Cletus was a dislocated worker who came into the PA CareerLink® Lycoming County in October 2019. After being let go from a longtime position with a specialized skill set, he knew he needed to consider a new career direction. He turned to the CareerLink® to begin his employment search.
Working with his career coach, David, Cletus completed an individual employment plan and reviewed his career goals. He received a Gold Level Career Readiness WorkKeys certification.
Meeting regularly with Rob, the site’s job developer, they moved toward achieving Cletus’s goals. Together they updated Cletus’s resume and cover letter, practiced his interviewing skills and searched for job openings. With Bob as an advocate, Cletus expanded his career search, discovering how to convert his prior skills to match possible prospects.
According to Cletus, “Bob connected me with several people and suggested jobs to apply for.” Currently, Cletus is the Director of Client Services for Homewatch Caregivers and in employment follow-up services. He remained determined to overcome his situation and his perseverance paid off.
Eventually, when Amy contacted Abdul during follow-up services, he informed her that he just registered his own company. When asked if he would recommend the OJT program for others, Abdul replied: “Absolutely! Already have, in fact. I’ve come a long way. It all comes down to motivation. This program is a springboard, but it still requires you to take a leap.”
Danita has been in and out of the Central Susquehanna Opportunities, Inc. EARN and Work Ready programs fourteen times over the last thirteen years. In Danita’s eyes, these were just steps along her journey. Danita spent years balancing part-time work, post-secondary education, and being a single mother of two. She spent weekends in gymnasiums cheering on her now twelve-year-old son at wrestling tournaments while finishing homework and studying in between matches.
Danita’s most recent EARN enrollment began in May 2019. Although recently graduating from an RN program, she was working as a Certified Nursing Assistant, and not earning enough to sustain her family. Danita shared with staff that the cost of the test fees was too much for her to afford; they were the obstacle standing between her and her dream. EARN issued a performance incentive to pay the fees and Danita studied diligently.
In the meantime, Danita had transportation concerns. Her car needed repairs beyond its value. With a warm referral to the United Way, she became eligible for a car loan program that allowed her to purchase a reliable vehicle at a low-interest rate.
Once Danita passed her exam, she was promoted to RN Supervisor, making $35 an hour. She and her family are now stable. Today, she is giving back. Danita is a volunteer for the United Way, currently working on an Adverse Childhood Events (ACE) project. She is a speaker on community issues, specifically related to behavioral health and addiction.
Abdul contacted the Lycoming County PA CareerLink® after he was released from prison. He met with staff from the Link, a mobile career resource center, serving area prisons as well as surrounding rural areas. The Link staff recommended he connect with a Career Coach to assist him with his job search. Abul took their advice and scheduled an appointment with Amy McGovern, who became his Career Coach.
Amy reviewed PA CareerLink® services, including the On-the-Job-Training (OJT) program with Abdul. OJTs provide approved employers with funding towards the salary for a new hire for up to six months. Motivated by learning this information, Abdul approached a company that interested him.
He said this about his decision, “it’s a great opportunity to gain experience and get a paycheck at the same time. I had certification, but no experience. Schoonover Heating & Plumbing gave me a shot. Going into the interview knowing I had an OJT as my ace to play- really gave me confidence. During the interview, my lack of experience was seen as a huge negative. I took the initiative to inform them about the OJT and the benefits involved for them and myself. Once I mentioned the program to my employer, the interest was immediate. Win-win is an easy picture to paint!”
With the incentive of PA CareerLink® funding, along with Abdul’s skills, positive attitude, and drive, Schoonover Heating & Plumbing agreed to hire him through the OJT program. When Abdul completed his six months of training, he switched career paths and was hired by the Pepsi Company.
This year, in recognition for her determination, Danita received the EARN Governor’s Achievement Award. Congratulations Danita!