Picture of African-American man wearing blue uniform in a career center office.

Kierson came to The Workforce Connection after learning that he qualified for the TAA Program due to being a dislocated worker from Chrysler on June 10, 2012. At the time, Kierson was unemployed and not sure what his next step would be. After learning that he could attend training that would lead to a career, he made the decision to invest in his education and work towards learning skills that would lead to a career. Kierson explained that he was a little apprehensive of going back to school after graduating high school 20 years earlier, however, he wanted to do this for himself and his daughters future. As a single father of a daughter who has special needs, he knew it would not be easy, but he was ready and motivated to accomplish his career goals. With assistance from his Career Planner, Kierson enrolled in the welding program at Rockford Career College. After this 8-month program, he earned his diploma, graduated on July 13, 2023, and two weeks later, he obtained a position at Hennig Inc. as a welder. Kierson is really enjoying his new job and says that he enjoys utilizing his new skills. His new employment provides a livable wage and benefits, including health insurance, which is particularly important to him and his daughter. He stated, “Without the opportunity of this program, there was not an option for me to go to school. I would have had to just find another job, now I have something to build from.” Kierson is continuing to add career goals and is preparing to take his aptitude test for the Local 23 Plumbers and Pipefitters Apprenticeship program. When asked if he wanted to share anything else about his success and the program, he said; “He highly recommends the program to anyone eligible and that they would be a fool not to take advantage of it!”

Participant State: Illinois


Picture of older white man with glasses wearing a blue sweatshirt.

Timothy was separated from Tenneco/Federal Mogul on December 26, 2020, where he had worked as a Foundry Machine Operator. At the initial announcement of impending layoff, he planned to be self-employed doing automotive work at his home. However, his shop caught fire and was a complete loss. It was at this time he knew needed to take advantage of the TAA Program. Timothy had decades of welding experience but no credentials to back it up, so he began working with his case manager on a training plan. His training was approved, and Timothy attended Ivy Tech Community College and obtained a Technical Certificate in Welding Technology. He maintained straight A’s throughout the duration of his year-long program. As he neared the end of his training, Timothy began interviewing at local colleges and school systems. After graduating on December 16, 2022, he was immediately hired by a local high school, where he teaches auto mechanics and welding. He is currently working on creating a full-time welding program in the high school and is so excited about where his training has taken him. He is earning $10/hour more than separation and loves the benefit of having the summers off when school is out.

Tim expressed that though his life was full of barriers and struggles when he became certified for TAA, he took the bad part of being laid off and turned it into something better. He stated TAA has been an opportunity and blessing and wants everyone to know how TAA was able to impact his life in such a positive and productive way.

Participant State: Indiana


Picture of hispanic man at graduation ceremony, wearing cap and gown and holiding a diploma.

When the timber mill closed its doors on June 30, 2010, Alejandro did what he could to take care of his family. In his own words, “Right away I found a job in a furniture store, getting paid minimum wage, which forced me to take side jobs to make ends meet. For several years life was difficult. One day after I hit rock bottom, I decided to go to WorkSource to find a better job. In the initial interview the work source representative informed me that I had retraining benefits on my account that I could use to get a better job from back when the timber mill was shut down. This was one of the best news I had received. I knew then that things would get better. Soon after the initial interview I was assigned to a case worker, Alexandra (Alex). Alex was extremely helpful she made a complex process easy to follow. Once I was part of the retraining program my classes were covered by Trade Act and money that I would obtain from scholarships and working on the side were exclusively to pay my bills. Sonia Lopez and Julie Mcintosh were also there to support me during my training. The Trade Act program has given me the opportunity to reach my goal of becoming a surgical nurse. I completed the Nursing program through Southwestern Oregon Community College on June 10, 2023, and studied hard to pass my NCLEX certification to obtain my Registered Nursing license. Today I got an offer to work in the Operating Room (OR) where I did my practicum. I can proudly say now that I have a career not just a job. I thank everyone that was there to support me when I needed them the most, this would not have been possible without programs like this.”

Participant State: Oregon


Picture of African-American man wearing jeans, an orange sweater and baseball hat.

Michael is a disabled veteran who was laid off from his Trade-impacted employer in December 2022 after six years of employment as a Cell Operator for a global automotive manufacturing company. He was able to find a job after his layoff, working third shift as a security guard and making 59% of his previous hourly rate. Not only was this not considered suitable employment by TAA Program standards, Michael also had to apply for public assistance benefits for his family of four in order to make ends meet.

In March 2023, Michael enrolled in the TAA Program where he worked with the team to find employment options that were technology focused and had promotion potential along with an hourly rate that was suitable for him and his family. Michael worked with computer systems during his eight years of service in the U.S. Navy and thoroughly enjoyed it. In May 2023, Michael started an On-the-Job (OJT) training program as an Assembly Operator II, making 95% of his wage at his trade impacted employer. He performs difficult and challenging tasks on a production line for a company with clients in the aerospace and defense industries. Michael frequently travels across the country for trim and test training. He stated he really enjoys his job and gets tremendous satisfaction from working with complex, technological solutions. More importantly, Michael works first shift and his wife and two children are thrilled to have him on a schedule better aligned with theirs.

Participant State: Virginia


Picture of older man wearing cap and gown at graduation holding a diploma.

