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Our Success

Carleigh Bobbett
Registered Nurse (RN)

The story of how Carleigh became one of our students utilizing the WIOA program is not a typical one. I happened to be dining at a nice restaurant and one of the students in our WIOA program was there as well.  She was with her fellow classmates that were also in the RN program at Lake Land College.  She told them who I was and where I worked and how amazing our program is. Carleigh happened to be one of those classmates and also happened to live in Shelby County. She asked if I thought she would be eligible and I took her email address and sent her a pre-application as soon I was back in the office.

 Carleigh quickly returned the pre-application and was able to qualify for the 1A program. She only had one year left and wished she had known about us sooner.

Carleigh graduates May 10th and has maintained excellent grades throughout the program. Her plan after graduation is to continue with her education at SIUE to get her Bachelors in Nursing and then get a job as a Correctional Nurse in a Federal Prison. 

Ashlyn Dunaway
Registered Nurse (RN)

Ashlyn reached out to me in April 2022 at the age of 19, seeking help from our WIOA program to obtain her LPN License from Lake Land College. At the time, Ashlyn was working PRN as a CNA at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center so that she could focus on her studies.

Ashlyn qualified for our 1A program and started classes on 5/16/2022. She has been a very successful student and has maintained good grades throughout the whole program. 

With her sweet nature and kindness, Ashlyn will be an amazing Nurse. Her pinning is on May 10th 2024 and she cannot wait to start her career. She has accepted a position as an RN on the special Procedures unit at Sarah Bush Lincoln starting in April of 2024.

Chloe Watson
Registered Nurse (RN)

I reached out to Chloe when I found out that she had been accepted into the RN program at Lake Land College. She was working at a Coffee shop as a Barista and I took her an application to fill out.

Chloe qualified for our Quest grant as she was making less than 15 dollars an hour and was considered Underserved and historically marginalized as low income.

While pursuing her degree, Chloe had a baby and with the help of family, she was able to get through school and make good grades.

I had the honor of watching all 3 of these wonderful girls get pinned and had the pleasure of getting to know them through my work at The Job Center. It is something I will never forget!

Foiles, Jacob

Jacob Foiles
Commercial Truck Driving - CDL

Jacob Foiles came into the Jacksonville Job Center in March of this year.  He had been employed through his family’s tree trimming service and even tried to run his own tree trimming service for a bit, but unfortunately during all of this, his step dad passed away and the tree trimming business wasn’t bringing in the income or steady employment so Jacob needed to make a decision about his future.

He met with Curt Robinson at Lincoln Land Community College and talked about the Truck Driver Training program offered there.  It is about a 4-5 week program depending on the student’s progress, but has no financial aid for it. With Jacob’s income status he was deemed eligible for the WIOA 1A fund.

He started class 04/18/2024 and finished with the highest score in the class!  He obtained his CDL license on 05/29/2024 and has already stopped in my office with his certificate of completion, his CDL license and his letter from Curt Robinson of Lincoln Land Jacob had scored a 99% in the class.  If that is not successful enough, he already has a job interview set for Monday and I have no doubt with his determination and his work ethic he will not only get that job, but he will flourish in it!

Congratulations Jacob Foiles!

Nathan Phillips

Nathan Phillips
Commercial Truck Driving - CDL

Nathan Phillips came into our office looking for a chance to better his career path. He had been laid off due to being employed as a seasonal worker and was drawing unemployment. Nathan felt as though if he could get his CDL license he would be able to gain sustainable year round employment and make a better financial future for himself.

Nathan is divorced with no children but has a girlfriend who is supportive of him bettering his future.

He came in for his appointment with all of the correct documentation needed and was very goal oriented and polite to interact with. He was approved for Dislocated Worker funding under the WIOA grant and was able to begin classes at 160 Driving Academy in Springfield in February. Towards the end of class Nathan contracted Covid and had to miss about a week but was determined to keep in contact with me and his instructors and once recovered, back to class he went. He completed training without further incident and passed with no problem.

Once he received his CDL license he was automatically hired for a drilling company, however about a week or so after he started he was offered an even better job hauling for Western Asphalt Company doing road work and construction for multiple agencies. His pay increased and so did his benefits.

