Success Stories


Truc Hyunh

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“I am pleased to announce that after passing the CompTIA IT Fundamentals exam, WIOA student Truc Hyunh has landed an IT Specialist full time role with Alliance Management, $45,000 a year! It is so rewarding to see WIOA students go from unemployed to fully employed!”

Ryan Willis

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“Determination, eagerness, perseverance, and confidence are some attributes someone may and should possess if they are willing to accomplish the goals they have set for themselves. These are just a few characteristics that initially came to mind when I first met Ryan Willis.”

Determination, eagerness, perseverance, and confidence are some attributes someone may and should possess if they are willing to accomplish the goals they have set for themselves. These are just a few characteristics that initially came to mind when I first met Ryan Willis. It was obvious from day one that Ryan Willis knew what he wanted to do, how he wanted to do it, and which route he wanted to take in order to get there. Unaware of what services would be available to him to support his plan, nonetheless Ryan took a leap of faith by walking into the American Job Center seeking assistance for training, job placement, and technology.

Tired of working dead end jobs and the wear and tear that the Manufacturing Industry put on his body, Ryan decided that it was time for a career change. Ryan understood that in order to change career paths he would need some formal training. Ryan was seeking a career that would be rewarding both financially and morally. Ryan was adamant about pursuing training in the protective services industry and decided that obtaining a Guard Card would be the starting point. The timing could not have been more perfect. At the time Ryan was enrolled into the WIOA program as a Dislocated Worker the program had just received a grant titled CARES500 that would assist Ryan in various ways.

Ryan was able to enroll into Guard Card Training quickly after he was approved for the WIOA program, obtain a brand-new Laptop, and attend online courses in basic computer training through the Online Learning Center. Ryan enhanced his computer skills and worked with a Facilitator to update his resume which would benefit him later. Ryan stressed the importance of receiving his Guard Card in the mail prior to working with the Business Services Unit and would not consider submitting any applications until then. Stubborn may have been one of the characteristics I left out earlier. I just contribute that to Ryan wanting to stay on track with what he had laid out for himself and not deter away from the plan

After a few additional weeks of waiting for the Guard Card in the mail, it had finally arrived. Ryan was ecstatic and could not wait to get the ball rolling now that he had all the tools necessary to land that job he had his sites set on from the jump. Ryan’s Career Advisor referred him to the Business Services Unit where he was paired with multiple Business Service Reps that would begin advocating on Ryan’s behalf to help him secure a full-time position as a Security Guard. It took approximately a month of outreach to employers before Ryan was called for an interview. Needless to say, Ryan was hired on the spot and is currently employed full time at Allied Universal Security Services. His plan is to learn as much as he can and use his previous supervisory experience to move up in the company with the hopes of becoming a Manager.  

              What I left out is that the week Ryan and I had met his dad had died. The man that had taught him everything he knew about being a man and whom he had a close relationship with. Ryan was a man dealing with grief while still trying to figure out his next move in life. Ryan didn’t let the death of his father stop him from moving forward but he could have. If there is one thing I remember in that initial meeting it would be when Ryan expressed to me that “the last thing my dad would want me to do is sit around and cry, he would tell me to pick myself up and keep going son”. I myself couldn’t think of a better person suited to protect and serve our community than Ryan Willis himself!  

Jasmine Countryman

Throughout the Customer Service in Culinary Training, Jasmine Countryman has demonstrated natural leadership and camaraderie amongst her peers. Transitioning into virtual learning opportunities within the program, Jasmine has been autonomous in her completion of work and recently began developing her own content and facilitating Zoom calls to engage other trainees around topics of customer service, culinary, personal development, job readiness, and current events.

“Currently, I’m trying to become a social worker or youth counselor – somewhere around that field, said Countryman. “So far this year, I transitioned from cashier dispatcher at a valet parking lot, to a culinary trainee at the Kitchen Cafe at Hartford Public Library. While working there, I received my ServSafe Food Handler Certification, as well as my ServSafe Allergens Certification. I also got the chance to work to advance my skills in the workplace and the kitchen. Once Covid-19 is over, I’m looking to take the bartender’s course and get certified for that.”