Bert was laid off from a trade affected employer on December 18, 2020. His job was in Quality Control at Littelfuse, a computer circuit board manufacturing company. He was determined eligible for TAA and co-enrolled with the WIOA Dislocated Worker program. Bert completed assessments which proved helpful in determining his abilities and interest in pursuing post-secondary training. Bert had met with representatives of Western Dakota Technical College and was interested in becoming an Engineer Technician in Environment Agriculture, which was a new program to the college and area. Conversations regarding training included Labor Market information, as well as conversations with a professor at the largest university in South Dakota. This was a new field and to be sure there would be a need for this type of employment, Bert and his TAA Case Manager talked with a horticulture specialist at South Dakota State University to get input into the Aquaponics jobs and self-employment options available. The specialist felt that this was a growing field with business potential. The TAA Case Manager provided Bert with contact information on the West River Business Service Center to discuss a self-employment plan if appropriate, related to his interest in starting his own aquaponics business. Bert decided to enroll in the Engineering Technician-Controlled Environment Agriculture class at Western Dakota Tech to earn his associate degree. He graduated on May 12, 2023, Magna Cum Laude. Bert continues to focus on growing and operating a business, with the expectations that he will sell micro green products to stores as they become available and the demand increases. While Bert is on his way to owning a successful business, TAA funds were used to cover the cost of tuition, fees, required supplies, and books required for the program. This included the cost of a remedial class that he was required to take. Bert also received TRA funds while attending.

Participant State: South Dakota


Picture of blond woman with plaid long sleeve shirt bending down and feeding a goat.

Madalynn was employed at the local paper mill, Verso Corporation, when in June of 2020, they decided to ‘indefinitely idle’ the plant, leaving her and roughly 900 others without jobs. Madalynn started in general production in the Converting Department and later transferred to an office union position where she finished out her 4.5 years of service at $24.95/hour. After receiving her layoff date of October 30, 2020, Madalynn met with a WIOA case manager, and was enrolled at Midstate Technical College for Business Management for that fall semester. Later, she was transferred to a TAA case manager who helped her realize that Business Management was too broad and that she wanted to specialize in a field related to her previous work in the shipping & purchasing departments at the paper mill. She then transferred to Blackhawk Technical College where she solely attended online, and in May of 2023, earned her Associate Degree in Supply Chain Management.

Madalynn started her journey with Tweet Garot Mechanical, in March 2023, during a spring internship where she worked in Purchasing and Accounts Payable. Just two short months later, after graduating on May 15, 2023, she was offered a full-time position in their Tool Crib, at $20/hour. Now, in January of 2024 she is still located in the Tool Crib, managing the inventory in and out of the field and overseeing much of the purchasing for the Wisconsin Rapids, Altoona, and Tomahawk branches at $25/hour – replacing all of her previous earnings. Without TAA Program funding, Madalynn would not have been able to earn her degree. The effects of the pandemic left the community with little opportunity to make a living wage, let alone comparable wages to the mill, and pay for schooling at the same time. She had just purchased a home with her soon-to-be husband and had 17 cute, fuzzy mouths to feed on her hobby farm. TAA made it all possible, and now she is on her way up to making more than she did at the paper mill, creating a real career path in Supply Chain Management.

Participant State: Wisconsin


Pictue of African-American woman with blue colored shirt and black jacket.

Keionna was working at Meritor Suspension Systems Company (MSSC) when she learned the company planned to consolidate some of their manufacturing lines and would be laying off employees, effectively losing her job on November 26, 2021. The U.S. Department of Labor determined the workers of MSSC US, Inc. in were eligible to apply for individual TAA benefits and services. The West Kentucky Workforce Board provided Keionna and her former co-workers with Rapid Response and TRAC orientation. That is when she met a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Career Coach who assisted her with the process of choosing a new career path. She knew one thing, she wanted to follow her dreams into a career in healthcare. Keionna started training May 2022 with The Medical Institute of Kentucky-Hopkinsville Campus in their Clinical Medical Assisting Program. She completed coursework March 2023 and gained a Certified Medical Aid Certification, along with a HIPPA Omnibus Training and Management OSHA Training Certificates. Upon graduation, Keionna was hired by Charter Senior Living on July 10, 2023, where she works as a Certified Medical Assistant.

Participant State: Kentucky 


Picture of blond woman with red shirt.

On December 10, 2021, Diane experienced a job loss due to a plant closing. She further states in her own words, “I was with my employer for 35 years, so job searching was something I had not done in several years. I felt that my biggest challenge was that I had been in one single industry for so many years that my skillset and experiences were limited. This is when I realized that I would need assistance with finding employment. I enrolled in the dislocated worker program with Career Solutions in December 2021. I participated in the Career Trek program through Career Solutions and also completed a career assessment while in that program. This program helped me to identify my current skills, explore career options, and begin to set my goals for future employment. Together, my Career Solutions planner and I, explored what my interests would be in a career. This is when I realized I had an interest in administration and customer service. My previous job did not provide me with the necessary skills or experience needed to pursue my career path. To move forward with this goal, I needed to expand my skill set with some training. With the help of my Career Solutions planner, I received financial aid through the TAA program.

With this program, I was able to enroll in college to get the training I needed to expand and strengthen my skill set to pursue my new career goal and become employed once again. I started my training in April 2022. With dedication and determination, I completed my training in 18 months and graduated with honors on September 16, 2023, with an associate degree in business management. My Career Solutions planner also provided me with information on a website to help strengthen my typing speed skills. My typing speed increased from 30 WPM to 50 WPM by using the practice lessons provided on the website. Now, I needed to tackle the next hurdle, which was writing my resume and being prepared for common questions that are asked in an interview. Due to my long-term employment with my previous employer, it has been several years since I had been interviewed by an employer. I knew I would need some assistance with my resume and interview tips. My Career Solutions planner was very helpful in providing me with information and assistance on my resume and interview tips. She also provided me with information on workshops for resume strategies and interviewing skills that I could either attend live or watch the recordings at my convenience. A short time later, I was contacted by an employer requesting an interview. The following day after I was interviewed by this employer, I was offered the customer service support position. I accepted the offer, and this is the beginning of an exciting career. My journey started with a job loss and a path of uncertainty, and now I am in a career that I am passionate about and happy to be in every day.