Since first meeting Nathan, you could tell that no matter what came his way, he was a goal keeper.  Now, three months later he is well on his way to a lifelong career of year-round employment and sustainable income for a great future. Nathan is truly a success story of determination and achievement!   Way to go Nathan!

Phillips, Casey

Casey Phillips
Commercial Truck Driving - CDL

Casey Phillips is a 22-year-old male who came to me back in January of this year stating he had been laid off from his job and was in need of bettering his career path. He has a girlfriend who supports him along with a family who does too. He has 2 small sons that he is setting up a future for as well. He has a strong work ethic. He has been working since he turned 16 years old. His past employment ranges from tree trimming to landscaping and then onto working with construction and road crews.

Casey was deemed eligible under the 1D dislocated worker grant. He had been drawing unemployment since November and was looking to attend 160 Truck Driving Training Academy to obtain his CDL license. Casey knew then if he could obtain a CDL then he could advance at his current job he was laid off from once season came back around, or he could find year-round, long term, sustainable financial pay and gainful employment.

Casey started the program and passed with flying colors. He got his permit on his first try and when it came down to the final testing, he received his completion certificate diploma and received his State of Illinois CDL license.  lf that wasn’t the greatest part, only a couple weeks later and Casey is already on board with a popular family run construction/road crew company called United Contractor’s Midwest. He is now on his way to a possible life long career with a company that offers great pay and benefits and has a chance now to achieve year-round employment with a stable financial future for his family.

Casey worked hard during his training and held up his end of the bargain by keeping in contact with me and turning in all the appropriate documentation on time. He kept in touch, showed up for class, did the work and I feel he is one of our true success stories here at WIOA 21.

Andrew Thompson
Commercial Truck Driving - CDL

Andrew Thompson, a Navy veteran, came into my office after being permanently laid off from Agri-fab, a local factory in Sullivan, IL.  He was wanting to go into the CDL program at Lake Land College. He had already taken the initiative to enroll and was looking for help from us with funding.  He had heard about our services from a friend. I was able to get him into our program as a dislocated worker.

Andrew started his courses at Lake Land on October 30th, 2023 and soon graduated on December 8th, 2023. He had initially accepted a job driving for Swift, but soon realized it wasn’t the best offer he thought that he could get.

On February 8th he came into my office, very excited to let me know that he did find a better offer at S&S Transport. He will be headed to Alabama on Monday February 12th for training and will receive $500 dollars for orientation and $100 dollars a day for training, which will be 4-6 weeks, and will start at making .57 cents a mile as well as bonuses.

He shook my hand before he left and thanked me for all of my help. I told him how happy I was to meet him and watch him succeed at his goals. I told him that I was hopeful in using him as one of our success stories of which he said he would be thrilled.

It made my day to see how happy he was, that he was able to make this dream come true.

Kirby Buchanan
Commercial Truck Driving - CDL

Kirby Buchanan came into the Job Center on July 27, 2023, asking about our WIOA program to obtain his CDL license. He was under employed working part time for Spark and Doordash as a delivery driver.

We were able to qualify Kirby under our Quest grant, which helps those who do not qualify under the original guidelines of dislocated workers.

Kirby is a Veteran of the US Army, with an honorable discharge and received a medal from his time in the service. He served from 1988-2015.

Kirby started the CDL program at Parkland College on 8/21/23 and finished on 10/25/2023 and received his commercial driver’s license course certification of completion on that date as well.

In January of 2024, Kirby shared with LWIA 21 staff that he was at the DMV adding Hazmat certification to his CDL and that he has been going through the interview process with a local employer.  Pending an offer from them, he is actively looking for employment.  Kirby also stated that he is very thankful for all of the help from LWIA 21 and is excited to start his new career.

John Lucas
Career Planning

John Lucas came into the Job Center in November of 2022 said he was having trouble filing his unemployment and was very frustrated.  John had no vehicle, so he walked from his home across town in Litchfield to our office.

He had come in week after week trying to get things set up with his unemployment.  There were problems from uploading his personal documentation to their system having issues.  It was taking a very long time, but eventually things got figured out.

In the meantime, John was also looking for employment.  I helped John build his résumé and upload it into the computer, so that he could get on Indeed and apply to places like Rural King, Dometic, Mr. Fuel, Burger King and many others.