“In other news, I am the CEO and co-founder of a clothing line called Melanin R Us,” Countryman added. “We are a brand that represents bringing people together throughout multiple cultures. All skin is beautiful! You can say we’re doing like a black panther movement, trying to bring all our people together in this world. Today, black people die for no reason, it’s always violence somewhere! My brand represents unity, support, happiness, and love.”

“Aside from all that, I’m an artist – more like a creator – in my spare time. I’m always painting a picture for someone, making shoes or clothes, doing hair or doing eyelashes,” Counryman said. “I picked up some of these skills when I was younger. I never knew I had a talent for any of these things until I started taking art and fashion classes and watching YouTube videos on how to create things, or even learning from other people. Once I started I just know it couldn’t stop and now I love what I do.”

6 Students Placed During World Global Pandemic

KRA Corporation’s K2C Manufacturing Program
Places 6 Students During World Global Pandemic

A total of 19 youth ages of 17-24 were set to begin training at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technologies (CCAT) on March 17, just as life was changing in a manner that we never could have expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

KRA Corporation was prepared to introduce a new manufacturing program cohort just as social distancing became the new normal. KRA focused its efforts immediately on providing students with the best possible learning experience in its Knowledge2Career (K2C) program, given the transition to remote programming. Participants excelled during this time, and KRA began to field calls from manufacturing companies looking to fulfill some of their hiring needs. The K2C program, along with CCAT, began to refer students to fill these various positions.

The first was Keith Ceasar, a young man from East Hartford who was working part-time as a host in a nursing home. Keith has always been very personable and bright, and he wanted something more than his part-time job. He was referred to SCA Pharmaceuticals where he had a great interview and was hired March 16. He performed so admirably that he was quickly promoted to an Inspector working full time with benefits at $16.25 per hour.

The second student placed during this period was Devon Williams. He was a member of the 2019-2020 program year’s first cohort. A quiet individual, with a confidence you’d like to see in a young person starting in a new field, Devon shined bright and was selected to start work at Walker Magnetics Division of Spencer Turbine as an Electromagnetic Assembler at $18 per hour. He has since completed training and has been hired as a full-time employee.

Davon Boxill interviewed and was placed at SCA Pharma. His transition was most improbable due to a lack of transportation and finding adequate child care for his young child. KRA and Davon worked together to overcome these barriers and Davon started working as an Aseptic Cleaner at $17.50 per hour.

SCA has by far been KRA’s greatest partner in the placement of program graduates, as they have also placed Tyler Thompson. From the beginning, Tyler showed a particular maturity for his age. He completed Tooling U with flying colors and was placed at SCA as an Aseptic Cleaner making $15 per hour. Tyler’s family was an amazing source of encouragement during times when Tyler had lost the motivation to continue with remote learning.

Mhyree Pitts, another manufacturing student, will began his tenure at SCA on June 1 and another youth is slated to interview this week for another SCA position.

The most recent placement during the pandemic was Tyvon Allen on April 13. Tyvon is a bright and personable individual, but wasn’t having luck securing employment. Tyvon never gave up, however, and took each interview as a learning experience. When opportunity knocked, Tyvon was prepared. He was hired at Wepco Plastics in Middlefield as a Molding Machine Operator.

Terrell Lavinier of Hartford was also placed at Wepco during this time. He held the highest MAT test score of his cohort and is now a Molding Machine Operator making $14 per hour.

KRA is extremely grateful to have the opportunity to place students with such reputable manufacturing companies during one of the world’s worst global pandemics. KRA thankful to both its students for entrusting them with their future careers and the great manufacturing companies that trust KRA with referrals. Lastly, KRA is thankful to CCAT for its partnership during the past two years to develop longstanding and positive relationships with the manufacturing community.

Congrats to KRA on such successful outcomes for Connecticut youth!


