Success Stories


Taysha Cruz

“Taysha Cruz is a 25-year-old single mother of a nine year old daughter who first came into the JFES orientation in April 2018. Like many other participants, she faced many challenges such as transportation, housing, and language barriers.”

Taysha had a strong support system since her mother and aunt were willing to assist her with child care and shelter. Taysha wants a stable home for her daughter and desires to be a strong successful woman. She mentioned that she is her daughter’s role model and her biggest goal is to become self-sufficient.

Taysha chose to explore the JFES program because she learned that as a participant JFES was able to support her in reaching all of her goals with hard work and dedication. She needed assistance with care for her child, and she wanted the chance of pursuing driving lessons and making payments toward obtaining her driver’s license, in addition to many other opportunities. Taysha was eager to learn and benefit of all the great services the JFES program had to offer.

Her life has changed greatly. She started the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant classes in September 2018 at Tunxis Community College and completed the course successfully in February 2019. While attending courses, Taysha utilized the computer stations at the American Job Center in New Britain to complete her job searches and maintained communication with her Career Agent. She practiced English and has been able to improve her language skills drastically. She followed up on several job leads that were provided to her during her follow up appointments and was able to interview for some of the jobs that were shared with her at the AJC.

In conclusion, she received a job offer for a full-time position as a Medical Administrative Assistant at the Community Health Medical Group, located in West Hartford. She feels that she is another step closer to reaching her ultimate goal and senses that she has accomplished many obstacles. Taysha is very proud of her hard work and dedication. She is planning to attain her own apartment and will soon be purchasing her first vehicle in the United States.

Soutsakhone Vannalith

“Soutsakhone Vannalith, affectionately known as Sou, started in the JFES Program in January 2018. She brought with her enthusiasm and hope that participating in the Program would offer her new beginnings.”

Having previously worked in the Retail industry, Sou endured the roller-coaster ride of a sporadic work schedule which would render her unable to rely on a consistent and decent pay check, and soon faced a lay-off that she never thought would happen to her.

With a young child to care for and a fiancé who faced numerous health challenges, Sou tried to remain hopeful that an opportunity for her ideal job would prevail soon.

While participating in the JFES Program, Sou had a strong interest in returning to her previous employer. She felt that since she worked there before and gained strong experience, they would not hesitate to hire her back. Besides, she knew the work and would not require special training. Sou diligently applied for advertised positions and would attend Job Fairs, anticipating the long awaited offer for a job doing what she loved doing, which was helping customers. Sou would often mention how she would go above and beyond the call of duty to assist customers.

During a meeting with her Career Agent, Sou was advised to “think outside the box” and apply for jobs that may be a little bit different than what she was accustomed to. Sou admits this was hard advice to take because she wanted to work for a company that she was familiar with. Sou eventually took the advice and applied for a position that was outside her radar. Soon after, Sou was invited to meet with the Store Manager at the Hobby Lobby in Manchester. To Sou’s surprise, she was offered the position during the interview.

Sou has expressed her sincerest thanks and gratefulness to the JFES Program and her Career Agent for motivating her to step into the next chapter of her life. Sou was also happy to report that she is not only celebrating her new job, but she has set a wedding date for this year!

Miosotis Velazquez

“When Miosotis arrived to the JFES program, her main barriers were: language, childcare, transportation, and housing.”

She successfully utilized the Online Learning Center (OLC) services and was actively engaged in creating a job search ready resume with a bilingual OLC Certified Professional Resume Writer. She received assistance with creating a resume in English, given that she only had a Spanish one at the time. She also attended the OLC on several occasions to use the computers and conduct job search. Miosotis attended the subsidized orientation and was placed at Burlington Coat Factory.

Miosotis was also able to use the supportive services to assist her with attaining her CPR training and enrolling into the Santos Driving School. The CA helped Miosotis with her transportation barrier by requesting monthly bus passes.

In August of 2018, Miosotis was placed at the Bushnell through Business Services Unit for a maintenance position that was temp-to-hire. Miosotis did such a phenomenal job that she was made a permanent part-time employee. She is hoping to land full-time hours in the future.

Miosotis now has her own place with her children and could not be happier. She stated that she would have not been able to get this far if it was not for the services provided to her by the JFES program and all the assistance she received from her CA. Before being in the program, Miosotis felt overwhelmed and stressed because she was not certain she would be able to provide for her family and pay her bills. Now, when asked, Miosotis states that life is going great and her future is looking brighter than ever. She no longer has her childcare barriers, she is employed, lives in her own place, and just purchased a vehicle.

Miosotis is grateful and very much appreciates all of the assistance she has received and continues to feel that she is always welcomed when she walks into the American Job Center.

Jacqueline Woodson

“Jacqueline found out about the American Job Center through unemployment. She also had a friend who had previously used our services.”

Jacqueline enrolled in WIOA on 1/30/19. At the time of enrollment, Jacqueline was laid off from McKesson Pharmaceuticals. She qualified for WIOA as a Dislocated Worker. She was collecting unemployment and was frustrated because she did not know when she would find her next job.

When Jacqueline enrolled in the WIOA program her goal was to update her résumé and increase her computer skills. She was vigilant about coming to use the services and practicing on the computer to increase her computer literacy skills. Jacqueline was a frequent user of the AJC and used the services of the Online Learning Center. She also received assistance with updating her resume.

On one of her visits, she came to the center and saw a job lead for SCA Pharmaceuticals. Jacqueline applied with her newly updated résumé. Jacqueline received a call for an interview. She did so great on her interview, she was invited back for a second interview. Soon after he second interview, she was offered a position in the warehouse at SCA Pharmaceuticals. She started her position on 03/04/2019.

