Sometimes customers come to KRA with goals and objectives that, with dedication and perseverance, can be achieved within a few months. However, there are those jobseekers whose long-range aspirations can take years to realize. The following story is representative of the hundreds of customers who work with KRA Career Agents, Business Services Representatives, Instructors, and other workforce services staff for a year or more to achieve their final career objectives.
Robert Strong, 27 and the single parent of 6-year old Kailey, attended the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Orientation on November 28, 2011, at one of KRA’s three program offices in the Waccamaw Region of South Carolina. Impressed by what he heard, Robert followed up with Gwendolyn Brown, KRA Career Agent, and submitted an application and other paperwork to document his employment status. Robert, who home-schools Kailey through South Carolina’s accredited online K-12 program, had been employed with a grocery-store chain for 2 years, and with a building products company for 7 years…until it closed. Because Robert was unemployed through no fault of his own, after Intake, Brown processed an application for WIA-certification and eligibility for KRA services under the Dislocated Worker Program.
Brown conducted a Comprehensive/Specialized Assessment with Robert, and based on results, created an Individual Employment Plan, that included workshop sessions on Resume Preparation, Interviewing Assistance, Job Search Methods, and Occupational Skills Training (OST). Throughout all the assessments, discussions, and planning, Brown discovered that Robert had a real aptitude for, as well as an interest in, Occupational Therapy. To get the OST process started, Brown provided Robert with Worldwide Interaction Network Courseware to prepare him for a Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE). Brown reported, “Robert stated that he was comfortable with elementary Math, but a little nervous about what he might encounter on the TABE. As it turned out, his fears were groundless. The TABE grade-equivalency range is 0 (pre-literacy) to 12.9, and Robert scored a 12.9 in Reading and a 12.9 in Total Math!”
Robert was now ready to pursue OST through Williamsburg Technical College (WTC), but needed financial assistance to attend. To resolve this problem, Brown processed a WIA Individual Training Account for him to cover tuition and books, and on January 10, 2012, Robert enrolled at WTC to obtain an Associate Degree as an Assistant in Occupational Therapy. Robert will graduate the 2-year program on December 30, 2013. Brown concluded, “Robert is excelling in his academics at WTC. He recently shared with me that his lowest course-test grade so far has been a 93! We will stay in touch with Robert, and look forward to the day when he will return to KRA so that one of our Business Services Representatives and I can assist him in obtaining fulltime gainful employment in his new career field.”