JoDene Kern reports on her customer. “In October 2016, when Caleb enrolled in the Youth Services Program, he had little hope for his future. He was 22 and a high school dropout. He had never held employment and needed assistance in setting goals to prepare him for self-sufficient wages. His first goal was to obtain a GED. Since Caleb was not basic skills deficient, he was able to achieve his High School Equivalency Certificate in less than 2 months,” JoDene explains.

“Through the Work Experience Program (WEP), Caleb was placed at Victory Cleaning from February through May of 2017, where he helped with cleaning at Continental Tire in Mt. Vernon. Caleb was such a good WEP employee that Victory Cleaning hired him for a permanent position. He worked at Victory Cleaning for 4 months until accepting a 2nd shift position at Capstone Logistics, located within Continental Tire,” JoDene adds.

“Caleb enrolled in the Industrial Electronics & Maintenance Technician program at Rend Lake College beginning with the fall 2017 semester. He became eligible to receive WIOA training assistance to help pay for his training costs beginning with the spring 2018 semester. Caleb successfully completed the program and graduated with honors in May 2019,” JoDene reports.

“Caleb went through many struggles during his educational journey, including his house burning down while he attended school. He had 6 career specialists while enrolled in the Youth Services Program, and I had the honor of being his last. I encouraged him and offered support during his last semester of school as he managed 19 credits at RLC while working full-time and raising a family. And—did I say—he graduated with honors,” JoDene exclaims!

“While working at Capstone Logistics, Caleb learned that Continental Tire was hiring for an Electrician/Multi-Technician position. He applied directly to Continental Tire and was called in for an interview. I went over interview questions with him and helped him prepare for the meeting. Shortly after the interview, Caleb called to say that Continental Tire had hired him for the position. He is currently working 40+ hours per week, earning $27.86 per hour,” JoDene adds.

“Caleb was excited to be able to utilize skills from the Industrial Electronics & Maintenance Technician degree he recently received from Rend Lake College. Caleb was so eager to learn that he also received Occupational Certificates in Industrial Maintenance Technician, and Robots & Automation while at RLC. Caleb is a hard worker with an excellent work ethic, and he loves his family. He truly appreciated the assistance he received from Man-Tra-Con Corporation,” JoDene reports.

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