LIFT the TriState Participants Sound Off on New Opportunities and Second Chances
Why the LIFT the TriState program is off to a good start
Back in July, we launched the first session of LIFT the TriState, a collaboration with the Freestore Foodbank and other local organizations to teach unemployed and underemployed adults the skills needed for employment in the warehouse, logistics and transportation industries. There are 10 participants in the free program, with graduation just weeks away on October 13.
While BelFlex is offering valuable interviewing help and connecting participants with local employers, Life Learning Center is providing computer and life skills training and support and Gateway Community and Technical College is facilitating the CLA (Certified Logistics Certificate) course and logistics training.
Two of the participants, Dexter and Johnell, shared their experiences with us.
Dexter has held a variety of jobs – warehouse, maintenance, janitorial, even doing a variety of tasks at a funeral home. He found himself at a job fair looking for steady work, and came across a flyer for the program. Because he had a bit of experience as a forklift driver, he saw it as an opportunity to get re-certified and find better work. Johnell had some experience in sanitation and packaging, but wanted to try something new. He found out about the program through a friend and applied to be a part of the inaugural session.
The experience so far
Dexter has really enjoyed the challenge of learning about all the compliance and safety requirements of driving a forklift. Having past experience, he understands the importance of safety on the job. What stands out most about the experience to Johnell is the positive environment. He shared that all of the participants are friendly and supportive.
New learnings beyond what’s on paper
Through the program’s assessment tests, Dexter has learned that he’s considered an “includer” who likes to involve others. This, combined with his constant search for ways to improve efficiency, makes him a good fit for factory work. Johnell attributes the program with building up his confidence in himself and his ability to find a great job.
Another LIFT participant, Alex, shared that she, too, was gaining so much more from the program than just a job – she’s getting her life back on track for her two daughters. She talked about her story with a Cincinnati news station.
The impact on the community
Both Dexter and Johnell enthusiastically agree that the program is providing more than work – it’s giving people a second chance. And it’s not going unnoticed. Johnell shared that a byproduct of his involvement is that it has motivated his peers to look into applying for the next session of the program.