Employment Training: Ready To Keep On Trucking

Action In Motion

Lifeline Inc.’s Employment Training Program continues to demonstrate its potential to make significant differences for residents of Lake County.

Lifeline’s mission is to strengthen the community by offering programs and opportunities for our residents to achieve self-sufficiency. To fulfill our mission, Lifeline has partnered up with local educational institutions to help us reach our goal to help residents that are unemployed or under-employed gain skills that will make them more employable. With a high demand in the industrial sector Lifeline’s collaboration with local vocational and educational institutions is an essential component of the Employment Training Program.

Lifeline offers assistance for eligible Lake County residents to receive training in high paying jobs such as welding, truck driving and machining. Each participant that completes coursework will receive a certificate or license to help build a career. Prior to enrolling in classes, Lifeline provides funds for each participant to participate in a career assessment. The career assessment includes a full, detailed evaluation that will help them uncover their interests, behaviors and work style. The detailed report from the career assessment will help the applicant choose a career that matches best with their skills.

“Lifeline’s efforts to focus on career training that can significantly impact a family’s ability to be self-sufficient is key to improving our community. Job training that leads to high paying jobs affords families opportunities that could not exist without the Employment Training Program at Lifeline,” said Michelle Mezaris, Director of Community Services at Lifeline.

One of several programs that Lifeline is excited to provide this year is CDL training program provided by the Ashtabula Community Action Agency: Action in Motion Truck Academy. The truck driving academy offers CDL Training and refresher programs. Classes are available days, nights, and weekends.

The 160 hour program is licensed by the Ohio Department of Public Safety. The course includes 40+ hours of classroom training. Classroom training provides the most up-to-date and current materials available anywhere, using lecture, Power Point presentations, videos, workbooks and training materials. Students learn the foundations of driver safety including the rules and regulations needed for lifelong career success.

“Every one of our instructors is dedicated and highly experienced. We believe in meeting the student where they are and will work with each student one on one to make sure they are safe drivers and complete the program successfully. We will not give up on the student,” said ACCAA Action in Motion Director Kreigh Spahr.

Nicole is Lifeline’s first female participant in our Employment Training Program who is enrolled in truck driving school.

Nicole was referred by local community mental health agency. She works part time as a pizza delivery driver and her hours vary from week to week. Nicole’s vocational and educational goal will improve her marketability, by helping her gain full time employment.

During the beginning of the program session Nicole had a need for assistance with transportation. Lifeline’s transportation funds were able to assist Nicole with a gasoline voucher to make sure she will maintain an excellent attendance at truck driving school.

During the initial intake Nicole was asked about plans to succeed in the truck driving industry .Nicole had done some research and is confident about her ability to succeed in the industry. Nicole’s plans for success include accepting a full time job that will allow her to continue her training. Nicole has in mind the US Express that has over 1,100 women working as CDL truck drivers.

After a weekly follow up call to see how the Employment Training Program is going Nicole shared “I believe that I am a person that can succeed in the truck driving industry while having the opportunity to work wherever I want. I thank Lifeline for believing in me.”

This level of success is well illustrated with Lifeline’s first graduate from Action in Motion. In May 2015, Bryan came to Lifeline, Inc. after deciding he could not afford to live on a monthly disability payment and wanted to return to work. Bryan applied for the Employment Training Program after being disabled for some time due to an injury.

After completing the eligibility and career assessment, Bryan was highly recommended with a bright outlook. In July, just five weeks after beginning his training, he received his CDL and has gained full time employment at Paschall Truck Line Inc.

Bryan came to Lifeline, Inc. receiving $733 a month. Now, after completing his training program and beginning his job, Bryan earns $1,680 in monthly wages. Lifeline’s staff is so pleased with Bryan’s success.

“I am very thankful for a well-deserved opportunity to have a career that I love and now I can sustain affordable living,” said Bryan. “My experience at Lifeline has made a positive impact in life. Lifeline’s staff, Zakiya Jackson-Boyd, has been helpful in helping me meet my life goals. The staff, along with Action in Motion instructors, have given me great feedback and linked me with helpful programs such as HEAP, 2-1-1 and assistance with transportation that helped me while I reached my goal. Thank you so much.”

Vincent is another participant of Lifeline’s Employment Training Program who has succeeded. When Vincent came to Lifeline, he, his wife and three children were facing an eviction. Vincent had been out of work for a few years and completed a lot of inconsistent odd jobs such as scrapping to make ends meet. His family was living primarily on his wife’s income. Distressed and in need, Vincent decided to called Lifeline, to receive information about our programs. Lifeline’s 2-1-1 provided Vincent with other local resources to address his issue with emergency rental assistance, along with explaining the many different programs Lifeline offers.

One program in particular that interested Vincent was the Employment Training Program, particularly at the prospect of truck driving school. During the initial intake Vincent was asked about his expectations and his plans for success in the truck driving industry. Vincent impressed Lifeline staff right away. Vincent shared he was able to meet with many individuals in the field. Vincent understands the opportunity to grow and succeed as a person and driving with the ability to make good money along with receiving great benefits.

“Without a doubt I know this is the right choice for me,” said Vincent. “I believe that I will succeed in the truck driving industry and have the opportunity to provide a productive lifestyle for my family and myself while having the chance to grow with the industry over the upcoming year. I am thankful for what Lifeline has done for me and my family.”