John was finally called by Burger King to start work doing ground maintenance.  John was super happy. At first when he came to the Job center he could only walk across town, as he had no transportation.  Soon he was able to find a motorized bike and now that he had a job, he said he was hopeful of getting a car.  Unfortunately, Burger King did not work out.  But John kept riding his bike around town dropping off his résumé. 

Many months had went by when John had stopped back into the Job Center.  He had a big old smile on his face when he walked in.  I said “John I haven’t seen you for a while, how are things going?”  John looked at me and said, “Turn around.”   I turned around to look out the Job Center window and there in the parking lot was a van.  John said, “I was in a bad place, and you told me to keep going.  You said, since all’s you want is a job to be able to get a vehicle, then that is your job.  You get up in the morning and you keep looking for that job and you will find it.   So I kept looking and I got two part time jobs.  And I was able to renew my license and get a loan and now I don’t have to ride in the cold anymore.  He said he was so happy and excited to finally get it, he had to come and show me.   I told him that is amazing, from where you were to where you are and I knew you would do it.

Matthew Trusler
Automotive Technology

Matthew came to our office requesting assistance for the Automotive Technology Certification Program through Lincoln Land Community College.  During our first meeting and interviewing process I asked Matthew why this program is of interest to him?  Matthew stated that he liked working with his hands and learning new things.  A job where he’s not doing the same thing day in and day out with always something different to work on and seeing results.  Matthew also stated that he had visited the school has spoken with Financial Aid and is attending the program orientation.  Matthew was also awarded a scholarship through Morgan Scott Cass Community Services (MCS).  From my first visit with Matthew he has shown he is motivated his dedication and determination in taking his training and career choice seriously.  Matthew has now finished his training and has earned his Certificate of Achievement in Automotive Technician with High Honors and is employed by United Contractors Midwest (UCM) in Winchester, Illinois.

Janice Parkhill
Certified Medical Assistant

Janice Parkhill came to our Shelbyville office, as a single mother looking for WIOA funding to go to Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) classes at Lake Land College. She had previously worked as a paramedic and loves working in the medical field. She is currently working as a bus driver and wants to get back into a career in a care giving capacity, making more money to better support herself and her daughter. She started her courses at Lake Land in August of 2022 and has recently received her certificate as a CMA and will get her Associates in the spring of 2024.

I had the pleasure of being invited to and attending her pinning ceremony. Janice was so happy with the help that I/we provided her, that she wanted me to be a part of her celebration. On that night, she was beaming with pride and also wrote on her tribute board, thanking me for helping her make this a reality.

Rileigh Kerchowski-Cox
Dental Assistant Program

Rileigh’s journey began with our agency after she had successfully completed the Dental Assistant Program through Lewis and Clark Community College where Rileigh received her Associates in Science with Honors from Lewis and Clark Community College May of 2021.

From my first interview with Rileigh, I could tell Rileigh is a very personable, detailed-oriented, focused individual determined to successfully become a Dental Hygienist. While working with Rileigh and ordering the required supplies for the program Rileigh was very thankful and appreciative of all the assistance, we were able to offer including her travel allowance throughout the program.

Each semester Rileigh was very accommodating in bringing me the required documents needed from each semester and getting ready for the next as well as keeping in monthly contacts. As of December, 2023 Rileigh has successfully passed her Dental Hygiene Program through Lewis and Clark Community College with a GPA of 3.1318. Rileigh is currently studying for her State Boards which she plans on taking later this month and working diligently with her job search. lt has been a pleasure working with Rileigh and seeing her succeed opening the door to a career where she will be able to continue to grow and build such a bright and exciting future for herself and son. 1 wish Rileigh much success.

Kenneth Jackson
Commercial Truck Driving - CDL

At age 55 and considering himself to be a homeless individual, as he was staying with a friend, Kenneth Jackson came into the Jacksonville Job Center office seeking assistance to become a truck driver.  Kenneth had spent a number of years behind bars since the age of 17, and it was during an incarceration at a young age that he remembered completing registration forms for Selective Service.  However, somehow this registration did not get properly processed, and Kenneth was not compliant with the Selective Service law. 

