Hunter R.: A Pinch of Success Story Image

Hunter R.: A Pinch of Success

Hunte... +

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Name: Hunter
Date: 08/29/2018
Pathway: Not Available
Program: WIOA Youth
Location of Service: 60538-3370

Hunter Rome enrolled in the Kendall Youth Employment Program in April of 2017.  Hunter was attending Yorkville High School in the Organization and Social Skills Program.   Hunter enrolled in the Kendall Youth Employment Program through the Grundy/Kendall Regional Office of Education to get help finding a job.  Hunter had never worked before, so he worked with Case Managers to complete a resume, fill out job applications, and practice for interviews.  Hunter was always engaged in the process and attended all scheduled meetings. 

In June of 2017 Hunter participated in a Paid Work Experience at A Pinch of Happiness, a local spice shop.  A Pinch of Happiness provides natural supports on the job.  Hunter really worked on his employment skills during his time at the store.  Hunter started out with his strengths being a quick learner, being patient, and being a good communicator.  Hunter and his supervisor came up with goals that Hunter needed to work on.  Hunter worked on improving initiative, getting to know the store better, working at a faster pace, counting money and eye contact with customers.  Hunter worked hard to achieve his goals and by October of 2017 his performance review showed great improvement.  Hunter improved on his initiative to work and learn, communicating with customers, and counting money in the cash register.  His supervisor at a Pinch of Happiness, Rebecca, said “Hunter makes everyone smile.” 

During the time that Hunter was completing his Paid Work Experience at A Pinch of Happiness he was looking for jobs and filling out many job applications.  Hunter got called for an interview at Meijer’s in Oswego for a utility clerk position.  Hunter was hired at Meijer’s on October 22, 2017.  Hunter works after school and on weekends. 

In May of 2018, Hunter graduated from Yorkville High School.  Hunter is still employed at Meijer’s and is doing very well- he recently earned a .75 cent raise due to excellent job performance. Hunter is a great success and his case managers in the WIOA program are proud of how far he has come.

Future Workforce Leader: Ana M.  Story Image

Future Workforce Leader: Ana M.

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Name: Ana
Date: 08/28/2018
Pathway: Health Science
Program: WIOA Youth
Location of Service: 60120-5752

Ana Martinez was enrolled in the Future Workforce Leaders Program at ECC in January of 2018. She is a high school graduate, and single mother of a three –year- old daughter. When Ana began the program, she knew she had an interest in healthcare, but was unsure of what career she wanted to pursue within the field. Her interest in healthcare sparked from working as an activity aid in a nursing rehabilitation home. She enjoyed helping and taking care of others, and considered nursing as an option, but was uncertain if she was ready for such a commitment. After completing a career assessment, Ana discovered a Patient Care Technician Certificate would allow her to work in a healthcare setting helping patients in a hospital. The certificate program was a great option because it is short-term training which allowed her to work and still spend time with her daughter.

Shortly after completing career exploration, Ana registered for the Patient Care Technician program at JCM Institute and began the Basic Nurse Assistant course on February 15th of this year. She successfully completed the class and passed the C.N.A Competency and Evaluation exam on April 19th. She is currently enrolled in the phlebotomy portion of the PCT program and is scheduled to take the State certification test on July 25th.  After completing the Phlebotomy class, she will start EKG class and will later register for the PCT State Exam.

Ana is currently enrolled in paid work experience. She is working at Sherman Hospital as an emergency department helper. She was placed at the local hospital and had exposure to many different departments. This is where she was really able to find a passion working in the Inpatient Lab. She was able to connect her training of PCT with her PWE, and now she is certain she will pursue a degree in the healthcare field.  

Ana is finishing up her PWE, but the supervisor in the Lab where she is working asked her to apply for a full-time position. Once she has her state certification for phlebotomy, she will be able to draw patients’ blood for the lab. Ana stated that she is excited and appreciative of the opportunities she has been given while in the Future Workforce Leaders Program. 

Aircraft Maintenance Story Image

Aircraft Maintenance


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Name: Lee
Date: 08/20/2018
Pathway: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Program: Laid off worker
Location of Service: 60506-1525

Mr. Lee Gasper was laid off from Honeywell in July 2015 after almost 10 years with the company. Lee worked as an assembler and made $16.40 per hour putting together mini mods and smoke detectors. Lee started working at Honeywell after he completed his Associate Degree in Computer Aided Design (CAD). Lee looked for work in this field for a couple years without much luck, and when the opportunity came along to work at Honeywell as an assembler he took it, and stopped his search for work in Computer Aided Design.

After his layoff, Mr. Gasper began working with the local workforce office in Kane County on resume updates and researching other training opportunities. Lee’s CAD degree was now 15 years old and he needed to update his skills and credentials in order to find work at a similar pay rate as Honeywell. Lee knew he would need to update and increase his skills in order to do this. While working on this with his Career Planner, Mr. Gasper was given the opportunity to move to Georgia. Lee wanted to still take advantage of the training opportunity under the TAA program, and began the Aviation Maintenance Technology program at Savannah Technical College in January 2016. Lee picked this program and school for their aviation program, due to the proximity to the local airport and the schools’ employment connections to local manufactures in the area that specialize in aircraft parts.

Lee continued to work closely with his Career Planner in Illinois as he progressed through the program. Lee even made a visit every semester to update his Career Planner of his progress and submit his grades and required training documents in person. Lee attended training for a year and a half taking classes in Blueprint Reading, Structural Fundamentals, Structural Layout Fabrication, Aerospace Quality Management, Aerodynamics, Composite/Bonded Structures, Sealants, Corrosion Control, Aircraft Metallurgy, and Aircraft Technical Publication. Lee successfully graduated in July 2017 with his Aircraft Structural Diploma. He had a 3.66 GPA and was part of the TCC Aircraft Assembly National Technical Honor Society. With all the knowledge Lee gained while in school, he was able to get a job at Bella Terra Interior Solutions in Garden City, GA. Bella Terra makes parts for airplanes. They specialize in countertops for aircraft lavatories. Lee started working at Bella Terra in October 2017 and started at a wage of $16.00 per hour. Lee was very excited to be working in the industry and making a wage very close to what he was making at his dislocated job.