Kristen Lowchy

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“I first met Ms. Lowchy on 01/09/19 for an intake appointment. She was a single parent of a toddler who had recently moved here from Florida. She was living with her parents and needed employment. She did not have child care or finances to pay for child care, but she had a determination that I had not seen in a long time”

I first met Ms. Lowchy on 01/09/19 for an intake appointment. She was a single parent of a toddler who had recently moved here from Florida. She was living with her parents and needed employment. She did not have child care or finances to pay for child care, but she had a determination that I had not seen in a long time. 

When she came to me, she did have a certificate for X-ray Technician but needed to take another course before she could become a certified Technician. She completed a resume consultation course to get her resume updated. She applied for care for kids and received child care. She completed the BSR orientation, because she was determined to get employed.

But it was when she completed a subsidized employment program orientation that got her moving. She was accepted into the subsidized employment program in May 2019 and started working for KRA in the Bristol office where she was an office assistant. She did a great job helping the Bristol office, however she wanted to work in the medical field. She went for an interview at New Britain Obstetrical and Gynecological Group and was hired for 20 hours a week while she was still in the subsidized employment program.  She took a CPR class through the American Job Center’s supportive services fund and became CPR Certified. She also received supportive service funds to obtain her Radiography Certification which is helping her to finish the classes she needs to obtain her X-Ray Technician Certificate.

In July of 2019, Kristen accepted a 30 hour per week, permanent position with the New Britain Obstetrical and Gynecological Group.

Kristen’s determination got her a full time job and now she is no longer receiving cash assistance. She is a true example that you can do anything if you put your mind to it.


Cheryl Craddock

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“Facing unemployment since February of 2015, Cheryl Craddock became a WIOA customer in the fall of 2018.  A college graduate with her Bachelors Degree, Ms. Craddock opted to pursue a wide array of services upon enrollment, including career counseling, computer training, interview prep and Business Services.”

Facing unemployment since February of 2015, Cheryl Craddock became a WIOA customer in the fall of 2018.  A college graduate with her Bachelors Degree, Ms. Craddock opted to pursue a wide array of services upon enrollment, including career counseling, computer training, interview prep and Business Services.

Ms. Craddock diligently took advantage of the Online Learning Center to brush up on her computer skills.  Simultaneously, Ms. Craddock continued to receive career counseling guidance from her Career Advisor and would meet with Business Services to discuss recent job leads. 

By the spring of 2019, Ms. Craddock was at a crossroads; she was beginning to think about bringing her career into different directions.  Taquisha sat with Ms. Craddock and retrieved her Career Scope results, to revisit some of her core competencies.  In the course of that interaction, Ms. Craddock, visibly smiling at this point, shared that she had always held a passion for teaching.  In response to this, Taquisha furnished a flyer for an upcoming job fair – Kelly Educational Services was coming to the American Job Center in search of candidates. 

However, Taquisha aptly recognized action would need to be taken.  First, Taquisha had Ms. Craddock attend a “Career Selfie” learning lab, in which jobseekers review their “worker DNA” and learn how to effectively articulate it to employers.  Secondly, Taquisha had Ben Clapp from Business Services consult Ms. Craddock to discuss interview preparation. 

By May of 2019, Ms. Craddock was pleased to report she had been offered (and accepted) a Substitute Teacher assignment through Kelly.  Shortly thereafter, with her confidence on the upswing, Ms. Craddock obtained permanent employment with Charter Oak State College as an Academic Service Assistant.  Ms. Craddock remains in contact with Taquisha and is pleased with her current employment.

Andrea Courtemanche

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“Andrea originally came to the JFES PROGRAM in June of 2019 after enrolling in WIOA, seeking job search assistance and scholarship. At the time that Ms. Courtemanche enrolled in WIOA, she was not aware that she was eligible for TFA benefits in the state and after finding out that WIOA funds for scholarship were depleted, she decided to apply”

