From The Sterling Office
In October of 2021, Carolyn contacted the BEST, Inc. office in Sterling to inquire about getting assistance with the cost of the CDL program at Midwest Safe Driver (at Sauk Valley Community College). She was unemployed and in search of training that would lead to stable employment and a good hourly wage.
Carolyn was eligible for WIOA services as a low-income adult and was able to get help from BEST, Inc. with tuition assistance. She easily passed the classroom and permit portion of the class, but had some trouble with the driving portion. She was unsuccessful on her first two attempts to pass the CDL driving test, but was determined to pass it and put in as much extra practice time as she could to prepare for the re-test.
There were several obstacles that arose while Carolyn was preparing to take the driving test for the 3rd time, including weather delays, an extended DVM shut-down, and not having enough practice. In spite of those obstacles, she re-tested in February and finally passed. She was extremely happy and relieved and sent the following email:
“I PASSED! Thank God!
I had a new guy with me Saturday morning. He was very nice and helped me a lot to understand how to negotiate the test route and a trick to help my nerves.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your positivity and patience during this time! You remained positive for me when I was ready to give up. I almost did not want to go Saturday morning. So glad I did!
I will keep you posted on my process for jobs in the coming couple months.
Blessings to you. You are the best! (Pun intended.)”
Carolyn is currently finishing up a part-time job while searching for a full-time job as a truck driver.
From the Dixon Office
When I started working at BEST I had a student named Josh given to me. He was extremely quiet and did not seem to have motivation to work. I went to a few job shadows with him and we discussed all the different jobs the world has to offer. Over time he became more interested in a job, but I was concerned about putting him in a workplace due to his quiet nature and lack of work experience. I contacted the Dixon Community Food Pantry about partnering with BEST for a work experience. There was an issue though, none of them were paid- they were all volunteers. After contacting Dianna and getting permission to place him there (with the addition of justification on the training outline to why he was placed there) he was able to start! They were well aware that Josh was quiet and had no work history, thus we were starting from scratch. One woman at the food pantry was a teacher and took Josh under her wing. She has taught him everything he needs to know and day by day he opens up to his coworkers. Many people have discussed the importance of good work habits with him. Over time he has shown that he understands the importance of soft skills such as attendance, teamwork, and communication. Recently he has asked me if he can work more hours and the food pantry is very pleased with his work. Soon we’ll be discussing next steps and I am excited to see where he will go! This would not have been possible without justifying the worksite as a good resource and the wonderful people who work there!
From the Sterling Office
In collaboration with the City Of Rock Falls BEST, Inc. was able to reach out to the public via the city’s public television channel 5. The City of Rock Falls graciously agreed to post our flyer’s for recruitment for the Youth and Adult Programs. This channel runs continuously 24 hours a day 7 days a week!