“I didn’t know how to start again. Now I am more confident with myself and life.”
After a long time in prison, Willie James “didn’t know how to start again.” A US Army Veteran, Willie came to SER looking to acquire new skills, and hopefully get assistance with finding a job.
During his first visit to SER, Willie’s strengths and needs were evaluated by a Navigator. As a veteran, Willie was a great candidate for the SER Transition Assistance and Resource Services (S.T.A.R.S) for Veterans program. Together with a SER Career Coach, Willie put together his Individual Employment Plan, which focused on the Warehouse and Logistics area.
The first stage of Willie’s Employment Plan included participation in a Job Readiness Workshop. There, Willie learned interviewing skills, updated his knowledge of computers, prepared an effective resumé, and learned how to go on the internet and apply to online job postings.
In terms of acquiring the necessary skills to succeed in the industry he chose, the S.T.A.R.S for Veterans program allowed Willie to complete various trainings at no cost. Willie completed the Core Construction NCCER training, and obtained two certificates (tools and safety). Crucially, Willie also completed the Warehouse/Forklift training that presented him with a Forklift Driver Certificate. Impressively, he accomplished all of this in a span of just four weeks.
After completing his training, Willie diligently attended the Job Connection sessions offered at SER every Tuesday, where he was getting different job leads and various employment tips. Getting a job would certainly empower him to become independent once again, given that he was still living with his daughter.
Finally in May, Willie got his wish: a job working in the warehouse of a manufacturing company, where he would be able to display all the new skills he had acquired. He moved out from his daughter’s home, and got an apartment of his own. Not only that - Willie also reunited with his wife.
Willie is in a much better place now. “I am more confident with myself and life,” he says.
If you would like to learn more about all that SER has to offer for our Veterans, click here
Job Connections are held at SER (201 Broadway Street) every Tuesday from 9:30 am to 11:00 am. Eveyrone is welcome!