Andrea originally came to the JFES PROGRAM in June of 2019 after enrolling in WIOA, seeking job search assistance and scholarship. At the time that Ms. Courtemanche enrolled in WIOA, she was not aware that she was eligible for TFA benefits in the state and after finding out that WIOA funds for scholarship were depleted, she decided to apply. At intake, I was able to learn more about Ms. Courtemanche. She is a single mother who had been on the job hunt for months. It was determined that Ms. Courtemanche was in need of an updated resume, and I enrolled her to attend a consultation where she was able to get her resume updated and formatted. She shared it had become pattern of not receiving any follow up after interviews. Once her resume was completed, she started getting a lot more interviews. Ms. Courtemanche also disclosed that the interviews were not going well, and that she needed a lot of help. Ms. Courtemanche attended the class “Preparing for the Interview” hosted by Department of Labor. Following her attendance of the interview class, I continued to work one-on-one with her and did various mock interviews. I provided her with a complete copy of the booklet “How to answer the 64 toughest interview questions”. Finally, her hard work has paid off. Ms. Courtemanche is currently working 40+ hours at CW Resources Incorporated making $11.50 an hour as a shipping and receiving handler. She reports that she enjoys her position, but wants to keep pushing towards her Career goals. Andrea is meeting with admissions of Tunxis Community College to discuss the CNA course, so that she can finally apply for the scholarship that she has been waiting for. Ms. Courtemanche exemplifies that hard work pays off.

Muhammad Jamal

“In October 2019, Capital Workforce Partners (CWP) partnered with Connecticut-based IT training provider DCI Resources to offer training to a group of aspiring IT professionals.”

In total, 16 students received IT training leading to CompTIA, Microsoft, and a variety of other professional credentials through DCI’s ITXpress program. A recruitment was held recently at the DCI training center in Hartford, providing students a chance to meet with a recruiter from TEKSysems. More recruitment events are planned for late November.

One student, Muhammad Jamal, was hired into a Tech Support position in Hartford, due largely to the training and credentials he received.

In a message to CWP and DCI, Muhammad wrote, “It is a great opportunity for people like me who want to do the certifications and in need of career help. It is a stepping stone for people like me who came from different countries and trying to fulfill their career goals.”

REACH is funded by a U.S. Department of Labor/ETA H-1B Ready to Work Grant. The program helps long-term unemployed and underemployed job seekers connect to training opportunities and employment in the Healthcare and IT sectors. 

T. Morgan

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“I began my journey with the American Job Center after my several attempts to find employment. My journey with this agency began July 2019. I receive TFA benefits through the State of Connecticut, and was mandated to participate if the Jobs First Employment program. I was somewhat scared and afraid during the process, but was reassured late that I would not be doing this search alone. I was assigned to a career agent, whom I quickly gained trust and confidence in. She had a great personality, and ensured me that I had all the skills and qualifications to find a job.”

My career agent Kayla McCain signed me up for a resume consult with Mr. Harry Dicker. I met with Harry soon after one on one to go over my resume, and tweak what I already had. I did not know that so much has changed in resume writing. The look of a resume, the wording, and so much more. I have not searched for employment in a long while, so I have been out of the game for quite some time. Harry looked at my resume, and helped me create a resume, that any employer would pause, take a second and review.

I was pleased with the outcome of my resume, shortly after that I worked closely with my Career Agent Kayla, meeting with her almost weekly, or so it seemed to secure employment. Kayla then referred me to the Subsidized Employment Coordinator Ismary Szegdi. I met with her, and she too was also amazing, and put me at ease. I shared with her my long term career goals, and my desire to finish Law School which I started almost 18 years ago. Ismary was able to find an internship position at a Local Law Firm, where I am currently employed. The work so far, has been rewarding, and educational. I have had the opportunity to sit in the Federal Bankruptcy Court room, observe, and listen to different bankruptcy proceeding. I’m hoping the firm will hire me as a result of my hard work and efforts so far. The attorney’s I am working with also believe in me, and feel I will have a great future in the Legal world.

I am so grateful for the team of people over at the American Job Center. They have all worked diligently and effortlessly to help me on my journey to permanent employment. The Team supplies me with a monthly bus pass to get myself to and from work, and pick up my youngest child. I was also blessed with a few $50.00 gift cards to help with clothing, and shoes for my new job placement. I am happy I went through these steps and took each and every opportunity AJC offered, to better myself. At first, I had no idea about the American Job Center and the wealth of information and services all under one roof. It truly simplified my search for employment, and has motivated me to encourage others to participate in the program as well. The only thing I would like to say is, not enough people know about this place. It’s like a secret gem, not enough people searching for jobs, know about it.