Thanks to the training I received and the job search assistance from the Dislocated Worker Program and TAA, I was able to achieve the skills I needed to find a stable career with an opportunity for growth.”

Participant State: Minnesota


Joyce Headshot

Joyce was a Colorado receptionist who earned $12.50 per hour, just above the state’s minimum wage, but separated due to foreign trade after one year of work. Joyce’s dream career was to manage a home healthcare agency but realizing she lacked the necessary training, Joyce met with the Colorado Springs case manager and eventually enrolled in a program to acquire an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Healthcare Administration. Despite having to relocate three different times during the COVID-19 pandemic (including one month before graduation), Joyce secured a position with a healthcare company as a medical receptionist while still participating in training. Joyce graduated and, soon after, worked her way up the ranks securing a position as a healthcare benefits coordinator specialist, earning $15.27 hourly, nearly 25 percent more than her pre-enrollment earnings. Joyce’s advice to those considering the TAA Program: "Do something you’re passionate about. It’ll fuel the fire and help you to get through it."


Buford at Work

Buford was employed as a material handling specialist/crane operator for six years with a Roanoke Virginia manufacturer of railcars when he experienced a layoff in 2021 due to his employer moving jobs to Mexico. Buford enrolled in the TAA Program where he explored training and labor market opportunities in the Roanoke Valley area and with his TAA case manager decided to enroll in a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Training Certification Program. After completing training, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles issued Buford a CDL and he landed a position with a large Chicago-based transportation company that allowed him to remain in the Roanoke Valley area and drive for the company nationwide. Buford’s paycheck has doubled from his salary at his adversely affected employment.


Brenda Headshot

Brenda was employed for eight years as a supply chain supervisor earning $25.51 per hour until she was separated in 2020. With the help of the TAA Program and her case manager, Brenda found suitable employment and took advantage of the on-the-job training (OJT) program. Brenda is now employed as a purchasing and inventory control manager in Arkansas, earning nearly double what she made at her pre-TAA job. Brenda stated, "Starting over at 60, even with my background in manufacturing, would have been much more difficult without any training. With the help of TAA and the OJT program, I hope to have found a place where I can work and retire. The TAA Program and help from people like my TAA case manager have been very valuable to me and my employer. I want you to know that I appreciate all you have done."


Dustin Headshot

Dustin was separated from a trade-affected employer in June of 2019 and was struggling to find reemployment, however after his mother enrolled in TAA and told him about the TAA Program’s benefits and services, he spoke with a TAA case manager, enrolled in TAA, and decided to complete an associate degree in computer support technology. During his last semester of training, Dustin was offered a job at a healthcare company in Kansas as an IT help desk technician. Dustin completed training in December of 2021 and began his new position, nearly doubling his pre-TAA wages. Dustin reached out to his original case manager to inform them of how the TAA Program helped him reach his career goals.


Jean-Louis Headshot

Jean-Louis was laid off from his production planning supervisor job in March 2019. Upon his separation, he learned of the TAA Program and the benefits offered due to his recent layoff. Jean-Louis had wanted to pursue a career in the information technology field and immediately recognized the opportunity to do so. He enrolled in the TAA and WIOA dislocated worker programs and began attending Ball State University for a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems, which he successfully completed in May 2022. In July, Jean-Louis was offered a position in Ohio making 27 percent more than his separation wage. Through the relocation allowance benefit available under TAA, he relocated and is now working full-time as an implementation analyst at a major logistics company.


Joseph in Graduation Gown

After working for three years as a test technician, Joseph’s position relocated overseas during a large company change. Upon being eligible for TAA, Joseph chose to use his TAA benefits to complete his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He completed the degree program within 28 months and accepted a job opportunity with a large tire company in Michigan. This opportunity brought about a 166 percent increase in hourly wage from his pre-separation wages.

Joseph shared in his own words: "I am very thankful and blessed to be presented with the opportunity that the TAA Program gave me and with the unending help from my TAA Case Manager."


Ernesto in Uniform

Ernesto was a truck driver and maintenance repairman at a mining company for ten years but was part of a layoff at the company in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic impacted New Mexico and the nation. Prior to his layoff Ernesto decided to go to school and registered on his own at an online university majoring in Information Technology. When his TAA petition was certified Ernesto attended the TAA orientation and decided to enroll to utilize the TAA benefits he was eligible for to continue with his education.

With the help of TAA, Ernesto was ready to move on from truck driving and maintenance and embank on a near career in Information Technology. Despite the pandemic and no in-person classes, Ernesto was able to take classes on-line which gave him the flexibility to attend classes while remaining at home with his children. Upon completion of training in February 2022, he will receive an Associate Degree in Information Technology. Further, a position became available prior to Ernesto completing his education and he was hired for an Infrastructure Services Technician position. Using the knowledge from his training, Ernesto is now earning more than he was in his previous career and is excited for the future.


Lorea in Graduation Cap and Gown

In October of 2019, Lorea was laid off from her job at a manufacturing plant in North Carolina. Several months later in January of 2020, with the help of the TAA Program, started taking courses at Wayne Community College in its Early Childhood Program. On December 15, 2021, Lorea was able to graduate. Lorea summed up in her own words how the benefits of the TAA Program changed her life and put her on a path to employment: “I want to thank you all for the support and the opportunity to attain a degree after trying college for the third time.” Lorea is currently working at a Montessori Preschool and with the Wayne County Public School system working with special needs children. She continues, “I did it!! We did it!! Without this program I would not have been able to afford to go to college. That’s why I say “We did it!!”.


