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On September 28, 2018 the Grow Southwest Indiana Workforce Development Board recognized one area business and three clients at its annual meeting for their accomplishments through the help of WorkOne Southwest services.  WorkOne helps clients find a new or better job, choose a career, access training, or get the information needed to succeed in today’s ever-evolving workplace. Services are also offered to businesses needing to recruit needed members for their workforce.

Client participants in three programs were honored for accessing all programs and services, demonstrating the willingness to persist and overcome particular difficulties, and gaining employment in an in-demand occupation.

Award recipients:

Client Whitney Willett and family

A single parent of three children, Whitney Willett was unable to support her family as a C.N.A. for eight years without public assistance. Staying in the medical field and gaining acceptance to Vincennes University, it was a daunting 86-mile drive from her home. She received Pell grants, public assistance, and worked part-time yet still had unmet financial needs. While a three-hour round-trip commute, a rigorous LPN program, and three children at home was very stressful, she maintained a positive attitude. She completed all the WorkOne program requirements, completed the academic program with a 3.0 GPA, and inspired others at her LPN pinning ceremony. Whitney recently began the RN program at Madisonville community College to further advance her nursing career.

Client Randall Morrow and family

Randal Morrow lost his job as a waste water treatment operator and had been receiving unemployment benefits for approximately 20 weeks when he decided he wanted to obtain a new skill that would enable him to find work and support his family including his wife and five children. He worked quickly with WorkOne staff to complete all requirements. The WIOA program was able to provide occupational training at Truck Driver Institute in a high-wage in-demand field in four weeks. Despite mounting household bills, the loss of health insurance, family medical issues, a house that had to be heat-treated by remediation, and the crash of his well water pump system, Randall wanted to choose his next employer wisely; he reviewed multiple offers from companies while in training. With other WorkOne services such as career interest inventories, resume assistance, and interviewing skills, he found employment with Mikasha as a truck driver.

When Juleeah Henderson initiated enrolled in the WIOA Youth program she was unemployed, did not have a high school diploma, was low income, and faced homelessness. A single mother, she came into the WorkOne to explore options. Utilizing the full services of WorkOne including assessment testing, ICC workshop, adult education preparation, job readiness workshops and career counseling and planning, Juleeah completed the high school equivalency exam, a work experience boot camp, and a work experience as a C.N.A. After resolution of a class scheduling conflict, she passed the C.N.A. exam and is now employed by an assisted-living center in Evansville. Initially a quiet person, the bootcamp experience increased her confidence and she is now confident that she can make a difference in her life and her children’s lives.

Jasper Engines and Transmissions representatives l to r: Jason Nord, Josseline Carr, Kate Schwenk, Kristen Schroering

The “Business of the Year” award is to recognize a company in Economic Growth Region 11 that has best utilized WorkOne Business Services. This year the award will be presented to Jasper Engines and Transmissions. Jasper Engines and Transmissions has been remanufacturing quality products since 1942 and today is the nation’s largest remanufacturer of gas and diesel engines, transmissions, differentials, rear axle assemblies, marine engines, stern drives, performance engines, and electric motors. Jasper Engines and Transmissions participates in job fairs hosted at WorkOne Southwest in Jasper, openly accepting and hiring candidates of all abilities and Veterans. A WorkOne Southwest Veteran Representative contacted Jasper Engines and Transmissions to discuss a Veteran candidate that did not have reliable transportation. Josseline Carr, Recruiter directed staff to a sister plant near the applicant to alleviate the transportation barrier and the Veteran was referred as a candidate for employment. As the landscape of candidates has changed, the company has become more involved in changing how talent is attracted and has made a mark in talent retention in the community. Participating in events such as the STEM Challenge, Teacher’s Manufacturing Bootcamp and local Tour of Opportunity. Jasper Engines and Transmissions also honors the Governor’s Work Ethic Certification by offering internships to students and provides a structured bonus program as incentive to Certification earners.

The Grow Southwest Indiana Workforce Investment Board serves as the governing board providing policy guidance for, and review and evaluation of, activities under Workforce Investment Act in the nine-county region of WorkOne Southwest and Economic Growth Region 11. The counties include: Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick.

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