It a lot of work to be in the position I am currently in. With a change in my mindset, and a motivating team behind me, I was able to reach where I believe that I am worthy, I am enough, I do have the skills necessary. For a long time I thought I would never be enough. 2019 has changed my thought patterns, it took much work, but the outcome was far greater.

Jered Joseph

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“We would like to recognize Jered Joseph and the accomplishment of his graduating class for successfully completing the YouthBuild boot camp and acceptance into the Apprentice Union.”

On August 9th, 2019, Jared and nine other youth accepted a challenge that would change the course of their current future.  However, this was no easy task. Jared and the youth accepted for this cohort were facing many barriers associated with juvenile justice, substance abuse, low income, stable housing and basic skills deficiencies to name a few.

As youth liaisons Shonta’ Whitehead and I had the pleasure of meeting Jared while facilitating several workshops in partnership with the YouthBuild team. Jared immediately caught our attention as he was quite engaging and optimistic in his responses.  He expressed strong family values with hopes of one day having his own family and relocating to the south.  Jared expressed the hopes that he would teach his future children how to be self-sufficient, and to provide a better life for them than he had. 

During this process, Jared diligently worked a 3rd shift job at Family Dollar warehouse.  When he learned of the opportunities offered by YouthBuild, he believed this would be a great way to gain more income and stability for himself as a subcontractor.  

On October 7, 2019, Jared along with the four remaining YouthBuild candidates, began their next phase in their career pathway as Apprentices in Drywall and Tapping trainees at the Finishing Trades Institute of Southern New England.

Congratulations to Jared and other YouthBuild graduates!

Yagrelis Rivera

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“Yagrelis Rivera came on to my caseload about three months ago. Miss Rivera is a return customer coming from our Bristol location, she is a single mom of three kids ages 11, 3, and 6 months old.”

Yagrelis was supposed to be on an exemption per DSS after having her third child, but stated that she did not want to sit around for a year and wait to change her situation. Yagrelis took initiative and went to DSS to remove her exemption from the JFES program as she was in need of our services and eager to work.

I first met Yagrelis as she dropped in a week before her scheduled Intake appointment asking for assistance with childcare. I was able to sit with her for bit and go over the Care 4 Kids paperwork and help her complete the forms. Once completed she faxed them over at the front desk.  A week later Yagrelis arrived on schedule to her Intake appointment.

At the scheduled Intake Yagrelis revealed that she had a tentative job opportunity for 28 hours a week, but that she had no idea how she would be able to accept the offer due to her barriers. Yagrelis stated that she could pay for daycare in the meantime until Care4Kids kicked in, but still had no idea how she was going to get back and forth to work every day. CA was able to assist her by issuing special benefits for a 31- day bus pass to help her get to where she needs to be.

Yagrelis was hired by HRA of New Britain as an Energy Services Worker. Within her first month of employment her manager noticed her work ethic and increased her hours from 28 hours part time, to over 40 hours a week. Yagrelis is interested in broadening her horizons and is currently working on applying for a phlebotomy scholarship through the JFES program. Yagrelis has shown boundless initiative and determination and demonstrates that the JFES program truly works, if you work it.

Yashira Acevedo

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“Yashira came to the Job First Program in July 2019, she is single parent household of a 2 and 3 year old. She has her High School Diploma and child care was in place. The only issue she had was finding employment as she is newly relocated from Puerto.”

Yashira was motivated and determined to secure employment and she was referred to Subsidized Employment.  Together with her Career Agent, she was able to put that positive energy into finding employment. Yashira was excited with the new opportunity after completing her 10 weeks of the work experience program.  She was offered full time job with Image First Healthcare Care and she is working full time, 40 hours a week, earning $11.00 an hour as a production worker. Yashira started Subsidized Employment on 9/10/19 and was offered full-time employment after 10 days on the job.

Yashira is grateful for the coaching and motivation that was provided to her while enrolled in the program. She is excited for her future and is very proud of her accomplishment. She plans on finding her own place in the future.

