Curious about Success Stories in the Adult & Dislocated Worker Program? Explore Inspiring Journeys Here!
How do you know if this program will work for you?
One of the best ways to recognize the program’s benefits is through success stories of others just like you.
Sandoval County – Kelley’s journey began as a server at a chain restaurant in Alaska, where her husband served in the Air Force. However, when the pandemic hit the United States in late February, Kelley received a notice of separation from her employer, who had to lay off over 200 employees nationwide due to the COVID-19 Municipal Order. With her husband’s decision not to re-enlist and a desire to move back to New Mexico, Kelley and her husband relocated and settled into their new home. It was during this time that Kelley and her husband had a conversation about her future career prospects, and she became intrigued by the field of healthcare after researching the top ten healthcare professions online. Determined to become an essential worker and avoid the uncertainty of future job losses, Kelley set her sights on becoming a dental hygienist.
Recognizing the need to upgrade her skills and find a career pathway that would lead to self-sufficiency, Kelley extensively researched local dental hygiene programs. Eventually, she made the decision to pursue a two-year dental hygiene program at Pima Medical Institute, fully aware of the tuition costs. While she initially anticipated that her financial aid would not cover her education, she hoped her husband’s income would help cover the monthly payments. However, after a year of struggling to make ends meet, her husband decided to seek a second job.
Feeling worried and heartbroken about their financial situation, Kelley stumbled upon a booth of WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) staff members on her way to class. Intrigued, she attended an orientation at the Albuquerque Workforce Connection Center and discovered a federal grant opportunity. Due to the substantial layoff, she experienced because of COVID-19, Kelley qualified to participate in the WIOA program as a Dislocated Worker.
After successfully completing her Associate of Applied Science degree, Kelley faced challenges when attempting to pass her first board exam. However, with months of dedicated tutoring and exam preparation, she triumphed and passed multiple board-certified exams, clinical exams, and local anesthesia exams. Her hard work resulted in the obtainment of her Dental Hygiene Licensure through the state of New Mexico.
Kelley’s hard work paid off when she secured employment as a Dental Hygienist at Rio Rancho Family Dental Care. Grateful for the opportunities provided by the WIOA program, Kelley recognized it as a turning point in her life, offering financial security and the ability to improve her patients’ quality of life.
Today, Kelley proudly serves as a part-time employee at Rio Rancho Family Dental Care, earning an impressive hourly wage of $40.00 per hour. Her work as a licensed and board-certified Dental Hygienist brings her immense satisfaction, and she is excited to support her husband’s dream of becoming a pilot, as they can now afford for him to go back to school.
Bernalillo County – Maria had achieved her educational goal and received a Master’s of Science in Civil Engineering in December 2022. She had been unsuccessful finding employment in the Engineer field after receiving her degree due her lack of experience. Maria had good customer service skills and had participated in some paid internships while attending school at UNM, but it wasn’t enough to make her more employable in her chosen field. She wanted to make a livable wage while learning, hands on, in her chosen field, but she just couldn’t seem to get anyone to give her a chance.
Maria came across some information on the WIOA Program, and it sparked some interest. She came into the office to complete an intake and was qualified for and enrolled into the program in April 2023. She was assigned to a Business Consultant who, after an initial assessment, determined that Maria would be a good fit for an OJT. She had never worked in the engineering field and an OJT could help her gain the actual hands-on experience she needed to gain the skills required in her industry and could help get “her foot in the door”.
Maria was referred to Marisa at Souder Miller Associates, an Engineering firm, regarding a position vacancy for a Staff 1 Engineer. After an interview, she was selected to fill the full-time position starting at $30 an hour. Maria accepted the position and a WIOA OJT contract was negotiated and finalized to enable a start date of April 17, 2023. She was allocated 875 hours to enable hands on training to increase her skill level in her chosen field. Maria successfully completed her OJT hours in September 2023 and stayed on as a full-time employee with the company. Maria was thankful for the opportunity that she received from the WIOA Program and hopes that her story would promote more individuals to seek employment services through WIOA.
