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Success Stories

Adult and Dislocated Workers

Meet Jo

After a difficult divorce, Jo Richmond was a displaced homemaker with two children. Having not been in the job market for several years, she needed training and career planning services to identify a way to provide for herself and her children. Jo came to OhioMeansJobs Stark County for assistance, where after completing paperwork and discussing her goals, she applied for and received funding to attend the Registered Nursing Program at Aultman Hospital. She worked part-time and cared for her two daughters while attending school. When Jo graduated from the program, she was hired by Aultman Hospital as a registered nurse with a starting wage of $26.06 hour. She now has the means to support her family and a fulfilling career where she helps others.

Meet Andrea

When Andrea Gillis of Canton, Ohio was laid off from her clerical position two years ago, she wasn’t sure where to turn. After a string of temporary and part-time jobs, she fortunately found her way to her local one-stop, OhioMeansJobs Stark County, for job search assistance. Andrea attended both the “Resume Ingredients” and “How to Ace an Interview” workshops and learned many resume and job search tips. When she took JobFit, an online assessment tool designed to help employers hire and retain employees; it gave her examples of jobs which might suit her skill set. A staff member at OhioMeansJobs Stark County referred her to an opening with the Ohio Unemployment Compensation division. Andrea applied online and found that much of the material she learned from the workshops helped her answer the questions about her work history and qualifications. She was contacted by the agency to take a qualifications test. “The test was difficult, but worth the effort,” she claims. Andrea went from being unemployed to working for the state unemployment office in Canton, Ohio, as a processing clerk. She notes that it wasn’t very long ago that she was on the other side of the phones. Andrea remembers how difficult it was when she was unemployed and has the empathy for those she talks with daily that are going through similar circumstances. She now highly recommends OhioMeansJobs.

Meet Jason

Jason was enrolled at Stark State College in the Respiratory Therapy program and received funding in August 2009. Jason was married, had a three-year old son and was in the Coast Guard Reserves. Jason graduated in May 2010 and began his job search. He was offered a position at Aultman Hospital, but the day after the job was offered he was deployed to the Gulf to help with the oil spill clean up. Aultman Hospital informed him that they would hold the opening for him. Jason returned from his military commitment, and in September 2010 began working part-time at Aultman as a respiratory therapist at a starting wage of $20.96 per her. Jason is now employed full-time at Aultman making $21.17 per hour.

Meet Natalie

Natalie Fowler of Port Washington, Ohio was recently divorced with two children ages 10 and 12 when she came in April 2009 for assistance. Since 2006 she had been working part-time as a nursing assistant at Cambridge Home Health making $8.25 per hour. She was enrolled in the Licensed Practical Nursing program at Buckeye Career Center. She completed the program in June 2010 and is currently employed as an LPN at Riverside Manor Nursing and Rehab Center making $16.30 per hour. Natalie is very grateful for the opportunity that gave her to advance her career. She has nearly doubled her hourly wage working as an LPN. She could not have achieved her dream of becoming a nurse without the help she received with workforce funding. “Thank you for all your help,” stated Natalie. “I could not have done this without all the support and assistance I received from OhioMeansJobs,” she added.

Meet Tonya

Tonya Wheeler was ready to complete her final year in the nursing program at Kent State University, when her husband was injured and unable to work. She faced a financial crisis in trying to fund her last year of schooling. Thanks to workforce funding she was able to complete her schooling. Tonya was progressing well until her final semester when her son died suddenly following a head injury. Tonya still completed her coursework and graduated on time with a bachelor`s degree. She had difficulty passing the NCLEX for her nursing license after the death of her son. She took it three times and failed each time. Although she had taken the NCLEX prep class, staff recommended and paid for individual tutoring. It worked, as she passed her NCLEX and was hired as a registered nurse at Mercy Medical Center at a starting wage of $25.25 per hour. Offering the tutoring program made a huge difference in her ability to pass the test. She has since left Mercy Medical Center and currently works as a registered nurse at Oakhill Life. Continuing on her career path she soon will begin a new position as a supervisor floor nurse at Shady Lawn in Dalton.

Meet Donna

Thanks to workforce funding, Donna, 52, was able to graduate from The University of Akron in May 2011 with a bachelor`s degree in social work. She contacted OhioMeansJobs staff with the good news that she had just been selected out of 30 applicants to participate in the university`s master`s degree internship for social workers. Donna will be the assistant to the director of the social work program, and will be doing some teaching. Her degree will be paid for by the school. In addition she will have her living expenses paid and will receive a stipend. This program is an advanced class so Donna will begin the program in August 2011 and graduate with a master`s degree in May 2012.

Youth Participants

Stephen Becker

Stephen Becker is an engaging all-American looking young man who has a learning disability. He performed average in school and desperately wanted a job so he could help his struggling family with expenses. He was enrolled in the youth program at Claymont High School and placed in a local tire and repair shop where he was mentored by a former student. He learned the basics of working on autos and changing tires, oil filters etc. After graduation Stephen landed a job immediately with A.R.E. Truck Caps in Massillon at an hourly wage of $9.85 per hour. During the past six months he has proven himself to his employer thus qualifying for and receiving two raises. According to his former high school guidance counselor “he has a great work ethic, something he will tell you that he learned by working through the youth program.” “Steve was not college ready due to his disability, but that doesn’t mean couldn’t be a good and desirable worker. He has proven once again that there are jobs out there for people who want to work.”

Marquis Jordan*

Having the opportunity to work on a Nissan 35OZ was the highlight of Marquis Jordan’s summer work experience, and he couldn’t be happier about it. The Summer Youth Program helped Marquis land a summer job with Goodyear in Canton, Ohio further affirming the teen’s desire to become a mechanic. With Marquis’s goal set on master technician, he has been able to gain valuable hands-on experience working with a wide array of cars. “I have performed oil changes, safety inspections and minor services to many different cars,” stated Jordan. “Watching over the master technician has been a big help too,” he adds. With the ever changing nature of the auto industry, Marquis wants to stay on top of the game. “The car industry is moving toward the technical side of things, and there is always new information to learn. I want to learn this material early so I can keep up with the industry.” Goodyear was so pleased with Marquis’s performance that they offered him a permanent position at the conclusion of the program.

* Marquis Jordan is featured in a video highlighting our summer youth program that can be viewed on our website at www.omjwork.com. This program was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

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