amela Mathews was remarkably insightful about her journey through WorkOne's services as well as the ultimate goal of individual training, education, skill-building and employment-seeking. Noting that WorkOne staffers connected with her and built a relationship, Mathews proclaimed, "You're not marginal- ized; you're building your own brand."
The efforts of WorkOne staff mem- bers on her behalf as well as inner drive spurred Mathews to "get the confidence" to strengthen her educa- tion and career prospects, she ex- plained June 1, 2012, at the Work- One Graduate Recognition Ceremony in South Bend.
YOUR PERSONAL BRAND EQUATES TOLEVEL OF SKILLS & COMMUNICATION
BUILDING SKILLS TAKES 'HARD WORK' YETREWARD COMES IN NEW JOB, GRADUATE SAYS
Bavar worked for more than 25 years in construction with his duties ranging from building frames to project management, he said during the WorkOne Graduate Cere- mony. Yet the impacts of economic ills in summer 2009 threw him among "masses of displaced and disillusioned workers facing uncertainty in job opportunities," he ob- served. At this point, WorkOne specialists entered the stage to counsel Bavar, help him complete requirements for the WAG program, and assist in a plan to build his technical- and soft-skills through education.
He enrolled in a building construction management technology program at Purdue University North Central in Westville, Indiana, and the WAG grant from WorkOne helped pay for the first two semesters of a four-semester program. With greater motivation than ever before, he secured other grants to help cover the third and fourth semesters. Bavar earned an associate's degree in building construction management from Purdue North Central.
"I'm here to tell you that going to college at fifty years old was not only a culture shock, but it took a lot of hard work, late nights of studying and even more time driving than you can imagine," he said. Yet the rewards came in the form of an on-site job interview in Texas, con- tacts with a Kansas company, a phone interview with a Detroit firm, and interviews with companies in South Bend.
The best prize came when Bavar was offered and accepted a position as maintenance director for a company in Mishawaka. "I'm grateful for the opportunity that the WAG program offered to jump-start my education, and I appreciate the support and advice of the people here at WorkOne."
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