James in Office

James was employed with a multinational company in Roanoke, Virginia and held a position as Manufacturing Lead until he suffered a lack of work separation in 2019 due to a trade impact. James completed comprehensive assessments and his TAA case manager recommended that a credential obtained in management would enhance his on-the-job experience and give him many more opportunities within the labor market. James, along with his case manager and other advisors at Virginia Western Community College, worked on a training plan that achieved that goal and James obtained his credential in May of 2021. Initially after graduation, James acquired a position in the aluminum industry as an Account Specialist; however, James continued exploring job opportunities that best utilized his new credential and he ultimately accepted a new position as a Sourcing Specialist/Procurement Department with an engineering company. James shared that he would not have been able to attain such a position without the assistance of the TAA Program.


Lori outside

Lori’s story is about a journey that many people have been forced to take due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lori lost her job of 10+ years in March of 2020 as the pandemic forced many companies to make hard decisions. Her employer decided to transfer her job to another country. Like many people, Lori found herself unemployed, scared, and unsure about what to do. She received a letter from the American Job Center in Tullahoma, Tennessee that spoke about how additional training at the tech school would help her be better prepared to get a job. In August of 2020, Lori started the Administrative Office Technology program at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology that lasted 12 months and she graduated with a 3.97 GPA. Immediately after graduating, Lori began sending out her resume that included the certifications and diplomas she earned from her college. It wasn’t long before she was able to find suitable employment in a new skill set. She states, “Always remember, it’s never too late to learn something new.”


George with Dog

George was laid off in April of 2020 from a shipping company in Milford, Connecticut where he worked as a receiver for five years. During his initial assessment, George’s case manager identified a transportation barrier: no driver’s license. He was referred to the Board of Education and Services for the Blind who assisted with an eye exam and obtaining corrective glasses which enabled him to obtain a Connecticut driver’s license.

George’s case manager provided case management services to him via TAA/WIOA co-enrollment while he continued to apply for and interview for local warehouse/shipping-and-receiving positions, but he became interested in applying his mechanical aptitude and attention to detail to the Precision Machining field. He decided to embark on a career change to Advanced Manufacturing Machine Technology and enrolled in TAA-approved training at the local community college. George’s TAA case manager collaborated with the college to make sure he completed all necessary steps from applying, taking additional assessments, developing a plan of study, completing TAA paperwork, and obtaining requisite supplies. The TAA Program also made sure he had a computer so that he could fully participate in TAA online training during the COVID-19 pandemic. George completed training and graduated in December of 2021 with a GPA of 3.88.

Upon graduation, George immediately obtained employment and started working as a full-time CNC Machine Set-Up Operator in the Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing industry in Milford, Connecticut at $18 per hour with benefits. Due to the TAA Program, George was able to resolve a long-held misconstrued limitation with his eyesight, obtain a driver’s license, enroll in college for the first time, complete a post-secondary certificate program that prepared him for a new in-demand occupation, and obtain suitable employment on the same day of graduation – all during a pandemic.

Carolyn Worsley

Carolyn Worsley in Office

Carolyn Worsley was employed as a Human Resources Assistant with a plastics manufacturing company for over three years earning $27,040 annually until her position ended January 2018. At that time, Carolyn had a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration that she earned in December 2013. Carolyn immediately began searching for a new job, and although she had several interviews, she was unsuccessful in securing employment. Carolyn came into the North Carolina NCWorks Career Center for TAA/TRA assistance after being determined eligible for TAA Program benefits and services. After completing her career assessment, she and her case manager determined she should upgrade her credentials by pursuing a diploma in accounting at Edgecombe Community College. She completed this credential in December 2018 with a GPA of 4.0, and landed employment as an administrative data clerk. Carolyn’s starting salary of $34,798.00, is $7,758 higher than her previous employment.

Alma Johnson

Alma Johnson at Work as Dental Assistant

Alma Johnson served as a production worker with Hubbell, a machine manufacturing company in Palatka, Florida until her position was offshored in 2019. Alma had worked for the company for three years and was making $13.18 per hour. After her lay off, she applied for benefits and services through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program and through that program enrolled in classes at First Coast Technical College (FCTC) to pursue dental assistant studies. Alma completed the program in August 2020, began her externship with a dental office in Palatka where she has become a permanent employee and now earns $14.50/hour.

Mark Howell

Mark Howell

Mark Howell was laid off from a battery manufacturer in Oregon in November 2017 and subsequently started working with his TAA case manager to find reemployment once approved for TAA. He began reviewing career information and researching academic programs to help him get into a growing occupation with good wages. He decided to build on his previous skills as an Engineering Technician and enrolled in an Industrial Electronics Technical program at Chemeketa Community College. He was excited to learn skills that would train him in computer integrated systems, micro-electronic manufacturing, process control equipment and robotics. He completed his program, graduated with a degree in June of 2020, and was able to secure a job with one of the leading electronics company prior to graduation with better pay and benefits than his prior job.

Thomas Otto

Thomas Otto Welding

Thomas Otto participated in the TAA Program in 2018 after losing his mechanic job at a chemical plant in Deepwater, New Jersey due to the impact of foreign trade. After layoff, he didn’t know what he was going to do. He received the news that a TAA petition for his company was approved, which made him eligible to apply for TAA benefits. He met with his case manager and agreed to go to welding school and get his welding certifications. After receiving his credentials, Thomas is now a full-time employee of a power plant in Pennsylvania where he is a welder/mechanic.

