Career Specialist Andrea Rodgers reports on her customer. “Briant had received an honorable discharge from the United States Army in December 2012. After leaving the army, Briant found a job at Premiere Utility Services in Marion, Illinois, where he worked locating and marking underground electrical and gas lines. He was “laid-off” after six months of employment. With limited work experience and training, Briant was having trouble finding a good paying job. Although he had been receiving unemployment insurance payments from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), Briant knew that he needed to find permanent income. As a single parent after a recent divorce, Brian thought about his daughter’s future and wanted to be able to provide for her,” Andrea reports.
“In May 2016, Briant visited Man-Tra-Con seeking training and job search assistance. Before working with Man-Tra-Con, Briant had enrolled in classes at John A. Logan College under the GI bill, but had dropped out due to the stress of his divorce and being a single parent. With assistance from WIOA training funds, Briant enrolled in the Work Experience Program (WEP) in October 2016, and was hired by Man-Tra-Con to work as a WEP Resource Room Assistant for our office in Marion. During the 5-month program, Briant worked 29 hours per week, earning a wage of $9.00 per hour,” Andrea explains.
“Briant had received some training in helicopter repair while in the military and wanted to pursue a career in aviation. Man-Tra-Con CEO Kathy Lively and Program Director Michelle Cerutti discussed Briant’s interest in aviation with Black Diamond Harley-Davidson Owner Rodney Cabaness. As a result, they created a customized one-year training option for Briant because of his military experience,” Andrea adds.
“In February 2017, Briant began working as a Helicopter Mechanic Assistant for Black Diamond Harley-Davidson in Marion, Illinois, through the Work Experience Program, receiving both an increase in wages and working hours. When the Work Experience program ended, Black Diamond Harley-Davidson hired Briant as a full-time employee through the OJT program, where he worked 40 hours per week, earning $11.00 per hour. As part of the job, Briant flew with a Black Diamond pilot to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where he assisted with dismantling and repairing a 1960s Helicopter.” Andrea explains.
In May 2018, Briant was assigned to Career Specialist Lee Caldwell-Dunning who assisted him as he pursued his career goal in aviation. “Briant wanted to advance in his career and enrolled in a 2-week program at the Bakers School of Aeronautics in Tennessee to earn his A & P Certificate. He passed the final exam and was hired by AirEvac for a Helicopter Mechanic position located in Springfield, Illinois. He began working at AirEvac in August 2018, and is currently earning $25.00 per hour. In a follow-up call, Briant told me that he could not be doing any better than he is right now,” Lee reports.
Briant was appreciative of the assistance he received through Man-Tra-Con, “Thanks to the help I received from Man-Tra-Con and my Career Advisors, I am once again able to work in aviation. After 5 years of not having any luck breaking into the civilian sector, the people here opened doors for me that would have otherwise remained closed. I am very thankful to the staff at Man-Tra-Con and definitely recommend their services to anyone who just needs a little guidance finding a career.”