Now at age 55 he was too old to just get registered, and he had to complete paperwork to send in to the Selective Service Administration.  Kenneth said that he clearly remembered completing this when he was at the Logan Correctional Center, he was granted a waiver, and was cleared for assistance through the WIOA program. 

Kenneth started the CDL program at 160 Driving Academy in April 2023 and completed the program in a month.  He passed his driving test at the Secretary of State DMV on his first try!  He obtained employment with an excavation company in the area and is very grateful for this life changing career opportunity.

Rileigh’s journey began with our agency after she had successfully completed the Dental Assistant Program through Lewis and Clark Community College where Rileigh received her Associates in Science with Honors from Lewis and Clark Community College May of 2021. 

From my first interview with Rileigh, I could tell Rileigh is a very personable, detailed-oriented, focused individual determined to successfully become a Dental Hygienist. While working with Rileigh and ordering the required supplies for the program Rileigh was very thankful and appreciative of all the assistance, we were able to offer including her travel allowance throughout the program. Each semester Rileigh was very accommodating in bringing me the required documents needed from each semester and getting ready for the next as well as keeping in monthly contacts.

As of December, 2023 Rileigh has successfully passed her Dental Hygiene Program through Lewis and Clark Community College with a GPA of 3.1318. Rileigh is currently studying for her State Boards which she plans on taking later this month and working diligently with her job search. lt has been a pleasure working with Rileigh and seeing her succeed opening the door to a career where she will be able to continue to grow and build such a bright and exciting future for herself and son. 1 wish Rileigh much success.

Jennifer Daniels
Water Quality Control Operations/Environmental Resource Training 

Jennifer Daniels is an exemplary student enrolled in Environmental Resources Training located at the School of Engineering at SIUE. Jennifer had given up her previous career due to many personal reasons and setbacks. She had reached the glass ceiling and found that she could earn a sustainable income in the Water Quality Control industry.  LWIA #21 was able to step in and provide full support for training and transportation costs throughout the duration of the program. Jennifer is a hard working student earning a high grade point average through the entirety of the program. The knowledge she has gained from the program is invaluable and she is always willing to share information with her fellow students due to her kind and caring nature. Jennifer is on the final stage of the program and is currently working in a paid internship at the Carlinville, IL Water Plant. Her internship will end at the end of July at which point she will proceed into full time employment. The classes and the program were strenuous at times, but with Jennifer’s determination and positive attitude, combined with the assistance of WIOA and LWIA #21, she will have multiple career opportunities and a bright future ahead.

Matthew Belcher
Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

When Matthew Belcher first heard about about WIOA it was through the unfortunate closure of his employer, Schutt Manufacturing/Certor Sports, located in Litchfield, Illinois.  Matthew had been an employee of Schutt for 21 years and although the plant closure had been talked about for 2 years prior to the actual closing, it did not become a reality for Matthew and the other Schutt employees until they received their 60 day notice in September 2022.  The plant was due to close November 18th, 2022.  This had left Matthew wondering what he might do after he no longer had his job and would have to look for work after 2 decades of steady employment.

On November 17th, 2022, the day before the plant was ready to shutter its doors, Matthew participated in a Rapid Response event coordinated by LWIA 21, DCEO, IDES and other partners.  This Rapid Response helped Matthew and others understand what resources and assistance were readily available to assist with their employment transition.

Matthew filed for his unemployment benefits while he started looking for immediate employment.  He came to the Job Center in Litchfield and met with career specialist Dawn Lutz.   She was able to help him build his resume and find answers for questions he had about unemployment and the possibility of going back to school and obtaining his Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

Matthew had started filling out job applications and had some interviews, but he still kept thinking that he might want to try to get his CDL and drive locally, so he formally filled out a pre-application to see if he would qualify for the WIOA program.  Since Matthew qualified as a dislocated worker, he was able consider the options for CDL training programs.  Matthew chose to go to 160 Driving Academy in Springfield and enroll into their four-week program.  Matthew said that everyone was very friendly and helpful & the training went very well.

Matthew graduated from 160 Driving Academy with a Certificate of Training and achieved his Commercial Driver’s License on May 15th, 2023.  Matthew then started his new truck-driving job the following week, driving and working in the warehouse for Capitol Group.  Capitol Group, with its Corporate Headquarters in Springfield, Illinois, is a leading wholesale distributor of plumbing, heating and air conditioning, industrial/mechanical and kitchen products with centers in Springfield, Litchfield and 6 other locations.

