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Taking a Drastic Turn for the Better

“My life took a drastic turn for the better when I enrolled at Greater West Town, and for that I will always be thankful,” says Rafael.  He graduated from the Shipping & Receiving Program at Greater West Town Training Partnership (GWTP) last year.

The full time program is 12 weeks long and includes job placement services.  For Rafael that meant starting a job even before he finished training.  He was hired by William Dudek Manufacturing Company, a local employer-partner of the program that manufactures precision metal stampings.  “I am making much more than I ever have. I’m saving to buy a car and get my own place.  I would never have been able to dream about doing that before,” says Rafael.  Previously he had been in a low-paying, dead-end retail job with no chance to advance. “My schedule was erratic, I barely made over minimum wage, and I was never really able to get my head above water.”

A friend referred Rafael to GWTP for skills training after seeing an ad about the program.  He recognized it would provide access to real career opportunity.  At first training was challenging: “I had to get used to the discipline of coming in every day, Monday through Friday, being there early and staying late.  I had never worked a full-time, regular job before.  The program prepared me to be ready for what employers were expecting.”  Technical skills weren’t the only benefit of the program for Rafael.  By studying seriously he raised both his math and reading scores over three grade levels during the 12-week program!

At this point, it’s been more than a year since Rafael started his career at Dudek and he is growing with the company.  “I love everything about working here,” he says.  “As a small, local company they value my input, which is a wonderful thing.  It feels like my work makes a difference.”  He has received three raises so far.

The GWTP program provides an answer to problems faced by many community residents - technical skills deficits, academic skills gaps, lack of experience, lack of opportunity.  GWTP’s successful efforts to connect community residents with local industry have empowered many to dream new dreams for themselves and families.  Two programs, Shipping & Receiving and Cabinetmaking Training, are currently accepting applications for November classes and are always interested in applicants who want to be next to “take a drastic turn for the better!”   Interested candidates can call 312-563-9570. 

Keywords: business, career, education, employment, Job, manufacturing, training, wood, work

Posted in Business News, Education Initiatives, Workforce and Career Development