Ward used the results of a comprehensive assessment process to design an IEP that would ultimately result in success. Between May 2010 and May 2011, Mr. Lipari’s life was forever changed as he and Ms. Ward worked diligently, objective-by-objective, on achieving his IEP goals. With KRA-provided transportation assistance to get him to the site, Mr. Lipari achieved his occupational-skills training objective when he applied to and was accepted by Horry-Georgetown Technical College for Paramedic training. Ms. Ward stated, “Steven was very motivated and took 15 or more credit hours each semester to complete the program in 1 year. We had worked on resume preparation and job-search strategies, so he was ready, willing, and able! After graduating in May, he volunteered as a Paramedic with the Myrtle Beach Rescue Squad for 4 months, and then on September 23, was hired fulltime as a Paramedic by Charleston County Emergency Medical Services. I’m really happy I was able to help Steven achieve his training and employment goals.”
KRA Career Agents know that “overnight success” stories are few and far between. They know that long-range customer success depends on committed program involvement that may take months and months to achieve. Beginning with a comprehensive assessment of aptitudes, interests, skill-sets, and work ethics/history, KRA’s recommended ameliorative services include career guidance, planning, and counseling; IEP development; career-readiness workshops; resume reorientation/preparation; job-search strategies, and where indicated, occupational skills training…including transportation assistance, if needed.