Career Specialist Nikki Lanham reports on her customer. “Thomas first visited Man-Tra-Con in January 2020, seeking training assistance. He had been laid off from his job in the coal mines, where he worked as a mechanic. Thomas lacked the education and certifications he needed to find employment in a new industry earning a similar wage,” Nikki explains.

“After several Man-Tra-Con career coaching sessions, Thomas decided to pursue an Associate’s degree in Industrial Maintenance at John A. Logan College (JALC). Through WIOA funding, Man-Tra-Con was able to help pay for his tuition, plus provide case management and other supportive services while he was in school,” Nikki adds.

“During his training, Thomas had found employment at Walgreens Distribution Center as a Technician, earning $26.00 per hour. Thomas was always so grateful, and worked 40 hours a week while enrolled in school full-time. Despite the COVID pandemic and having 6 children to support, including two grandchildren, he always had an optimistic attitude,” Nikki says.

“Thomas graduated from JALC in May 2023, and is currently working full-time at Walgreens Distribution Center as a Master Technician, earning $36.00 per hour,” Nikki adds.

Thomas was grateful for the WIOA training services he received. “When my last job announced that they were closing, I knew finding another job in that profession was out of the question. Man-Tra-Con provided me the opportunity to learn a new trade all while working in that field of study. Because of Man-Tra-Con, and their program, I am now in a supervisory role and my possibilities and opportunities are far greater than what they were with my last profession,” Thomas says.

“There were hard times during the course of 2-1/2 years that it took me to finish my degree. With the constant reassurance, dedication, support and devotion from my representatives, Dana and Nikki, I was able ot keep my head in the game and focus on schoolwork without having to worry about the financial and paperwork side of the college experience. They were always there when books came up for purchase, tuition came and during the odd mishaps that might’ve popped up. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Man-Tra-Con, their program and especially Dana and Nikki for all they have done for me and my family,” Thomas adds.