Home > Workforce-Development > WFD-Success-Stories

Gabriel Thornton...


Gabriel Thornton who likes to be called Gabe, is an exceptional youth.   Gabe’s first challenge began at birth when he was born without legs.    He is pictured to the right, standing on prosthetics which with the help of crutches, enables him to walk.  He was also a member of his high school wrestling team.


As a high school senior, Gabe needed and wanted a job. The Work Based Learning Teacher at Jeff Davis High School referred him to the WIA Youth Program.  Gabe applied to WIA, the assessment was completed to enter the program but he had no idea what he wanted to do after graduating from high school.  Gabe was placed into work experience at the Mission Store in Hazlehurst.  His supervisors at the Mission Store stated that they were very proud of him because when he started working he had an "I can't" attitude but when he finished the program, he had an "I Can" attitude.   Work experience gave him that little bit of confidence he needed to know he can succeed in the workforce. Gabe stated, “I appreciate the opportunity given to me through the WIA Program.”


Gabe graduated from high school and is currently attending electrical classes at Altamaha Technical College.   A local business has promised to give Gabe a job when he graduates from ATC

ITA Customer...


I am a recent respiratory therapy graduate from Oconee Fall Line Technical College in Dublin, Georgia.  I was fortunate enough to be a part of the WIA program.  I come from what you could call a middle class family, living from paycheck to paycheck trying to support us.  The Respiratory Therapy Program takes up more time than the average full time job.  For this reason, I had to rely on others for financial support during my program.  WIA helped me to gain my degree and allowed me to stay in school, even when it seemed impossible.  Without WIA, there is no doubt that I would not have been able to complete this program.  I had a wonderful case worker who helped me anyway she could.  When times got desperate and it seemed I was out of options, WIA staff was there to offer help.  I am truly grateful for the WIA Program and the caseworkers like Melissa who help make this possible for those average students who do not have the luxury of not worrying about financial issues.  Without WIA, I would still be looking for a way to pay for board exams and licensing.  Thank you so much for all you do for students like me!

                     -C. Ratliff

Youth News...


I learned a lot while in the Youth Program.  It has helped me in many ways. I received my first job while enrolled and I really loved it.  The money I earned while working helped me and my mother very much.  I was able to help her with my car payment and supply my own gas.  I was also able to purchase some of my own clothes for school.  This taught me how to budget my money wisely.  I am very thankful for the WIOA Youth Program.

                     -Emily Banks

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

D. Galbreath was at high risk of dropping-out of school and giving up on her education.  She needed assistance with school supplies and expenses, and she was going to have a baby.   She entered into the Youth Program and was placed into work experience.  Her employer gave her a great job performance evaluation and stated that she would hire her again.  D. worked hard to maintain good grades and to continue her educational goals.  She was determined to attend graduation ceremonies even though her baby was due about the same time as her graduation date.  Her baby was born a week prior to graduation so she did get to walk in the graduation ceremony to receive her high school diploma.


After graduation, D. enrolled in Technical College and earned her Nurse’s Assistant Certificate.  She is working at a nursing home in Scotts, Georgia, and she plans to continue her education to become an LPN.  D. is very appreciative for all the assistance and encouragement she received from Karen Dunn and  the WIA Youth staff at  Heart of Georgia RESA.  She stated that without the assistance of WIA, she would not have been able to accomplish her educational goals.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

D. Boyd applied for the WIA program during the summer of her senior year at Claxton High School.  She was also dual enrolled at Middle Georgia College.  Work experience provided through WIA, gave her the financial ability to attend Middle Georgia College her senior year.  She was a high school senior and a college sophomore with a GPA of 96.4.  She graduated with honors.  After graduation, she applied for her dream college, the University of Georgia and was accepted.  She plans to study linguistics to become a translator and teach English in Japan.   D. once again participated in work experience during the summer months before leaving for Athens and UGA.  She saved every bit of money she earned so she could help pay her expenses at the University.  WIA has helped her on her journey towards her educational and career goals.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

J. Denson wrote a letter to the WIB that was featured in the Second Quarter 2011 Newsletter.  He stated that WIA literally turned his life around.  He continues to remain focused towards his educational and career goals.  During his senior year in high school, he participated in many community activities and was a representative for the Evans County Junior Chamber of Commerce.  He also participated in FBLA and placed first in the region with his business presentation.  The work experience segment of WIA gave him the financial ability to participate in these activities since his family was struggling.  J. graduated this year with a 90.2 GPA and he has been accepted to Georgia State University where he will study criminal justice.  His dream is to become a Civil Attorney.


On-The-Job Training (OJT)...


 The OJT Program has been very helpful to me and others who are having difficulty finding jobs.  In January 2012, I was hired with Triple H. Specialty Co., Inc. with excellent benefits.  I am constantly being taught new areas of the business and my responsibilities are increasing.  Many of the employees have been with the company for twenty plus years.  My long term plans are here at Triple H. Specialty., Inc. where I enjoy working with my coworkers and the company.  The OJT Program is a great place to start for anyone looking for a job.

                     -L. Groover

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I have a learning disability and a speech impediment.  Several weeks ago, I found myself in a very bad situation.  My wife had surgery and due to family complications we had nowhere to live.  With only a small check coming in each month, everything seemed to be piling up with little hope for us to overcome this situation.  This was when I met the WIA staff.  Working with the WIA staff, I was able to begin work at J. & J. Farm through OJT.  They also helped me find a house to live in.


I am really enjoying my work and without the help of this program, we could be living in our vehicle.  Thanks for all the help that the RESA WIA Program has provided to me and my family.

                     -D. Knowles