November 2018 Newsletter

Categories: News

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Ready to Grow

NFJP supports new career

 

Abagail Wells is a Case Manager in Iowa.

Having finished her second season picking grapes at a local winery, Deb Draper was ready for a change. Having spent her entire life in or around agriculture, she had come to the conclusion that as much as she loved the work, a better paying opportunity was out there. With the amount of time spent in farmwork, Deb faced a challenge in how to proceed in finding a new career. While attending a career fair in Oskaloosa, Iowa, Deb came across a Proteus booth. Here she learned about assistance options offered through the National Farmworker Jobs Program.

Deb wasn’t interested in returning to school, she knew she needed a position that would support her and her family as well as do something enjoyable. Her story is a great example of the various programs within the National Farmworkers Job Program and that focus on client success is priority no matter the course taken. After submitting her application, Proteus Case Manager Abbie Wells let Deb know she had been accepted. Little time was lost in putting together an effective resume and preparations for job interviews were underway.

Deb Draper

Deb received job placement services to advance her career from Proteus.

While this work was being completed, Proteus was able to provide rent and grocery assistance to ensure Deb was able to remain focused on her career goals. Rather than panic at the realization of overdue bills and a return to a job offering just enough pay to get by, Deb stayed the course and pursued career positions that suited her needs. With help from Abbie, Deb was able to narrow her job search to openings that fit her financial and personal preferences. Wanting to be able to work outside and with her hands was of great importance. Knowing this, Abbie was able to find Deb an opportunity as a grounds maintenance person at nearby William Penn University.

Deb works various duties on the campus grounds, earning $14 per hour and full benefits. She is able to do what she had wanted and provides for her family. Along with these great attributes, Deb is able to keep her green thumb on her own time as she grows and sells produce at the farmers market along with growing market goats. Living life to the fullest, Deb appreciated the extra push Proteus provided in making her career pathway a reality.

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Changing Directions

Education goal results in new career

 

Matt Winkel is a Regional Director in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Matt Winkel is a Regional Director in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Growing up on the farm, Jeremy Kelley knew the value of hard work. He witnessed his parents running the farm while also working full-time jobs to keep the bills paid. From a young age he understood that an education was needed to provide for yourself. After high school, Jeremy pursued a degree in business management. While it was a valuable degree, he realized that it was not the direction he wanted to go. Wanting to work in a career he could truly enjoy, Jeremy enrolled in the diesel mechanics program at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

To make ends meet, Jeremy worked for a local poultry farmer as well as detasseled corn for Monsanto. Even with this income, it was hard to keep up with the additional expenses that were coming his way. Beginning the diesel mechanics program requires a significant investment in tools. Jeremy also needed to purchase books and pay tuition. While these expenses can be challenging on their own, Jeremy was struggling to pay for the student loans that were coming due from his previous years in school.

Jeremy Kelley

Education assistance helped Jeremy complete his degree and find a new career.

During an orientation event at Iowa Central, Jeremy heard a presentation by Proteus Case Manager Rachael Roper. She spoke about the National Farmworker Jobs Program and the many benefits Proteus could provide to those who qualified. Jeremy set up a time to meet to find out if he qualified. He had been working part-time, but that was not enough to help him get by. After Jeremy was enrolled in NFJP, he was able to earn a stipend for his time in class. He also received some assistance for the required tools. After graduation Jeremy would be able to take the tool with him as he started his career.

During his time at Iowa Central, Jeremy worked closely with his case manager and made sure to turn in his grades. It was apparent that with the assistance from Proteus he was able to focus on his work and his grades proved it.

“Proteus definitely helped set me up to complete the diesel tech program in very high standing. I had the proper tools to complete my degree and I was able to focus on my studies instead of having to attain another part-time or full-time job,” Jeremy said.

Soon after graduation, Jeremy was able to begin working as a heavy equipment mechanic for Manatts, a construction firm in Brooklyn, Iowa. Through his hard work and many change, Jeremy is finally in a career that he enjoys and allows him to support himself.

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Honor Student Seeks Education

First in family to go to college

 

Dana Cowsert is a Case Manager in Indiana.

When talking to Indiana Proteus Case Manager Dana Cowsert, Peter Caballero Julian said that his father started doing farm work when he lived in Mexico. As a senior honors student at Logansport High School in Peru, Indiana, Peter lives with his parents, Pedro and Elba and younger sister. He has three older siblings who no longer live at home.

