Heather Simpson


Career Specialist Stephanie Robinson reports on her customer. “Heather was a trade impacted employee from Airtex Products, L.P., in Mt. Vernon, Illinois when she came to Man-Tra-Con for assistance in 2016. Heather had worked for Airtex Products, L.P for 14 years when she lost her job due to a mass lay-off. Heather, a single mother of two young girls, was very scared after being laid off. She did not know what the future held for her and her girls. As a result of the layoff, Heather had lost health insurance for both her children and herself. She wasn’t sure how she was going to pay her bills. Her only job had been with Airtex as a factory worker, and she had no other skills or work history to enable her to find new employment. Heather had completed some college classes before the lay-off, but not enough to help her gain sufficient employment,” Stephanie explains.

“Heather attended “Rapid Response” mass layoff meetings held for Airtex employees and learned she was eligible to return to school with tuition assistance through Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding. Heather had always wanted to be a criminal investigator so she opted to enroll in the Applied Science in Criminal Justice Associate Degree program at Rend Lake College in Ina, Illinois. Heather wanted to complete her degree, find employment in the criminal justice field, and then continue on with her education,” Stephanie adds.

“In May 2018, Heather completed her Criminal Justice Degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.9. Just before graduating from the Associate’s degree program, Heather found employment working as a Security Guard for Rend Lake College where she was able to utilize her new skills. Heather is currently working and continuing her education on her own. Her ultimate goal is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Behavioral Science,” Stephanie reports.

Heather states, “I had a great experience with Man-Tra-Con. If it wasn’t for Man-Tra-Con’s assistance my family would be living a very hard life. Without Man-Tra-Con, I would probably be in a job I didn’t like. Now, I have a job that I like and it allows me to go on and get my bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Behavioral Science. Thank you, Man-Tra-Con!!!”