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Past Decisions Don’t Stop Job Opportunity

Port Huron Career Center

Due to some poor decisions Daniel had made in the past, he was having trouble getting a job. In February 2016, he looked to Michigan Works! Young Professionals in hopes of turning his life around. He shared with staff, “I am honest and check yes to the question, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” and I feel like I am automatically disqualified before I am given a chance. I have applied for everything from factory work to cart wrangling and it is always the same answer-NO.”

Over the next several weeks, Daniel attended job readiness workshops, created a résumé, job searched, submitted applications, and worked with the Placement Specialist in an effort to obtain employment. In the meantime, Daniel’s résumé was submitted to Blue Water Habitat for Humanity for their construction team. He was hired for a 400 hour Paid Work Experience (PWE) as a construction laborer.

Daniel gained work skills during the PWE and showed immense improvement between his first and second job evaluations. He learned to manage his time effectively, become more hands-on and interactive with the team and asked questions when necessary. Habitat for Humanity taught Daniel how to build a home from the ground up; framing, rough carpentry, and finish work; as well as what it took to work efficiently as part of a team.

Successfully completing the PWE and having gained new skills, Daniel still found his background to be a roadblock to employment. The Placement Specialist, however, came across an on-the-job training (OJT) opportunity he thought might be a great fit for Daniel. Since Daniel had mastered time management, multi-tasking, and had built a strong work ethic during his PWE, he had transferable skills to offer RDM Enterprises. He was hired as a Press Machine Operator under an OJT contract with training funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Daniel completed 480 training hours in July of 2017 and remains employed with RDM Enterprises.

When the Career Development Facilitator checked in with Daniel last month, the twenty-two year old said the job was “better than ever! I am finally on the right track!”

Daniel’s patience, commitment, and his good attitude helped moved him forward and got him back on track toward the life he wants.

Submitted by Danielle Williams