Bernalillo County – Shane entered the WIOA program in September of 2022. At the time of his application, he not working but was doing side jobs for cash and he had family that providing him with room and board. He qualified to participate in the WIOA, Adult low-income program. When he came to the program, he knew that he wanted to get into a career that he could enjoy and that would enable him to support himself. He never really knew what he wanted to do as a career but was open to anything. Working side jobs, in the labor field, he was able to ask a lot of questions about different trades. On one job site, he was able to ride along in water trucks. The driver of the water truck was a CDL driver with 25 years of experience. Shane loved riding with him and asked him lots of questions about driving and CDL. The more time that went by the more Shane knew he wanted to be a CDL driver.
Shane enrolled into the CDL program at 160 Driving Academy. He quickly became excited with the new career path he was on. Shane knew the program was a great fit; he especially liked that he would be getting behind the wheel training for over the road experience.
Shane started the CDL program on September 19th and got his permit his first week of school. As the training continued Shane made sure that he was getting as much time in the yard and behind the wheel as possible. He felt like he was ready and scheduled his first CDL final driving exam. Shane was ready to test and was told that the truck for the CDL driving test had broken down and was not going to be ready for a few weeks. Shane was stressed. He felt like the more time that went by the more he would forget. Shane decided to spend his down time hanging out at the yard to help others with driving and trip checks. After a few weeks Shane was scheduled to take his final CDL exam and passed with flying colors.
After completing the CDL training, Shane landed full-time employment with Western Express as a Buddy Driver, getting his over the road hours in, as a CDL Driver earning $19. Shane expressed his gratitude for the great opportunity that the WIOA Program provided him. With the support of his CDS, he was able to get into an industry with great potential for longevity and room to grow. He now looks forward to embarking on a new career in the Trucking industry as a CDL Driver. UPDATE: At the time of follow up, Shane is now working for SYSCO, driving locally, making 29.00$ an hour.
Valencia County – Martin is a single parent who has worked very hard to provide for himself and his son. He started working with the City of Albuquerque, Solid Waste Department in 2017 looking for an opportunity to grow within a good company with the benefits he needed for his son.
Martin started as a collection laborer assisting the driver. He worked hard and soon began to stand out as a good,
dependable employee who was ready to move up in the department. An opportunity opened up for a class B training program that would enable those who completed the course an opportunity to become a driver along with a salary increase. Martin was selected by his supervisor to obtain his Class B License and participate in the program that would not only provide a wage increase, but an opportunity to move into a better position.
The program Martin was selected for would enable him to participate in a training program during the workday but did not provide for tuition. Martin was referred to the WIOA program for assistance; he was determined eligible and enrolled into the program as an Adult in January 2023. From that point forward, Martin excelled in the CDL program; he even developed a study group to assist his fellow co-workers to assure that not only he, but his coworkers as well could be successful in the program. His supervisors and instructors were amazed with the leadership skills that he showed.
Martin successfully completed the Class B CDL program at CNM on 04/16/2023 and he obtained his license on 04/25/2023. Martin was promoted to Collection Driver earning $16.53 per hour plus benefits. Martin is grateful to WIOA for the assistance provided to enable his career advancement and he looks forward to his next goal of obtaining his class A CDL to enable even more opportunity in his future.
Bernalillo County – Robert entered the WIOA program in October 2022. At the time of his application, he was unemployed but not receiving unemployment benefits. Robert was receiving SNAP benefits to assist himself and son. He was hopping from job to job to pay the bills but hadn’t had any steady income for 6 months prior to his enrollment. He hoped to get away from customer service jobs and was truly ready for a big change.
When Robert became unemployed, he realized it was the perfect chance to go back to school and get into a real career. He wanted a job that was going to pay well enough to enable him to support his Child. Roberts previous jobs were low-paying and temporary, and he wanted to explore something completely new and different that could help move him forward into a career. Robert loved driving and believed that a career in the transportation industry could be the job that would best suit him.
Robert decided to enroll into the CDL program at 160 Driving Academy. He was eager to get his permit and start learning to drive the big truck. Robert enrolled during a difficult transition time at the school and experienced some difficulty with the instructors and getting enough time to drive and practice in the truck. Robert however was determined to make this change in his life and get his career moving. Despite feeling as though he didn’t get all the experience he was hoping for, Robert was still able to pass his exam and earn his CDL.