Francisco “Frank” Manzanedo

Graduation Picture of Frank Manzanedo

Francisco “Frank” Manzanedo was a Plant Operator for almost 10 years at a copper and gold mining company in Arizona when he was laid off from this position in January 2016. Frank enrolled in the TAA Program and, after local TAA staff reviewed his employment history and skills, it was determined that options in the mining industry were very scarce and other job openings required post-secondary education. Frank decided to pursue an Associate’s of Applied Science degree in Systems Administration and Networking/Cyber Security. Frank began his TAA approved training and successfully completed his program in May 2019. Upon graduation, he obtained employment at a major University as a Stationary Engineer Senior and is earning more than he was in adversely affected employment.

Milton Salguero

Graduation Picture of Milton Salguero

Milton Salguero worked as an Optical Disc Pre-Production Operator for a company in California for approximately 13 years. He enjoyed his job and thought he would retire from the company, but he was laid off when his job was offshored in April 2017. Milton enrolled in the TAA Program and, after working closely with his local TAA Program staff, decided that obtaining a Machinist credential would be a great fit for him. He successfully completed a Machinist Technology training program in June 2019. Within weeks, he was reemployed full-time as a Machinist at a manufacturing company. Milton said, “I am very grateful for the training opportunity that was given to me through the TAA Program.”

Kimeontae Asbie-Thomas

Graduation Picture of Kimeontae Asbie-Thomas

Kimeontae Asbie-Thomas had been working in the accounting field for about 15 years before starting a job at a company in Florida. After being at the company for about a year and a half, Kimeontae was informed she had lost her job due to an expansion overseas. Shortly after the layoff, she relocated to North Carolina and enrolled in the TAA Program. She was approved to pursue training in Health Information Technology which, according to her, would provide the best of both worlds: health and accounting. Kimeontae went to school full-time, completed an Associate in Applied Science degree in May 2019, and received her certification as a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) in July 2019. Kimeontae is now working full-time as a Health Consultant Data/Coding Specialist and said, “I am so thankful for the opportunity the TAA Program has granted me.”

Kendra Griffin

Graduation Picture of Kendra Griffin

Kendra Griffin was working as an Accounts Representative when she was laid off from her Customer Service job in January 2018. She had been in Portland, Oregon, only for a few years and had difficulty finding a job, even though she held an associate degree. Kendra enrolled in the TAA Program and had always been interested in honing her technical/grant writing skills and working for a non-profit agency. She was approved for training and completed her bachelor’s degree in May 2019, allowing her to land a position at a prestigious non-profit. Kendra stated that: “I was hired to work at a nonprofit company in my neighborhood. I can continue to live in my community, walk to work, and enjoy my quality of life. I cannot say what will happen tomorrow, but I appreciate what [the TAA Program] has helped me accomplish today.”

Brian Paul

Graduation Picture of Brian Paul

Brian Paul had worked for saw mills most of his career and was separated from employment when the last mill closed down in his rural Oregon town. Brian enrolled in the TAA Program and started training in July 2016. However, the nearest community college campus was more than a 120-mile round-trip commute from home. Through the TAA Program, Brian was provided with supplemental assistance, including mileage reimbursement, which made it possible for him to continue making that trip through March 2019. At the completion of his program, Brian had not only earned an Associates in Applied Science degree in Electronics Technology, but he was also awarded with High Technology Studies and Electronics Technician Certificates. He was hired permanently as a Service Technician with a well-respected company and is now working in his chosen occupational field. When asked about his training experience, Brian remarked, “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would continue my education. I am proof that hard work and perseverance will always succeed.”

Domenico Cusumano

Domenico Cusumano

Domenico worked first on a production line, then in shipping and receiving at a global supplier of raw materials for food and non-food applications in New Jersey. In early 2016, the company notified all employees that manufacturing would be moved to Mexico. Through the TAA Program, Domenico enrolled in a baccalaureate program for Business Management and attained a Bachelor in Science in December 2018. Upon earning his degree, he accepted an offer for a supervisory job, which started with an annual salary that more than doubled his previous hourly wage. The position also came with plenty of room for advancement. Domenico says he owes this all to the TAA Program stating, "I believe everyone who is impacted by trade needs to take advantage of the Trade Act, as it is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Scott Black

American Job Center Michigan Works

Scott came to a Michigan Works! American Job Center in April 2016 after the automotive plant he worked for closed in Michigan. He had worked at the plant for 22 years, starting just after high school. Scott knew that, if he had the opportunity to go back to school, he wanted to be in the information technology (IT) field. Through the TAA Program, Scott explored career options with his case manager, and chose to begin an Associate Degree program of Computer Network Engineering - a program with a variety of employment opportunities and a high expectation of growth and job openings. He started training in September 2016. Scott graduated in June 2018 and received not only an Associate Degree in Computer Networking but also a Certificate in Computer Repair, receiving high honors in both programs. A few months after graduation, Scott was reemployed and found a promising career in IT. He credits the training provided through the TAA Program as opening unlimited employment options.

Pamela Allen

TAA Program

After 19 years as a Jig and Arc Welder, Pamela was laid off from a manufacturing company in Missouri. The company Pamela worked for permanently closed, and she became eligible for TAA benefits and services. With the help of the TAA Program, Pamela pursued an Associate's Degree in Orthotic & Prosthetic Technologies and graduated in April 2018. After graduation, Pamela obtained a job with a local company as a Prosthetic and Orthotic Technician. When asked about her TAA experience, Pamela stated, "I loved the experience I had going to school and being in the learning environment. The TAA Program made me feel secure and enabled me to be able to concentrate on my studies without having to get a temporary job. My family came to my graduation and were so proud of me. It was truly a beautiful thing being able to take my artistic ability, my years of technical and mechanical skill building jigs, and refine it all into a career of being able to help those who are less fortunate and those unable to walk, to walk again."

