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Cutting Corners for Chanel and Cartier

Asha had worked a string of jobs ranging from admin assistant, to photographer, to pre-K art teacher. She’d taken some career courses at City Colleges.  However, the opportunity to find a career path that provided both job satisfaction and the wage she needed as a single mother to support her daughter, had so far eluded her.

In December of 2014 she applied and was accepted into Greater West Town’s Wood Products  Manufacturing Program, and hit the ground running.  She adapted to the expectations of a non-traditional trade for women in a production environment.  An easily approachable warm smile,  excellent  communication and critical thinking skills helped her become not the least bit intimidated by being the only woman in training, and to rise to the challenge of becoming one of the class leaders.  “Asha was super motivated throughout training,” said Doug Rappe, manufacturing technical instructor.

Asha graduated in March of 2015 with an accredited, state-certified, and Woodwork Career Alliance-aligned certificate in woodworking, an OSHA 10 Hour Safety Certification for General Industry, and forklift experience.

With assistance from GWTP’s Job Developer, Asha was placed into employment less than four weeks later at PacTeam USA Productions, a creator of high end display units for prestige brands such as Chanel, Dior and Cartier.  Her supervisor explains: “We structured a work schedule that would enable Asha to balance our production requirements with her duties as a single mom. We’ve been pleased with her professional growth.” Asha has now been at Pac Team for over nine months, and she’s paid it forward: Since joining PacTeam  the company has brought on additional GWTP graduates.  She started near the top of the entry-level pay scale, $11 - $16 per hour.  Master craftsmen and craftswomen in the industry make $17 - $40 per hour.

 If you have interest in pursuing a career in wood products manufacturing, Greater West Town has available seats in its training class that will start February 1st.  Call to register: 312-563-9570.

Keywords: education, employment, Jan 2016 Class, Job, skill, trade, wood, woodworking

Posted in Education Initiatives, Workforce and Career Development