Success Story: Transferring skills for a better job

LT first met with the One-Stop Career Training Center after their employer of 10 years had shut down and LT had been unable to find a job after six months of searching.  LT had skills in manufacturing and supply chain management, but lacked the education and credentials needed to land a comparable job within the in-demand logistics industry. As the main earner of the household, LT applied for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) once unemployment assistance ran out.

LT worked with One-Stop Training Center career navigators to identify transferrable skills as well as any skill gaps between their current resume and available job requirements.

Understanding that LT had extensive professional experience in manufacturing and logistics, an employment plan was developed that included a resume overhaul and enrolling in a supply chain management program at Rutgers University. The goal was to enhance skills while also highlighting existing skills through an industry recognized credential.

LT successfully completed the Rutgers training using a WIOA training grant through the One-Stop Career Training Center. Using an improved resume and job search strategy, LT quickly obtained a management position overseeing warehouse distribution at a local employer, earning significantly more than their previous job had paid. LT was able to obtain self-sufficiency for and expand skills to fuel future career path growth.

Success Story: Having a vision and a goal

RA came to the One-Stop Career Training Services Center after being laid off three years ago during the height of the pandemic. She had worked as a medical assistant but was finding it difficult to find employment that allowed her the flexibility she needed as a single parent to adequately care for her young child. RA met with her Career Navigator and shared her dream of one day owning a hair salon. It turns out that RA not only had a passion for the hair styling industry, but also had significant skills in hair design. Despite never having any formal training, she had been braiding the hair of friends and family for years and designed silk wigs, which she was able to sell for a very small profit.

After researching career pathways in the field, RA and her Career Navigator crafted an employment plan that would lead to sustainable employment, financial stability, and flexible hours in an industry for which she had a deep passion. Using a training grant provided by the One Stop Career Training Services Center, RA enrolled and completed a cosmetology program. Her instructors were impressed by her natural flair for hair design and commented that she was a standout student. Within weeks of completing training, RA received a job offer as a sales representative in an upscale salon, earning more than she did in her previous job as a medical assistant.

After passing her cosmetology exam and becoming certified and licensed, RA will be able to move into a hair design position with her current employer, which will continue to increase her income. RA credits her Career Navigator with providing her the knowledge, guidance and encouragement needed to start a new career journey, which she hopes will lead her to operating her own salon.

Success Story: He Has Electrifying Career Plans

BD came to the Greater Raritan Youth Employment Services (YES) program after being referred from WorkFirst New Jersey (WFNJ). At age 23, BD was forced to move out of his family’s home and find shelter, which was not very close to his employer. Without reliable transportation, he could not maintain his employment. With every reason for BD to walk into the Greater Raritan One-Stop Career Training Center office filled with negativity, he chose positivity.

During his intake, BD expressed interest in pursuing a career as an electrician as he had some knowledge of trade fields. With this goal in mind, BD was referred to the Visions program at Middle Earth. He participated in a preparatory mock interview, obtained an OSHA certification, and had a successful paid internship with a local nonprofit. Around the same time that BD was re-locating to the temporary shelter, he misplaced his ID. He was often called for interviews by interested employers but was never able to be hired without proper identification. BD and his YES Career Navigator took a trip to the DMV to replace his ID so he could effectively begin applying for employment. Once he started submitting applications, he was interviewing for several positions. With transportation still being a barrier, he was able to rekindle his relationship with a relative and move back into a family home. He soon accepted two part-time employment opportunities near his new residence that he could walk to.

Since completing Visions, BD is on his way towards becoming an electrician by showing interest in the P.A.C.E (Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education) program run through Hunterdon Polytech. This program is giving BD an opportunity to begin hands-on training in the trade field and provide him with an internship. From there, he will be able to continue on his career path with his ultimate goal of leading his own electrical team.

Success Story: Overcoming Reentry Barriers to Get on the Road Again

The One-Stop system is designed to offer individualized career services that meet the needs of job seekers from diverse backgrounds.  This often means working with individuals to overcome occupational skill barriers, sometimes barriers in their personal life, and many times both.

The One-Stop Career Training Center first met with jobseeker AB after being referred to the team by Kim Butler, the Greater Raritan One Stop Career Center ex-offender representative.  The individual had previously worked as a laborer, and while the work history was good, identifiable skills were lacking. After recently being released from jail, the lack of industry recognized skills on AB’s resume coupled with their background were difficult to overcome.  After meeting with a One-Stop Training Center Career Navigator several times to reflect on short- and long-range goals, it was determined that obtaining a CDL A license would help this individual not only obtain a license in an in-demand field, but it would build on their previous work experience as well as offer a long-range career path that was also discussed during this planning phase.

Prepared with a goal, lists of action steps, connections to resources to help overcome personal and occupational barriers, and the Training Center staff case managing the process, it didn’t take long for AB to complete CDL training, obtain a CDL A license, and obtain a full-time job with benefits.  AB is now prepared with an in-demand license that can be used in other position, knows how to overcome their criminal background when looking for future employment opportunities, and has knowledge of the many local, state and national resources available to support them along with career path.