Region VII WDB 2022 - 2023 Success Stories
Michelle Fischer from Morgan County is employed with the Morgan County Boys & Girls Club. She was promoted recently to the Assistant Director. Michelle began working at the Boys & Girls Club through the National Health Emergency Grant. She then took a course and earned a computer Nxt Level Innovators certification. Michelle has excelled in her positions working with the Morgan County youth and has been an inspirational figure to those in Morgan County.
Idalis Joiner also from Morgan County and employed with the Morgan County Boys & Girls Club is now the Youth Development Coordinator. Idalis came to us for employment through the National Health Emergency grant started employment at the Morgan County Boys & Girls Club working with the youth and youth programs. Idalis also took a computer course and earned the Nxt Level Innovators certification. Idalis has done an exceptionally well with her job and loves working with the youth of Morgan County.
“We would like to thank Michelle McDowell and the Region 7 Workforce Development programs for helping us to succeed and excel in our jobs and our future.” – Michelle Fischer and Idalis Joiner
Brittany Nugent, from Jefferson County came to us for help with tuition for the Practical Nursing Program and now Brittany is currently attending James Rumsey Technical Institute in the Licensed Practical Nursing Program. She will graduate with her nursing certification and licensing in June. Brittany is working extremely hard in school and she also works part time at Willow Tree Healthcare Center as a CNA. We are very proud of Brittany as she continues to thrive working and going to school. We have also been able to help her through supportive services for travel expenses back and forth to school. We look forward to this coming year with Brittany to see her accomplishments.
“I would like to thank the Region 7 Development office and all the employees that have been so helpful and great to work with. I am looking forward to graduating this summer and becoming a full time nurse.”
Ronald “Tre” Jackson, a resident of Jefferson County attended Sharp as an Errol Barber school at the branch in Inwood, WV. Tre graduated in 2022 and received his barber license and started his own business called Third Dimension Blends. Tre has been wonderful client to work with and we are very proud of his success.
“I would like to thank everyone that has helped me out through school with my tuition and supportive services.”
Arthur came to our office in need of training to get back into the workforce. Arthur is a resident of Berkeley County and decided to go to James Rumsey to attain his CDL certification and license. Now Arthur is employed with DM Bowman and is a full time truck driver.
“This grant has provided me with the opportunity to join the workforce and start a career that I had only dreamed of and now I am successfully working every day.”
Sonia Arrington, a Berkeley County resident came to our office working with the Region 8 Senior Community Employment program. Sonia took the NXT Level Innovators course and attained a computer certification through our WIOA education grant and ended up employed with us here at Region 7 Workforce Development Board as our Administrative Assistant. We have been very fortunate to make Sonia a part of our team and she is a valuable asset to our office.
“I really enjoyed the Nxt Level Innovators course, it was very educational and I learned so much. My instructor took the time to explain every question that was asked and I was very impressed with the programs both with the course and how the WIOA education grant helps individuals to obtain training to help them with employment.” –Sonia Arrington
Chris is a resident of Hampshire County and was in need of training to attain a better paying job. He attended Eastern WV Community Technical College for his CDL Certification and CDL-A license. Chris in now working at Carter Lumber and doing very well. His employer is happy to have such an outstanding employee and Chris really likes his job.
“Thank You to Region 7 Workforce Development for all the help I received for supportive services and for my tuition to Eastern WV CTC so I could attain my CDL Certification and CDL-A License.”
Cody Beavers, a resident of Hardy County came to Region 7 Development Board with the mission of being a barber. He began training with Sharp as an Errol Barber school and attained his license. He is now gainfully employed with Veracity Barbershop in Winchester Virginia. Cody has been a wonderful WIOA client.
“I would like to thank Region 7 Development Board with the help with my tuition and supportive services, it helped me to achieve my goal.”
Twyla Bunny from Berkeley County came to our office seeking employment. Twyla chose to go into an “On the Job Training” program. She began working for Cookies-N-Milk daycare. Twyla has earned multiple certifications in childhood development while being employed with the daycare.
“Hello, my name is Twyla Bunny and I would like to thank Region 7 Workforce Development Board and Unicare. With all the added expenses I have endured getting help with employment and the Unicare check helped me pay my rent. It helped me out a lot as I have been trying to get caught up with my expenses since losing my fiancé earlier this year.”