Matthew Sumner

Manufacturing Plant

After nine years working in a manufacturing plant, Matthew's position was outsourced to Mexico in November 2015. During his time with the company, his transition into management gave him the opportunity to work closely with the accounting department and fostered his desire to change professions. Upon approval for TAA benefits and services in Delaware, Matthew pursued a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and Finance. Matthew graduated summa cum laude in the summer of 2018. Upon graduating, he was hired and promoted with a new firm where he received a comparable salary to his previous position.

Mark Glover

Automotive Company

Switching careers is not an easy decision to make. However, Mark did just that after his job as a production operator at an automotive company in Michigan was eliminated in 2017. Since he only worked for the company for a year and previously bounced around in other jobs, he was very committed to finding a more stable career path. Mark qualified for benefits and services through the TAA Program and decided to rekindle his interest of a career in health care. So, he returned to school to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). "This was the most challenging thing I've ever done," Mark said. "It really tested my commitment and took me where I'd never been. I decided to put my all into it." He completed the LPN program in August 2018. Mark explained that he received invaluable resources and continuous support from his TAA career advisor (case manager). He said, "All throughout this, my career advisor was there for me and always let me know he was behind me the whole way. I'm very grateful that I had this opportunity and for the support I received from Michigan Works!" Mark is now employed as an LPN with an hourly pay increase of more than 40 percent over his trade-affected position. His long-term plan is to become a Registered Nurse.

Aida Corbet

Certified Public Accountant

Aida was employed as a Telephone Operator Representative at a call center in Texas and was laid off in February 2015. Aida's goal was to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). To do that, she needed to get her Master's degree in Accounting. The TAA Program paid for Aida's tuition and assisted her in attaining her degree. Aida graduated in October 2018 and began studying for her CPA exam. Aida was later hired by a government agency in Texas at a higher salary than her adversely affected employment. Aida said, "Words alone cannot begin to express my gratitude for the tremendous help, which I have received! After having spent a long, depressing time being unemployed, my career and educational goals have been not only met, but exceeded. I am very happy to be serving my country in a rewarding permanent position, that will be well compensated, and I have no doubt that the key to this success was the support, which I have received from TAA."

Linda Thorne

Linda at Accounting Department

After 27 years of loyal service, Linda was dislocated from her job in the Accounting department when her position was shipped overseas. At the time, she had only a high school diploma and with the help of the TAA Program, Linda was able to go back to school to earn a postsecondary degree. In May 2016, she earned an Associate Degree in Accounting and graduated with honors. In May 2017, Linda earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting, also with honors. Linda is now working for her local city government in Connecticut as an Accounting Clerk earning wages 34 percent higher than her previous employment. Linda said, "the TAA Program allowed me to obtain a goal set many years ago. Because of the opportunity it afforded me, I AM A COLLEGE GRADUATE!"

Bambi Hudson

Bambi at Computer Operator

Bambi was laid off from her position as a computer operator from a Virginia manufacturing firm in 2013. Shortly after being approved for the TAA Program, Bambi entered a local nursing program and graduated with honors in December 2016. She was also voted "Distinguished All-Around Student" by her peers in her graduating class. Bambi is now making wages 25 percent higher than her previous employment. When asked about her future career goals, she offered a beaming smile and said, "I think I may continue with further training in nursing and pursue my RN credential."

Rodrick Hynes

Rodrick at TAA Program

Rodrick was a self-taught machinist for 40 years, but in his words "never had any 'paper' to back it up." After seven years of employment with a manufacturing firm in California, he was laid off due to the company's shift in manufacturing to Mexico. With the help of the TAA Program, Rod pursued an Associate of Science degree in Industrial Technology. He and his counselor thought this would enhance his skills, and being 64 years old, encourage potential employers to overlook his age. Upon graduation, he finally earned the "paper" to back up his skills. He was hired in March 2017 by a company close to his home at a salary higher than his previous job. Rodrick stated, "I am now doing machinist work with manual and computer controlled machines, and using some of the new skills I learned in the retraining program. In all truth, I feel very lucky to have found this opportunity."

Mark Poplasky

Mark at Oil and Gas industry

Mark was laid off from his job in the oil and gas industry in November 2015. Under the TAA program he was advised of some training paths that would get the attention of aerospace professionals in his home state of Washington. He completed a short duration course in a mechanical design software used widely in the aerospace industry. The software training allowed him to mention to his prospective employer that he had not been "idle while looking for work over approximately 1 year." He changed industries and received a lucrative job in the aerospace industry in November 2017. Mark said, "I extend heartfelt thanks to the TAA program for helping make the arrangements for this training. My caseworker Terry was clear, concise, and extremely encouraging in her approach to me."

Jeanne Matott

Jeanne at gold mine

After being laid off from a copper and gold mine in January 2016, Jeanne received training and reemployment services through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the TAA Program. She utilized the TAA Program's job search allowance benefit to pay her expenses for an out-of-state job interview. As a result, she was offered and accepted employment in Colorado, and received a TAA relocation allowance. Jeanne was trained and re-employed in less than a year, and is now earning 35 percent more than her pre-layoff salary. Jeanne says, "thank you TAA for all your support, financial help, and encouragement in assisting me in finding my new job."

Diane Galuska

Diane at manufacturing job

After being separated from her manufacturing job in Arizona in 2014, Diane became eligible for the TAA Program. She applied her previous school credits to a Bachelor of Science Degree in Technical Communications. She graduated summa cum laude with a 3.88 GPA in less than two years. In October 2016, within two months of graduating, she landed a full-time, permanent job as a technical writer with excellent benefits, earning more than she did with her trade-affected employer.