Jeffrey Bryett

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“I am writing this story about one of my WIOA/DW customers, Jeffrey Bryett. Mr. Bryett first heard about the American Job Center during a rapid response that was held at his previous employer, 3M. Jeff had worked for 3M for over 14 years as a Production Warehouse Tech and a Shuttle Truck Driver when the company closed.”

Mr. Bryett came to the Enfield American Job Center in January 2018 shortly after the company closed. He had many questions about what his future would look like and how he was going to pay his bills.  During his intake, he decided he wanted to follow a new career pathway. He always had a passion about working with animals and after completing his career assessments and counseled by staff, he was given the opportunity to attend Middlesex Community College through TAA to obtain his Veterinary Assistant Certificate which he completed in December 2018.

After training, Jeff began to volunteer at CT Cat Connection as he continued to work with the American Job Center staff in guidance and support in his job search efforts. Though he expressed frustration with his job search efforts and by the lack of responses he was receiving, Jeff continued to work with his Career Advisor and Business Services Representative at the American Job Center for continued guidance and support. AJC staff also assisted Jeff with fine tuning his job search skills in ways to better market himself to employers. He was provided a new resume, interviewing tips and employment leads to aide him in his search. Most importantly, staff continued to encourage and support Jeff with his desired outcome to work with animals.

It is with great pleasure to announce after nine months of job searching, Jeff has recently found employment at Catzablanca Cat Clinic and Hospital in Rocky Hill. He is a veterinary assistant working with his specialty – cats! Mr. Bryett loves his new position and working with the animals that he always knew he had a passion for and finds fulfillment in caring for them.

Sometimes we say, “It takes a village” and in Jeff’s case, it certainly did. Through the services he received from the Department of Labor, Capital Workforce Partners and the American Job Center, Mr. Bryett was able to make a devastating situation many people experience every single day into finding his dream job.

Dawnette Menzie

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“Dawnette is a 45 year-old woman who recently moved from Jamaica to the United States in 2017 as a single mother with two young children. Immediately after arriving, she began her job search process by uploading her resume on different job search engines, such as Indeed.”

In 2017, while participating at the American Job Center and working with her career agent, Dawnette obtained multiple positions working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and home care provider. Currently, she works as a CNA at two different nursing homes and also has a position as a home care provider at an at-home day care. Balancing multiple positions along with parenting and other day to day tasks has been no easy feat for Dawnette. However, she has remained motivated and committed to working towards a better future for herself and her children. She consistently demonstrates her strengths as a compassionate mother, driven individual, and dependable employee. 

Upon arriving to the United States, Dawnette faced one of her greatest challenges which was a lack of financial stability due to a lack of employment. She could not afford her own apartment for herself and her children and became frustrated with not being able to secure employment despite her past work experiences and qualifications. After purchasing the bare necessities for herself and children, she saw the funds she brought over from Jamaica begin to quickly deplete and she felt the pressure to act fast in order to secure employment.

Dawnette’s concern for her children’s well-being ultimately drove her to seek assistance from the American Job Center.  Despite the hardships she faced, she recalls pushing past her challenges after shedding many tears and relying on her faith. She knew her children depended on her to be strong and brave and she was motivated to seek out other resources that would assist her with her job search.

I personally have been working with Dawnette since January of 2019, however she has been a part of the WIOA program since June of 2017. Through this process, I have seen her diligently work towards achieving her personal career goals, one of which is obtaining her CDL.

At this point in time, Dawnette is pursuing a change in career paths. She was awarded a WIOA scholarship to obtain training at New England Tractor Training and has gone on to obtain her CDL A through this training. She thoroughly enjoys driving, meeting new people, and is looking forward to future success as a Class A CDL driver with her new position at a trucking company. She anticipates her future as a CDL driver will lead towards greater financial stability.

David Coleman

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“When David first came into the America Job Center he was seeking assistance to gain employment as a professional truck driver.”

