Inspiring Success

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May 30, 2017

Workforce development programs lead to great jobs with great benefits

JoelMAs we move into week eight of our Faces of Workforce Development showcase, let’s first recap weeks 1-7:

  1. Opening doors to unforeseen career paths.
  2. Building confidence through workforce development.
  3. Motivating factors in workforce development.
  4. Workforce development helps complete the career mission.
  5. The role of continuing education in workforce development programs.
  6. The importance soft skills play in successfully reaching your goals.
  7. Putting a stop to dreading the end of the weekend.
In 2012, Joel Mielke found himself at the point of despair. In his words, he was at a point in his life when he felt he had nothing to offer society and nothing he could contribute of value. /developing-programs/it-ready">IT-Ready helped the displaced auto-manufacturing worker establish an upwardly mobile career in information technology.

“I was at a point in my life when I felt I had nothing to offer society, nothing I could contribute of value. It was so demoralizing. I can hardly explain the depths that I was at.

“From 2000 to 2007, I worked on the assembly line for Ford Motor Company until the plant downsized and offered buy-outs. It was the best place to work. The best part of my job was getting to know people and taking in the diversity that’s out there. I lived off my severance package while returning to school for a medical assistant’s degree. I came close to finishing my business degree as well, but I had to drop out because I couldn’t find a job and ran out of money. Even with degrees, it was difficult to find employment in a downturned economy.

“I was at a low point in my life. IT-Ready was just a wonderful opportunity that I had to jump at. I had been a computer hobbyist for years, and my friends and family were like, ‘You have to do this.’ They were right.

“Once we networked all the computers in the class, it was a lot of fun. We turned it into a prank, taking over each other’s computers. We also learned how binary language worked.

Just three years after graduating from IT-Ready, Joel now works as a field engineer for Conquest Technologies, performing contract networking service for clients such as Cisco and Wells Fargo. His work take him to North Carolina, Arizona, Florida, and California. He enjoys his work thoroughly and remains grateful for the opportunity to pursue a career in IT.

“Please let anyone curious about me know that I am doing well. I appreciate what the entire team at IT-Ready has done for me to make my career a reality. It has truly been life changing. I absolutely love my job. Great pay, great benefits and just enough travel to keep things interesting.

“I was in a dead-end job and had really lost all hope. Thank you for giving that hope back to me.”

Next week, we’ll hear from Jeff Davis, who, after spending 16 years working in warehouses, managing inventories and moving products on pallets with forklifts, had to make a change after being laid off for the third time in six years.