Currently, Matthew continues to reside and work at Capitol’s Litchfield location.  Also, as life can take you in an unexpected direction, it can also lead you back in a circle to where you started.  It just so happens that Capitol Group purchased the former Schutt/Certor buildings where Matthew ended a 21 year long job with Schutt and now has started a new job with Capitol Group.  Congratulations to Matthew on a successful transition into a new career through services provided by LWIA 21, DCEO and the WIOA program.

James Denby, Jr.
Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

James Denby Jr. came in to the Carlinville, IL-LWIA #21 office with very little work history. He had been working as a farm laborer for less than a year, but had a dream to pass his CDL license to better support himself and his son. We coordinated with Lincoln Land Community College to provide the necessary training in order for Jim to obtain his CDL. Jim’s CDL training was made possible under the National Dislocated Worker Quest grant. LWIA #21 provided full support for his training as well as additional assistance including transportation costs throughout the duration of his training. Jim successfully completed his training at Lincoln Land and earned his CDL certificate in January of 2023. He is now employed as a CDL driver for Adam Edwards’s farms. His future looks bright with multiple opportunities for employment and sustainable income as a CDL driver. All of this was made possible with Jim’s determination and perseverance, combined with the help of WIOA and LWIA #21.

Job Center Locations

Macoupin & Greene
County Office

116 South Plum
Carlinville, IL 62626
Phone: 217-854-9642
Fax: 217-854-8082

Montgomery
County Office

108 E. Columbian Blvd., South Unit B Litchfield, IL 62056
Phone: 217-324-2640
Fax: 217-324-2644

Shelby
County Office

515 North Cedar
Shelbyville, IL 62565
Phone: 217-774-5550
Fax: 217-774-4471

Morgan-Scott & Greene
County Office

345 West State Street
Jacksonville, IL 62650
Phone: 217-243-5846
Fax: 217-245-0870

This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by the institution that created it.

Andrew Thompson, a Navy veteran, came into my office after being permanently laid off from Agri-fab, a local factory in Sullivan, IL.  He was wanting to go into the CDL program at Lake Land College. He had already taken the initiative to enroll and was looking for help from us with funding.  He had heard about our services from a friend. I was able to get him into our program as a dislocated worker.

Andrew started his courses at Lake Land on October 30th, 2023 and soon graduated on December 8th, 2023. He had initially accepted a job driving for Swift, but soon realized it wasn’t the best offer he thought that he could get.

On February 8th he came into my office, very excited to let me know that he did find a better offer at S&S Transport. He will be headed to Alabama on Monday February 12th for training and will receive $500 dollars for orientation and $100 dollars a day for training, which will be 4-6 weeks, and will start at making .57 cents a mile as well as bonuses.

He shook my hand before he left and thanked me for all of my help. I told him how happy I was to meet him and watch him succeed at his goals. I told him that I was hopeful in using him as one of our success stories of which he said he would be thrilled.

It made my day to see how happy he was, that he was able to make this dream come true.

Phillips, Casey

This is the heading

Andrew Thompson
Commercial Truck Driving - CDL

Andrew Thompson, a Navy veteran, came into my office after being permanently laid off from Agri-fab, a local factory in Sullivan, IL.  He was wanting to go into the CDL program at Lake Land College. He had already taken the initiative to enroll and was looking for help from us with funding.  He had heard about our services from a friend. I was able to get him into our program as a dislocated worker.

Andrew started his courses at Lake Land on October 30th, 2023 and soon graduated on December 8th, 2023. He had initially accepted a job driving for Swift, but soon realized it wasn’t the best offer he thought that he could get.

On February 8th he came into my office, very excited to let me know that he did find a better offer at S&S Transport. He will be headed to Alabama on Monday February 12th for training and will receive $500 dollars for orientation and $100 dollars a day for training, which will be 4-6 weeks, and will start at making .57 cents a mile as well as bonuses.

He shook my hand before he left and thanked me for all of my help. I told him how happy I was to meet him and watch him succeed at his goals. I told him that I was hopeful in using him as one of our success stories of which he said he would be thrilled.

It made my day to see how happy he was, that he was able to make this dream come true.