Brandon Collins

Brandon maintenance mechanic

In November 2013, Brandon lost his job as a maintenance mechanic in a company that he worked with for 13 years before it moved its plant overseas. Prior to becoming an adversely affected worker, Brandon held an associate's degree in Mechanics and a certificate in Welding from Southeast Community College.

Under the TAA Program, Brandon decided to enroll in the Nursing program at North Central Missouri College. The TAA Program provided Brandon the opportunity to pursue a completely different career, which he had been interested in for many years.

Brandon, a single father raising a son on his own, received training under TAA to become more competitive in the job market. In July 2015, Brandon successfully completed his training and received a Certificate in Nursing. He is now using his newly acquired skills and is working at a hospital in Fairfax, Missouri as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Brandon has been inspired to further his education and pursue a Registered Nursing Degree.

Debbie Kendrick

Debbie at TAA benefits

Debbie Kendrick found herself unemployed after 24 years of dedicated service when the plant where she worked closed. But, she soon found that she was eligible for TAA benefits and services. Having paused her educational pursuits after receiving her high school diploma, Debbie decided to use this as an opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream to become a nurse.

Because Debbie had always wanted to be a nurse, she had already begun planning for a career change by taking a few classes to apply toward a nursing degree. Thanks to the TAA Program, case management, and her pre-planning, Debbie was able to complete a Diploma in Practical Nursing in less than a year.

Debbie secured a position as a Licensed Practical Nurse with a local doctor's office in August 2014. Debbie said, "I am very thankful to have the opportunity to achieve the goal of becoming a nurse, something I have always dreamed about." Assisting adversely affected workers like Debbie to obtain the skills and credentials to become reemployed is what the TAA Program is all about.

An Ho

An at Product Service

Mr. Ho worked for a company in Oregon for seven years as a Product Service Technician before being laid off. When Mr. Ho and his fellow adversely affected workers were certified under the TAA Program, he became eligible to enroll for TAA benefits and services. Mr. Ho held a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, but he lacked the work experience in the Computer Science field to make him more marketable. Mr. Ho wanted to expand and enhance his current level of education to make himself more competitive in the Computer Science field.

Mr. Ho's TAA training was approved for the occupational goal of Software Developer. In March 2014, he successfully completed his training program and obtained multiple Microsoft Certifications. Upon graduating, his local American Job Center (WorkSource Oregon) helped to connect him with a company that hired him as an ERP Integration Developer.

Mr. Ho is grateful for the opportunities that the TAA Program gave him, as it helped him "pick up new skills," that put him back to work in a very short period of time.

Jose Martinez

Jose at packing and assembly operations

Despite limited education and work experience, Jose Martinez found employment performing packing and assembly operations. In his six years with his company, Jose was promoted to Forklift Operator in the warehouse department, but was eventually laid off due to a shift in work overseas.

Being an adversely affected worker, in May 2013, Jose took advantage of TAA Program benefits and services at the ValleyWorks Career Center (VWCC), including a Career Center Seminar, and attended a meeting with the VWCC staff.

Following an initial and a Comprehensive Assessment, Jose was counseled on programs and workshops available for those impacted by the layoff. Jose had a foreign high school diploma from his native Dominican Republic, but no other credentials. During these consultations, it was determined that Jose could benefit from English as a Second Language (ESL) training, since improving his English skills would allow him to better transition to an occupational training program.

With continued TAA support, Jose was able to later enroll in a Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) occupational skills training program at a local vocational school. Jose was praised by the school as a student who was instrumental in assisting and motivating other less knowledgeable students. Jose graduated from the training program in July 2015, maintaining an overall G.P.A. of 4.0 throughout his studies. Upon graduating, Jose had three job offers and accepted employment as a Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic in July 2015.

Kathy Motley

kmotley at Oklahoma factory

At the age of 50, after 25 years of service, Kathy Motley was laid off from her production job at an Oklahoma factory. After being certified as eligible for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, she worked with her case manager and decided to attend school at Gordon Cooper Technology Center to become an Aircraft Mechanic. Kathy excelled in Aviation training and was chosen as the Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year for the 2009-2010 General Class, and was given a perfect attendance award. Shortly after earning her degree, she was hired at a local Air Force Base.

Because of the training experience, she enjoys sharing her knowledge with students. She volunteers two lunch hours each week to tutor an intern who is studying for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exams. On weekends she meets with aviation students at a local library to go over class material.

She is grateful for her chance to participate in the TAA program. "Thank you to Workforce Oklahoma for the tuition assistance and supportive services, which changed my life!"

Jennifer Honn

jhonn forklift operator

After working as a forklift operator at an Indiana factory for 10 years, Jennifer Honn lost her job when her company moved operations overseas. She was certified for Trade Adjustment Assistance, and took advantage of the training provided through the program to further her training. Working closely with her case manager, Jennifer decided to attend a local community college to earn a degree in Business Administration. After she earned her degree, she was hired as a Human Resources Administrator at a local pharmacy.

"This has been a rewarding and exciting career change. Looking back ten years ago, I never would have dreamed of this new career path. It shows you that with hard work and determination, dreams are possible."

Paul Harter

pharter forklift operator

Paul Harter was laid off from his job at an automotive plant in Michigan in February of 2010, where he had been working as a warehouse coordinator. He was certified for Trade Adjustment Assistance, and after a period searching for a job, Paul decided he wanted to enroll in training. After working with his case manager and conducting some research, he was convinced that pursuing a career in the wind energy field was the best choice for him. He enrolled in a six-month Wind Turbine Technician Academy Program at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and five days after completing his training, he was offered a job in Minnesota. With the help of another TAA benefit - a job relocation allowance - he and his family moved so he could start his new job, where he began earning much more than he had been earning as a warehouse coordinator.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity I was given to change the course of my life, and the staff at Michigan Works! made it all possible."