Jalyn Taylor came to our office in search of training and employment. After going over her options she decided to choose the “On-the-Job Training” program for childhood development certifications. Jalyn is now interested in furthering her education in the future and earning a degree in early childhood development. Additionally, UniCare was able to assist Jalyn with rent assistance during her time in the OJT.
“I would like to say thank you for all the help I have received from Region 7 Workforce Development Board and Unicare. I truly appreciate it. Thank you, Jalyn”
Shane was enrolled with the WIOA Youth Program after being referred to our office by his High School Guidance Counselor. During his time in the program, Shane has worked and completed multiple Paid Work Experiences along with participating in our Youth Summer Learn and Earn Program. He graduated from Martinsburg High School along with graduating from James Rumsey Technical Institute. He has since continued his career by serving with the WV National Guard.
Shane had this to say about our program:
“The Summer Six Week Youth Program consisted of hard work, but I really enjoyed the time spent working with other youth and learning new skills. It’s helped me better prepare for my future with the WV National Guard.”
Upon graduating from High School, Harlee found herself in need of assistance with building a resume and finding employment. Harlee proceeded to participate in the WIOA Youth Summer Learn and Earn Program to help bolster her resume, along with completing multiple workshops our WIOA Career Coach had to offer. Today, Harlee is the proud mother of a new born child and has found full-time employment with Little Eagle Child Care Center.
Harlee had this to say about our program:
“I am so glad I came across the WIOA Summer Youth Program. This program has helped me financially when I needed it the most. I really enjoyed meeting other youth who participated in the program.”
Lauren had dropped out of High School in the 11th grade and was looking to obtain her GED. After being referred to the WIOA Youth Program by her case worker Jon Doughtrey, she was enrolled into the program. While participating in the program, Lauren successfully completed multiple workshops provided by her WIOA Youth Case Manager, along with graduating with her High School Equivalency. Lauren has now successfully started her own child care business: Lots of Love Childcare Center.
Lauren had this to say about our program:
“I am so thankful to have enrolled with the WIOA Youth Program. My Case Manager helped keep me engaged and supported me through obtaining my High School Equivalency and gave me the tools needed to start my own business.”
Conner was enrolled into our youth program. He has participated in the summer work program, attended Petersburg High School, participated in our paid work experience program, and was later hired by the partner employer!
While attending the South Branch Career and Technical Center, Conner was the first Junior to earn his certificate in welding.
Conner had this to say about our program:
“The Workforce Development Board was a wonderful place to work. I made a lot of friends there and the employees where the best. Absolutely the best work experience I ever had. A lot of fun memories that I will never forget and not a day goes by that I don’t miss it.
I will forever be grateful for this opportunity the WDB has given me.
Benefits of the program:
-Meeting lots of people
-Getting a job at a young age of 14
-Lots of experience with different kinds of work”
Juan’s success story is somewhat different than our norm!
During his participation in our program, Juan attended adult education classes in Hardy County and participated in training workshops. However, when his family moved “back home” to Puerto Rico, Juan left West Virginia.
This move did not deter him from pursuing his dreams nor earning his high school equivalency diploma! In fact, Juan not only earned his HSED, but enrolled in University in Puerto Rico.
Juan had this to say about our program:
“I am grateful for the opportunity the program gave. The learning experience. I have achieved my goals. Thank you very much.”
Corbin was enrolled into our youth program. During his enrollment, he participated in our summer work program, attended various workshops and trainings (he even learned how to blow-up a balloon!). As a Senior at Keyser High School, Corbin maintained honor roll status.
Corbin had this to say about our program:
“I, Corbin Josiah Kesner, want to talk about my experience with the Region 7 Workforce Development Board in Moorefield, West Virginia.
My experience was pretty great; I did a lot of hard work with a lot of good people. I learned to be a harder worker, cleaning out an entire school and working on a farm, neither of it is easy.
Once you get through it and get it done, it feels satisfying. Ever since I joined, I’ve developed a better attitude towards the way I get things done. I would recommend anyone to give the program a try, because you can really learn a lot!”
“Success is in the eye of the beholder” …And that’s where David Throneberry’s story begins!
Referred to our program by Ms. Ally Judy of Pendleton County High School, WIOA staff met with Ms. Judy and started making contact with David’s grandmother. However, unforeseen circumstances prevented his application from being finalized. It was during the waiting period, a time where he could have easily fallen through the cracks, that WIOA staff maintained regular contacts and introduced David to the process of getting enrolled in Adult Education Classes.
