Read the Testimonials of Our Past Job Seekers

WIOA Training Opens Doors to a New Career

John Satterfield, a native of northern Virginia, has been a resident of Waterloo, Illinois for eight years. After being in the automotive trade for more than 30 years, the company he was working for filed for Chapter 11 and closed its doors. For the past several years, Satterfield was unable to find meaningful full-time employment. Jobs that paid a living wage were difficult to find in his career field. He tried to support himself by working part-time as a handyman doing small home repairs, lawn care, and some part-time employment.

Satterfield realized he needed to change careers but lacked the training and finances required to make a career change. He was desperate and dejected about his future until he happened upon the Southwestern Illinois WorkNet Center while visiting the Monroe County Courthouse. He met with career specialist Kathi Weilbacher who explained the Workforce Investment Act (WIOA) program and the career options available. Weilbacher guided him through the process of applying for WIOA funding to fund his training for a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Satterfield was tested, evaluated, and selected for WIOA funding. Four weeks later, he completed the CDL training program and was licensed. Through interviews with trucking companies during his training, he was recruited and signed with a national trucking firm to start their company training upon receiving his CDL license. Several months of over-the-road driving gave him the experience needed to land a local driving job.

“WIOA funded training opened doors for me and I am now opening doors for passengers in my job as a driver for the Monroe-Randolph Transit District,” said Satterfield. “The Southwestern Illinois WorkNet and the Workforce Investment Act enabled me to obtain the funds required for additional career training for a CDL. Having that license has opened up a number of doors and job opportunities for me and given me hope for my financial future and restored my self-esteem.”

“Thank you for your support and encouragement over the last year and keep up the great work you are doing,” added Satterfield.

A Natural at Nurturing Leads to a Nursing Career

Teresa Polacek lost her husband to colon cancer in 2006. After 33 years of experience in the healthcare field, she found herself the sole wage earner supporting her family. She found it difficult to support herself and two dependent children while working as a CNA and physical rehabilitation nurse at a local nursing home. While investigating the Licensed Practical (LPN) nurse training program, she learned about the Workforce Investment Act (WIOA) and applied for funding.

WIOA-funded training paid for most of Ms. Polacek’s LPN training and provided some transportation support assistance. She qualified for WIOA support because she was within the income guidelines for a family of three. She needed additional assistance to reach self-sufficiency.

“I never would have been able to accomplish this without the help of WIOA,” said Polacek. “Through WIOA funded training, I was able to complete my LPN and am now employed working full-time and earning a better salary. I enjoy my work and continue to learn new things daily. I also hope to help my children attend college.”

Ms. Polacek continues to nurture patients as an LPN in a hospital setting and was rehired by her former employer. She now earns $3.50 more per hour after receiving her LPN license.