Juan Bustamante

jbustamante machine operator

Juan Bustamante worked as a machine operator in California for over eleven years at a company that produced aluminum car rims. However, when a large nearby auto manufacturing plant shifted its operations out of the country, Mr. Bustamante and 300 of his colleagues lost their production jobs. Even through his financial and family obligations, he was able to pursue training through the TAA program at the Los Angeles Valley College Job Training Center, where he took remedial courses in English, Math, and Speech. He then qualified for and completed the Transportation Metro Bus Operator Bridge Training Program, after which time he was hired on through a paid internship, and then as a full-time employee with full benefits and career ladder opportunities.

"I would like to thank the TAA Program for helping me achieve my goal, and to Los Angeles Valley College for preparing me to succeed with a career at LA Metro!"

Michael Benson

Michael at machining industry

At 48 years old, Michael Benson was laid off from his New York auto plant job after almost 17 years of employment. He had been working in the machining industry in a variety of capacities for over 30 years, but could no longer find stable employment as a machinist. Due to this, and a variety of other personal and professional circumstances, Mr. Benson decided to pursue medical training through the TAA program. Entering training was not an easy decision for him to make, but was the one that provided the most promise for his future.

With funding available through the Unemployment Insurance program, Mr. Benson and his wife decided to re-locate to Nevada, where he enrolled in a Respiratory Therapy training program. In two years, at 50 years of age, he graduated with honors from his program and earned a license to practice Respiratory Care in Nevada. He was hired on a per diem basis by a local hospital, and is earning considerably more than he had ever earned as a manufacturing worker.

"I am so very grateful for all of the help from the TAA Program!"

Kim Franklin

Kim atmanufacturing

Kim Franklin was laid off from a manufacturing company in January of 2009. As a single mother of two boys, Ms. Franklin had to care for her children and pay all he household bills on her own. After being laid off, she received unemployment insurance benefits, which were significantly less than her previous wages - she knew she needed to consider a new career. Ms. Franklin was introduced to the workforce network through a Career Transition workshop held for those impacted by the layoffs, and through the TAA Program, she was able to enroll in training as a Medical Assistant training at a local community college.

Ms. Franklin graduated from the training program with on May 15 of 2011, with an overall grade point average of 3.9. She is currently employed at as a Medical Assistant at a local community health clinic.

"I would like to say thank you Workforce Network, you made it possible."

Jacqueline Elmy

Jacqueline at insulation production company

Jacqueline Elmy was laid off in January of 2010 from a Pennsylvania insulation production company after working there for 21 years. Throughout her time there, she performed forklift operation, warehouse, and production work. After she was laid off, she decided to pursue training as a Certified Nurse Aid, which she did through the Dislocated Worker program. However, her long term goal was to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), which was paid for through the TAA program. Ms. Elmy began training at the Wilkes-Barre Career and Technical Center in March 2011 for LPN under the Trade Act 2009 and completed her course work in June 2012. She graduated with honors and received awards of excellence for perfect attendance and for professionalism in the clinical setting.

Ms. Elmy secured seasonal employment on August 23, 2012 as an LPN working at an immunization clinic, and additional employment working for a health agency that educates and conducts health fairs for local businesses. Her hourly rate at this position includes travel time and mileage.

"I am grateful to have qualified for and participated in the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, which has allowed me to embark on a new and rewarding career!"

James Reynolds

James at a factory

James Reynolds was 52 years old when he lost his job of 18 years as a Tube Bender at a factory in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, and was certified for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). Mr. Reynolds had always thought about returning to school if given the opportunity, but had been hearing impaired since childhood and wondered if this might present a problem. During his first few meetings with a career specialist at a local American Job Center, James had trouble hearing. His career specialist, Krys Fisher, referred him to the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS): Division of Rehabilitation Services to find out if he was eligible to receive assistance to purchase hearing aids. Within no time, they had him evaluated and fitted with a pair of hearing aids - all at no cost to him. When Mr. Reynolds first put the hearing aids on, he was amazed at how much he could hear.

In the fall of 2010, James began the Automotive Mechanics Technology Program at a local community college. It was a difficult time for him - not only had he returned to school after more than 30 years, but he also had to deal with the loss of his mother and put all of her affairs in order. James persevered through it all and managed to finish the semester with straight "A"s. He completed his two-year program in May of 2012 with a GPA of 4.0. James was also a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and was named Outstanding Automotive Tech Student of the year. In August of 2012, his dream was realized when he was offered the job he had always wanted - an automotive mechanic position at the Wayne County School District.

Career Specialist Krys Fisher said, "Jim was very appreciative of the assistance he received through Man-Tra-Con Corporation and the Trade program."

Timothy Dean

Timothy at textile factory

Timothy Dean was employed with a textile factory in Georgia for over ten years when it shut its doors, at which time he was certified for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits. However, shortly after his layoff, Mr. Dean was able to secure employment with a tire company, a company he thought he would retire from. However, after another ten years of employment, he was laid off from this firm as well, and certified for TAA again. This time, Mr. Dean was determined to take advantage of the training available through the program.

Working closely with a case manager, he enrolled in school to receive training as a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA), an occupation in high demand in his area. Mr. Dean made it through the stringent selection process, and with hard work and dedication, was awarded an Associate of Science as a PTA in December of 2011. Timothy went on to pass his boards and was hired as a PTA, January 2012. Recently, Mr. Dean accepted a position with a nursing home located in Albany, making a substantial salary with an impressive benefits package.