The company is so impressed with her skills and abilities, they are already considering her for promotion to a leadership role within the warehouse!

Maria Echevarria

“Maria Echevarria became a JFES participant in February 2018, after arriving from Puerto Rico in order to provide her children stability and a better future. During our intake appointment, Maria mentioned that she loved working with the public and was seeking to obtain full time employment as a customer service representative. She stated that her main goal was to gain employment as soon as possible to become financially independent and no longer receive cash assistance. Another goal was to find her own apartment.”

As many other participants, her main employment barriers were child care and transportation. During her time as a registered JFES participant, Maria explored several services from the JFES program such as utilizing the Online Learning Center to create a resume and connecting with her CA for job leads, interviewing techniques, and to aide in her confidence while embarking on her employment journey.

After effectively completing the resume and obtaining child care in June 2018, she was able to start working through the subsidized employment program at the New Britain American Job Center as a front desk intern. Maria completed the program successfully however; she provided great customer service and the experience allowed her to receive professional development to utilize once she found permanent employment. 

Maria continued to maintain contact with career agent and was informed of all on site job recruitments that were held at The American Job Center.  While seeking employment, Maria was receiving aid to purchase a bus pass on a monthly basis in order to report to several interviews she had lined up.  In December 2018, she was able to obtain full time employment as a cashier at Wal-Mart. At this moment in time, Maria is no longer receiving cash assistance and enjoys working at Wal-Mart. She feels blessed to come such a long way and recently reported that she will be moving into her own apartment in March with her family. She feels grateful and appreciative of the dedication and efforts put forth by her career agent and felt her overall experience at the American Job Center was positive and uplifting and directly attributed to where she is today. 

Michael Weiss

“Michael Weiss connected with the Enfield American Job Center late in 2016 after being unemployed for several months. Michael tried to do his own job search for some time and was unsuccessful. Mr. Weiss had been a CDL B driver with over 15 years’ experience and enjoyed what he did. He was however starting to feel discouraged in his job search efforts.”

Michael entered the WIOA program in November of 2016. When I met with him to develop his individualized employment plan, we set up his goals and objectives on areas he needed to be successful in his job search. One area was to work on updating his resume and reviewing his interview skills to make sure he was presenting himself to the best of his abilities to prospective employers. We discussed different job searching strategies to best assure he was reaching all employers who might have positions.

I then referred him to work with Business Services in 2017 in getting assistance with his job searching while I continued to aid him in developing his confidence with the job search process. Michael was eager and willing to do what it took to find employment in the CDL B field.

As a team, I and our business service consultant worked with Michael in providing him all the necessary tools to find employment while fostering his motivation and self-confidence. Though there were some bumps in the roads with an employer not being the best fit for Michael, he ultimately was hired by Poulin Logistics in Suffield, CT as a CDL B driver.  He continues to work with them through today and stops by the American Job Center on his days off to say hello. Mr. Weiss feels the services he received while in the WIOA program ultimately and the enthusiasm of the staff supported him in his success.

Naomi Arroyo

“She more than excelled at what was expected of a star of the program and went above and beyond in assisting fellow interns.”

Janelys Salazar

“Janelys learned to trust others and find her voice to speak on her behalf and her peers. She became the President of the Youth Council and even assisted staff to present at one of the CWP Board meetings about the YouthBuild New Britain Program.”

Tuaquan Smith

“He never missed a day of class; his mother drove him and picked him up most days. Upon completion of the program, he received a job offer from Pratt & Whitney – $29.00/hour and is currently working on his driver’s license.”

Ibrahim Barrie

“From the word go, Mr. Barrie has thrown himself full-force into his job search, diligently working with community partners to obtain his high school diploma.”

Nina Mae Pires

“Being a mother and going to school full time has been a challenge but knowing her career choice is a rewarding one in being able to help everyone especially children.”

George Cruz

“George is the perfect example of someone who has used the services to move forward. He never wavered from his goal of working with those in recovery and has overcome a criminal history, homelessness, and continued rejection.”

Jacqueline Rodriguez

“Hard work and determination lead to Jacqueline’s success. In January of 2019, Jacqueline was hired into a full time benefited position at the Rushford Center in Meriden, CT as a Case Manager.“

Stephen Campbell

When he is not busy with his already full academic and professional priorities, he also serves at Co-Chair for the BEST Chance Alumni Group and actively guest speaks and mentors to current program participants.”

InterCommunity Health Care

“They have hired over 16 candidates from our pool of participants and have become deeply committed to creating change in the unemployed, underemployed, and underserved communities in the North Central Region by partnering with CWP in MACH and various other workforce development projects.”

Atlas Stamping

“Atlas Stamping has utilized just about every workforce development program available as they truly recognize its value. Atlas Stamping has been directly involved with Synergy High School’s Pre-Apprentice Manufacturing Training program by taking on several interns and hiring at least two full time after they graduated high school.”

The Laborers Local 230

Besides keeping pace with the skills that are needed to be developed in their membership, they are always looking for ways to provide the contractors who are signatory to them with the best prepared and qualified workforce possible, which is what CWP also does.”

Denise Pastore

Denise is filled with tenacity and determination to provide exceptional service to every person that walks through the doors of the American Job Center. Denise takes her time with everyone to hear their story, to understand their needs, and she will refer them to the appropriate services.”

Earl Gardner

“Earl is a great ambassador for the North Central AJC system. He is warm and welcoming, and treats all people with respect and dignity. For Earl, there is no such thing as a “stupid question;” customers and colleagues are ready and willing to learn.”

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Youth & Young Adults

Ages 14-24