Assessment/Referral Coordinator Reba Utley reports on her customer. “Travis had spent the last 18 months in prison behind bars when I first met with him in November 2018. He needed assistance with getting back into the workforce to earn a self-sufficient wage. He knew that it would be difficult to accomplish this task. Travis sought assistance from Man-Tra-Con and discovered that he was eligible for job search services that would help him find employment. He showed an interest in manufacturing and wanted to work in that field. Man-Tra-Con staff explained the services that were available to him, and he was very interested in the Work Experience Program,” Reba explains.

“Travis and I worked diligently with Man-Tra-Con’s Business Service Team who oversee the Work Experience Programs for southern Illinois. Needless to say, InterTape Polymer Group was seeking candidates for a Coating Operator position in Carbondale. Travis passed all assessments given by Man-Tra-Con and the manufacturing group with flying colors. Through the Work Experience Program administered by Man-Tra-Con, Travis as able to train at InterTape Polymer Group from December 17, 2018, through March 15, 2019, as a Coating Operator. During this time he showed excellent work ethic in his daily assignments. He showed up each day on time and followed directions for daily tasks. Travis understood that this was his time to shine and show this employer that he was made of grit and determination to succeed. He realized he was part of a bigger team and that everyone had a role in the manufacturing process. Travis was determined to move forward in this endeavor. His plan worked. Travis was moved from the Coating Operator position to the Converting Operator position with more responsibility,” Reba adds.

“After three months of successful employment through the Work Experience Program, Travis became a direct hire at InterTape Polymer Group as a full-time Converting Operator. Travis is currently earning $13.00 per hour working 40 hours per week. He will receive a raise as soon as he completes his 120-day probationary period. He will then have the opportunity to receive benefits and a possibility to join the union in the near future,” Reba reports.

“I pass on the following advice to each customer, ‘it’s easier to find a job when you are working because employers see you as employable,’” Reba says.


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