Robert shifted his energy into finding work in his field. He spent about a month looking for employment before finding his dream job at Empire Way. He very quickly transitioned from making the bare minimum as a trainee driver to now making over $1,500 per week. He gets to travel and see things he always wanted to do and see. Robert says he’s very happy with his new career and he hopes to be there a very a long time. He has been employed 10 months with Empire Way and he’s loving it. Robert remains employed full-time with Empire way as an over the road driver, making about $2000 a week, more if he drives more. Robert is grateful for the help that WIOA provided and believes he wouldn’t be where he is now without that funding.
Bernalillo County – Sergio enrolled into WIOA in September of 2022 as a dislocated worker and was interested in going back to school for Web Development. He was receiving unemployment benefits at the time and was looking at making a career change. He had worked as a food server at different restaurants over the past few years. Sergio started getting passionate about IT when he worked for Apple as a Technical specialist & product zone specialist focusing on sales. He knew he needed to obtain more technical training to be successful in the IT field. Sergio decided to enroll into the Deep Dive Full stack boot camp where he learned the fundamentals of modern web development, building great websites, and how, in-demand software can assist browsers to run perfectly.
Through a lot of hard work and dedication, Sergio completed the Deep Dive Full Stack Program at CNM Ingenuity on December 9, 2022. He was eager to enter the workforce but had some challenges to overcome, mainly due to his lack of prior experience. He was having a difficult time getting interviews and started to feel defeated. His career development specialist referred him to the WIOA business team to see if they could help.
After about 3 months, Sergio was beginning to get worried that he wouldn’t be able to find work in his field. One of the business representatives contacted him to ask how he would feel about participating in an internship with a company that was searching for Software Engineers. Sergio thought it would be a great opportunity but felt nervous that he didn’t have the appropriate skills to be successful in the position. The BC sent his resume to the company, and they were extremely interested in providing the work experience that could help expand his knowledge. Sergio begun his internship 03/13/2023 at Tau Technologies and focused on proving troubleshooting, software design and documentation in full stack development, and implementing software libraries as well as writing software manuals. Through his internship, Sergio grew more confident and realized this was something he could see himself doing long-term. Through the next 4 months, Sergio advanced his skills and continued to grow in C++ documentation and website design, as well as converting python code into C++ for performance gains.
As the internship ended the BC inquired with the employer as to Sergio’s “fit” with their company. They agreed that Sergio was a great fit for the team and were eager to keep working with him. Sergio was able to move into an OJT contract paying 50% of the hourly wage to help offset the training costs required to fill the skills gaps associated with his full-time position. After he completed his hours, Sergio was offered an unsubsidized full-time position earning $25.00 an hour as a software engineer.
All within the year, Sergio went from being unemployed and collecting unemployment benefits, to going back to school, obtaining an internship, and receiving a full-time job offer. Sergio stated that the support he received from WIOA was what led him to his success, and he is so thankful to all the WIOA staff that supported him along his journey. He is looking forward to his new career and is eager to show case his talents.
Bernalillo County – Mary is a single 34-year-old who had a rough transition into adulthood. She had decided to attend college early in life and receive her credentials in CPC-A (Certified Professional Coder) back in 2014. During that time Mary made several poor choices that lead to a lapse in her license with no ability to re-test.
After 10 years, Mary decided that it was time that she focus on getting her education in order and renewing her license. Mary had major challenges that seemed to keep her from moving forward. She had been terminated by her previous employer and was receiving unemployment benefits, but it wasn’t enough to provide a stable living situation for herself. She had no job, and lots of student loan debt which had been haunting her since her previous educational experience.
As she got older, she realized that there were a lot of alternate resources available that didn’t require taking out additional student loans. She learned about the WIOA program and took advantage of the funding. Mary’s dream was to become a CPC-A once again. Mary reached out to the Workforce Connection and met with her future case manager to build a plan. After conduction research, Mary decided upon Coding Clarified, an online based school. Mary completed the 80-hour course ahead of schedule on December 19, 2023. She is now employed with Medix Temp Agency, assigned to Bridge HCP. She is back on track and has started her career once again as a Certified Professional Coder.