Finally, his application was approved and David started his official participation in the program. His successful enrollment into the WIOA Youth Program was made possible by the dedication of WIOA Staff and the loving heart of a tenacious grandmother!
David’s grandmother had this to say about our program:
“Dreama Kelly contacted us in our very rural Pendleton County after our grandson David was unsuccessful at completing traditional public education. She explained the program and he was excited to try the program. Dreama explained that the program will help him learn workforce and life-long skills to help him to be a valuable employee to any work field the he chooses.
Our grandson is now actively enrolled in adult education and is looking forward to learning. He is really excited to go on a payroll as he is learning to manage time and to work smart, and how to safely and correctly deal with farm life.”
One of our On-the-Job Training (OJT) businesses, Select Radial Tire signed on with Region 7 Workforce Development Board. The owner of the Select Radial Tire, Dr. Behzad Touhidi, currently utilizes the OJT grant with one our clients. The client will become a certified West Virginia safety inspector through the OJT program and the business will be able to utilize the employee’s certification to help customers.
“I would like to express my appreciation for being a part of the OJT program. It has helped my business financially and made it more affordable for me to help my employee to get training, improve his skills and abilities over the course of the program.” – Dr. Benzad Touhidi
Graciously Giving to Our Youth’s owner Shell-Lyn Clarke met with our Case Managers to discuss how Region 7 Workforce Development Board could help her childcare business to prosper. She then signed on with the On-the-Job (OJT) training program. She has been able to utilize the OJT program to help with business expenses and training expenses.
“As a business owner, employee startup costs are extremely costly so the grant programs available help with those costs. Region 7 Workforce Development Board’s programs help and benefit business to hire and retain staff. As well as to offer competitive wages. Our staff is trained, skilled and knowledgeable in childhood development and is able to provide excellent care to our youth.”
Faith Bain went through the OJT program as a client and is now the director of the Miss Dee’s Daycare. Faith has done a wonderful job working with our organization. She has achieved state training and certifications in childhood development.
“Region 7 Workforce Development Board has been a wonderful resource for our business here at Miss Dee’s Daycare Facility. We look forward to continuing with the OJT program and Region 7.”
Region VII WDB Past Success Stories
When asked about his experience with WIOA/WDB, Tom responded, “I was fortunate to be at the right place at the right time. While in a temporary program at Work Force WV I met with WDB staff and was made aware of the opportunity at CASA-EP. I am grateful to work for such an amazing organization, and to assist in the important work that they do. I look forward to many years of work with CASA and serving the abused and neglected children of our area. I had a great experience working with the WDB staff and I thank them for helping me through the hiring process and allowing me this incredible opportunity.”
A number of service members attached to the 167th Air National Guard in Martinsburg, WV learned that they were going to lose their jobs as aircraft mechanics due to the decommissioning of the plane they worked on. A plan was developed to assist these individuals in transitioning into civilian careers in the aviation industry. Because Pierpont Community and Technical College had already developed a curriculum for aircraft mechanics, they would take the lead in providing the training, which would be offered on site at the Base. The impacted service members had received layoff notices and, because of this, met the criteria for dislocated workers and were eligible for WIA services, including training services. The 167th Air National Guard allowed WIA staff to come on base and conduct orientation sessions and assessments. Twenty individuals received orientation to WIA services and assessments. Three were referred to their states of residence to receive services. Eight individuals completed the WIA application process. Two were able to secure employment prior to the class start date. Six individuals were enrolled in the five week class, Airframe and Powerplant Training for Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certification. Five of those completed the course: Preston Bowers, John Breitenbach, Christopher McCormick, Michael Showe, Jr. and Larry Southard . These individuals will receive certifications which will qualify them for high-paying jobs in the aviation industry.
Regina Schan is registered in the Dislocated Worker Program. Regina is a single mother that struggled to put four children through college working as a CNA. That is quite an accomplishment but she wasn’t finished yet. Regina decided that it was her turn. She finished the LPN Program at James Rumsey and is now working with EastRidge Health Systems. After only a few months, she was promoted to Supervisor and was able to purchase her very first NEW CAR!
