Many jobseeker-customers come to KRA with goals and objectives that, with dedication and perseverance, can be achieved within a few months. However, there are those whose long-range aspirations take much longer to realize. The following story is representative of the hundreds of customers who work with a KRA Career Agent…their primary point-of-contact…for a year, or more, to achieve their long-range career objectives.
On November 20, 2010, after a WIA (Workforce Investment Act) Orientation, 20-year old Kendall Rush enrolled in a KRA Out-of-School Youth Program. During the development of his Individual Employment Plan (IEP), his assigned Career Agent discovered that he wanted Occupational Skills Training in welding, a career he thought would provide future financial stability. However, after Rush’s TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) scores were reviewed, his Career Agent had to inform him that he was basic-skills deficient in both Math and Reading, and therefore did not qualify academically for an OST program.
According to the Career Agent, “Mr. Rush was obviously bright, so I thought that he might just be anxious or a poor test-taker. I figured that since he now had experience with what was expected by the TABE, he would re-test at a higher level. But, he took the test a few more times…with the same results. I now realized that test-familiarity was definitely not the problem, and that he needed remedial classes to upgrade his basic skills. So, I registered him for the WIN Career Readiness Program, an online basic-skills training course that he could access from home, and work through at his own pace.”
While progressing through WIN, Rush took a temp job with a company that supplies products to light commercial, heavy-duty, and off-highway vehicle manufacturers. While there, he met an Industrial Maintenance Technician (IMT) who told him about his job and the benefits it offered. Excited by what he heard, Rush decided to train for the field of Mechatronics, in which IMTs troubleshoot, maintain, and repair mechanical equipment controlled by electrical, electronic, and computer systems.
Overcoming the first hurdle in achieving this goal, Rush completed his WIN program, re-took the TABE, and achieved an acceptable gain in his Reading score. Since he was a high school graduate, Rush only had to make a gain in one part of TABE; his Math ability was not only a non-issue, it also was not an obstacle to his future achievements. Mechatronics coursework contains a lot of mathematical content, which Rush handled just fine.
On January 3, 2012, when Rush was eligible to pursue OST, he met with his Career Agent to review recent Labor Market Information on the Mechatronics field, and revised his IEP to include actions necessary to achieve success in this new career choice. Rush started on February 20, 2012, but after 2 weeks, was informed that the training was being moved to Timmonsville…more than 65 miles away. Rush informed the Career Agent of the development, that he wanted to continue the training, but would need financial help getting to and from the new training site. Through WIA, his Career Agent arranged for Rush to receive gas cards to ease the burden of the 130+mile round trip.
On June 12, 2012, Rush completed his training and received the following NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) Certifications: Industrial Maintenance Electrical and Instrumentation-Level I & II; Electrical – Level I & II; Programmable Logic Controllers- Module 40409-09; Core Curricula; and Forklift. Proud of his accomplishment and eager to find a job, Rush met his Career Agent to update his resume and to start the job-search process.
After several interviews, Rush received a call from a local Construction company to interview for a fulltime IMT position. The very next day, he informed the Career Agent that he got the job, and was very pleased with the double-digit hourly wage he was offered! Rush started work on July 23, 2012….more than 18 months after enrolling in the KRA/WIA Program.
The Career Agent concluded, “Mr. Rush is a role-model example of how dedication, motivation, and perseverance pay off in the long run. Many young people are not willing to put in the time and effort required to achieve long-range goals. I am pleased that the KRA/WIA program was able to help Mr. Rush achieve his goal of a career that provides long-term self-sufficiency.”