As a high school senior, Peter plans to be the first in his family to graduate from college.

As a high school senior, Peter plans to be the first in his family to graduate from college.

In addition to attending school, Peter works in the family restaurant and works with his father doing seasonal farm work. He has detasseled corn and worked in the fields picking and sorting tomatoes.

It is apparent that a good strong work ethic is very important to this family and Peter shows his good work ethic at school and in the fields. His goal is to be the first member of family to attend college. When Peter graduates from high school, he plans to begin summer courses at Ivy Tech Community College in his hometown, In that way, he can earn his education and continue to help his family.

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Career Pathway for Success

Alejandra’s determination will result in success

 

Jesusa Rivera is a Case Manager in Indiana.

Jesusa Rivera is a Case Manager in Indiana.

Alejandra met Jesusa Rivera, Indiana Proteus Case Manager at a Cinco de Mayo event. She asked about Proteus and said that she was picking blueberry alongside her mother, working long hours.

alejandra student

Alejandra is studying to be a certified nursing assistant and plans to continue her education in health care.

Alejandra Sanchez came to the United States from Venezuela in 2015 with her mother and sister. She doesn’t talk much about her home country and focuses on her new life in South Bend, Indiana. After graduating from high school, Alejandra is attending Legacy CNA Training to earn her credential as a certified nursing assistant. After graduation, she plans to work full-time as a CNA while attending Ivy Technical Community College part-time to become a registered nurse. Her love for helping people is evident in the compassion and kindness she exhibits.

When living in Venezuela, Alejandra required physical therapy and when it was complete, she volunteered at the facility. Because of her experience, she plans to complete her nursing degree and then attend Andrews University. Her goal is to earn her PhD in physical therapy by the age of 30.

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Hometown Hero Devoted to His Country

Client sets sail on a new career pathway

 

Jeanie Gorr is a Case Manager in Indiana.

Jeanie Gorr is a Case Manager in Indiana.

It was at Dennis Grain Company, Huntington, Indiana, when Tyler Campbell first met Jeanie Gorr, Proteus Case Manager. He was driving a semi truck to deliver grain from the farm to the grain elevator. After that brief meeting, Tyler’s life would change in a way that only he could begin to imagine. It was his motivation and grit that gave the case manager insight that Tyler would succeed at any challenge set before him.

Through the process of determining Tyler’s career pathway options of certification or apprenticeship programs,  employment positions with local companies surfaced. To help Tyler, Proteus was able to provide case management, job readiness training, career counseling, nutrition assistance, rental assistance, auto repair and transportation assistance, and work tools and clothing assistance – all services to help him guide his future.

Tyler Campbell- Navy

Proteus provided career counseling services and more to help Tyler determine his future.

However, Tyler had a greater mission in mind when he enrolled in the United States Navy training program. Through the program Tyler has developed numerous skills that he can transfer to his future employment. While the military is not an employment option for everyone, there are many veterans currently integrated into the Indiana workforce that companies are thankful to have on board.

Indiana Workforce Development and community partners sponsor Stand Down events to offer resources to these hometown heroes who bring ambition, devotion and creativity to the labor force. “Being a daughter and wife of a veteran, I am truly thankful to Tyler’s decision to serve others,” Jeanie Gorr, Proteus Case Manager in Indiana.

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Events Foster Partnerships

Proteus staff shares program information

 

Jody Stutzan is the Regional Director in Nebraska.

Jody Stutzan is the Regional Director in Nebraska.

In October, Proteus staff attended the Greater Nebraska Workforce Development Board meeting in North Platte. This two-day event was packed full of activities. Because the Proteus office is located adjacent to the Nebraska Workforce Development office, several attendees were also able to visit the Proteus office during the meeting.

North PlatteAttendees at the event included: John Albin, Nebraska Commissioner of Labor; Stan Odenthal, employment and training coordinator; representatives from businesses from 88 Nebraska counties; and Department of Labor staff from across the state.

Proteus’ Nebraska Regional Director Jody Stutzman also attended the ribbon cutting for the apprenticeship program at North Platte High School as well as the board meeting. It was an excellent opportunity to network and establish partnerships across the state of Nebraska.

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