Steven Stinchcomb is registered in the Dislocated Worker Program. Steven spent several years working different positions in warehouses. After he got laid off, he decided that being a truck driver was the best option for him. He attended the CDL Program at James Rumsey and is currently a OTR Trucker for D.M. Bowman.
Jason is a 2002 graduate of Jefferson High School. He was laid off from his job due to lack of work. During this time his family had grown with the birth of twins and he was in need of a stable career. Mr. Cook enrolled in class at Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College. Once his training was completed, Jason passed his exam and obtained his class A CDL license. He was hired by the West Virginia Department of Highways and is enjoying being home every evening with his family.
Joshua Whetzel, a 17-year-old Senior at Moorefield High School, enrolled into the youth program. Josh started receiving summer employment opportunities with the Hardy County Board of Education and plans to return during the summer.
Following graduation from Moorefield High School, Josh will be attending Potomac State College majoring in engineering. In addition to the youth summer employment program, Josh works at Hawse Shop-N-Save and takes college-bound courses through Eastern WV Community & Technical College.
“This is a great program for the youth in order to make money and also make a great impact on the community.”
Andrea Whetzel is a single mother who relocated to Martinsburg from Petersburg. She had been working at McDonald’s but was looking for more opportunity and a better future for her and her children. Andrea visited the admissions department at Valley College and was very interested in their Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program but she couldn’t afford the tuition and fees. Valley referred her to WIOA and she was able to get the CNA certification she had desperately wanted. Laura is now employed at Clary Grove Nursing Home.
“If it was not for the WIOA office I would have never known about the job opening at CASA-EP and the great work that they do, I am humbled by the opportunity to do such amazing work. I look forward to many years of work with CASA and serving the abused and neglected children of our area. It was a great experience working with the WIOA staff and I thank them for helping me through the process and allowing me this incredible opportunity.”
Brittany was a 20-year-old, high school dropout when she visited the WIOA Case Management Office in Martinsburg. She informed the Youth Case Manager she wanted to find employment, but first needed to obtain her TASC. She asked what services the program could provide in helping her obtain her goals. She was then registered with the WIOA Youth Program. The program was able to provide her a travel stipend to attend TASC classes in Berkeley County. Brittany successfully completed her TASC, and she began looking for employment. The WIOA Youth Program was able to set up a paid work experience at Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks and Recreation for Brittany. Brittany was able to use her references from the paid work experience to secure a job working at Outback Steakhouse. Brittany’s future plans include pursuing a career in the medical field.
Cheryl Mills is registered in the Dislocated Worker Program. Cheryl was a paralegal for several years but was unexpectedly laid off. Having the desire to help people, Cheryl decided on a different career path. She attended the LPN Program at James Rumsey and upon completion, attained full-time employment at Willow Tree Nursing Home.
Van Heslop is registered in the Dislocated Worker Program. Van was an in-home healthcare provider and a youth pastor. He was laid off from his youth pastor position so decided to use his experience in healthcare to further his career. He completed the CNA program at Valley College and accepted a position at Willow Tree Nursing Home. He loves his job and has even been named Employee of the Month THREE times!!!
Steven Hopkins is registered in the Dislocated Worker Program. He began the LPN Program at BRCTC several years ago but dropped out due to the stresses of life. He found work as a deli manager but always wanted to finish school. He decided it was time when he got laid off. Steven finished the LPN Program at James Rumsey as their Valedictorian. He works at Willow Tree Nursing Home as a Shift Supervisor.
Michael Grapes, a 2014 Graduate of Pendleton County High School, was enrolled into the youth program. Michael participated in the paid work experience program under the supervision of the Pendleton County Board of Education.
Michael is currently employed by Allegheny Wood products where he works stack-off and is cross-trained as a fork lift operator.
“The [youth] program has done a lot of great things for me and has really opened up my eyes for the future. It also taught me that hard works pays off in high school; I worked hard to graduate and now being out of high school and working a full time job. My hard work has given me my own house along with many other great achievements.”
Anna Harmon was laid off after five years at Hollywood Casinos. While she enjoyed the customer interaction part of her previous job, she was really interested in bookkeeping and accounting. Anna was referred to the WIOA office by WorkForce WV after filing her unemployment claim. She met with a Career Coach and it was decided that she would be a perfect candidate for OJT. She was interviewed and placed with Johnson & Johnson HVAC. She completed the QuickBooks certification program at BlueRidge CTC and is now in charge of billing for the company.