During the initial intake meeting, David expressed motivation and was determined to work hard towards reaching his career goal. He communicated his interest in obtaining his CDL class A in order to meet that goal. At that point, David had already done his research in this particular area and reported that jobs were in demand and expressed his great desire to work in the field. David mentioned that as a little boy he always found interest in trucks and wanted to drive them. The obstacle of not knowing where to start or where to receive the required job leads/placement was another challenge he was facing. 

David was enrolled in the WIOA program in April 2019. David expressed that the program was able to change his life in a positive manner. He thought that if he pursue training, he would eventually have to get a loan to repay after the course was completed. However, getting a grant approved gave him the opportunity to be financially stressed free. He felt that knowing he didn’t have to repay back any loans was indeed excellent news. He mentioned that he felt fortunate and was aware that other people may not have this chance. This experience has allowed him to focus on what the future had to offer without any worries.

While attending the CDL course, he was able to acquire full time employment in a field that wasn’t his choice though required to pay bills at that moment. He managed to balance work and classes and was able to successfully complete the course on November 1, 2019. Throughout the process of gaining his CDL certificate, David came into the American Job Center in New Britain consistently and made the choice to take advantage of the resources and support offered at the American Job Center. David occasionally stopped by the AJC to inform his career advisor that he was in the building seeking employment. He attended the orientation offered by the business service representative and continued to pursue his job search in the driving field. He also followed up on every job lead received by his career advisor and the job leads provided to him from the school provider as well. David mentioned to his career advisor that he was networking to improve his chances of gaining employment in the driving occupation.

Before graduating on November 1st, David was offered a job in Pennsylvania to work as a truck driver. David accepted the position and is currently very happy to have gained this experience and will forever be grateful of the services offered thru the AJC. He mentioned that by receiving the scholarship and all other services, it has open many doors to him that at one point in his life he thought were closed and impossible to achieve. This opportunity has made a positive impact in David life.

Annie-Marie Landry

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“Annie-Marie Landry entered the WIOA program under our adult eligibility. Her goal was to utilize services for training and establish a career within the Healthcare field.”

Anne-Marie entered the program as a single parent, limited work experience, and was dealing with some personal barriers. She was very determined to continue with the program to achieve her goals. Anne-Marie had the support of her family as well who motivated her to stick with the program and not give up. Most of her experience was a Waitress. She expressed an interest in the Healthcare field, but was nervous, as this would be a completely different experience for her.

After researching occupations, Anne-Marie decided to submit her WIOA scholarship application for the Medical Assistant program at Tunxis Community College, which she was awarded scholarship funding. While enrolled in training, Anne-Marie dealt with some personal barriers, which she had to miss some of her classes. She continued to follow-up with her Career Advisor and with the Allied Health Training Coordinators as well. She was able to return to school and complete the remainder of her classes. She picked up extra assignments to catch up on her work, as she was determined to finish the program successfully.

Anne-Marie completed the courses and was ready to complete her externship however, other personal health barriers came up that prevented her from beginning as planned. Anne-Marie’s training date extended to provide her with the opportunity to be able to complete her externship hours. The Instructors for the Medical Assistant program spoke highly of how she was a great student; she passed all of her classes, and had such a great personality. Anne-Marie was able to follow-up with Tunxis and remained in contact with the American Job Center as well. Finishing the program was very important to her.

After some months passed, Anne-Marie was ready to begin her externship. School Representatives maintained contact with her and provided her with an externship. She did very well and received an interview with the company. Once completed with her hours, she was very excited to walk across the stage for her graduation. She continued to utilize WIOA services; receiving additional assistance updating her resume, preparing for interviews, and following-up on the status of her job search. Not long after she graduated, she received a full-time position as a Medical Assistant with Stanislaw Facial Plastic Surgery as a Medical Assistant. She was able to resign for the Waitress position as well.

Anne-Marie is now planning to schedule the national exam to become a Registered Medical Assistant. She has done well through training, her externship, and now her current employment. Each program she was involved in spoke very highly of her and she has such a great success as a customer with the WIOA program!

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.”

If you believe in giving young people the opportunity to become part of the world of work please consider making a donation today to help us support Youth Employment.

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Youth & Young Adults

Ages 14-24