From the Sterling Office
Adriane of Rock Falls came to her local Illinois Worknet Center after she had lost her job at Anchor Coupling in Sterling when the plant closed. She had worked in the warehouse there but wanted to make a career change. She decided to enroll at Illinois Valley Community College to pursue a degree in Business Administration. She chose IVCC because her local community college did not offer that particular training program.
Adriane was eligible to receive WIOA services as a dislocated worker. BEST, Inc. was able to help her with the tuition and fees and other training-related costs for her program. Attending IVCC required Adriane to make a 125 mile round trip from Rock Falls 2-3 days per week. We were able to provide mileage reimbursement to help with her travel expenses. Despite having to make the long tips to IVCC, Adriane rarely, if ever, missed class.
During the Fall, 2016 semester, Adriane participated in a work experience at the Whiteside County Senior Center which was coordinated and subsidized by BEST, Inc. This was designed to give her some real world experience in an office setting. She was able to use that experience to help her secure a full-time job with Steel River Systems, LLC in Rock Falls. She began working there in January and will successfully complete her degree from IVCC in May.
In 2014, Michael had the rug pulled out from under him when his employer Robertshaw announced that they would be closing. Luckily he was given the opportunity to continue to work while the factory began the arduous process of finishing orders, training new people to perform their job, and relocating equipment. For unfortunately a corporate decision was made to move the manufacturing plant from Hanover Illinois to Matamoros Mexico.
A trade act petition was filed and then later approved in November of 2014 for all 113 employees at the Robertshaw plant in Hanover Illinois. Regrettably for Michael and all other 113 employees there are very few manufacturing facilities is the area. This meant for Michael that he was likely going to have to find a new career.
Michael decided that given his age at the time, 51 and his physical condition, he really needed to look at finding a job where he could use his mind rather than his body. Michael explored area colleges and programs and decided to attend Highland Community College in Freeport and study the Office Administration program they offered.
Michael started his program in the fall of 2015. While at Highland Community College, he was very successful academically and he graduated Magna Cum Laude in December of 2016. While at college he was strongly encouraged by his Career Advisor to include an internship component to his program so that he would have the hands on experience. With the assistance of the Business Services Representative Michael was able to find an internship/Work Experience at the Jo Daviess County CTE Academy during his final semester.
Michael then started his work search for permanent employment while he substitute taught in the Jo Daviess County area. In May, Michael was offered a full time position starting June 1st at H. B. Wilkinson in Mount Carroll Illinois where he is a Policy Production Specialist.
From the Oregon Office
Melanie B: Adult client from Dixon
- Completed the RN program at Kishwaukee College
- Now working as a RN at Rochelle Gardens in Rochelle earning $28.00/hour
James B: DW client from Rochelle
- Completed CDL program at Kishwaukee College obtained his CDL license
- Now working for Davidson Farms hauling grain earning $18.00/hour
Laura C: Adult client from Rochelle
- Completed the C.N.A. program at Kishwaukee College
- Now working as a C.N.A. at DeKalb County Nursing Home in DeKalb earning $12.23/hour