By Katrina Marshall, Communications Specialist, Forward Service Corporation
With multiple certifications in his toolbox and a dream construction job under his belt, Leon is achieving his dreams while doing what he loves.
Originally from Chicago, Leon moved to the Milwaukee area as a teen and later to Oshkosh, which he and his family now call home. But early in 2021, Leon found himself down on his luck and struggling to locate employment – in part, he felt, because he didn’t have the certifications to back up his skills.
Leon heard that the FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) program could help people find good careers. Sure enough, they helped Leon draft a blueprint for success, starting with getting those certifications he needed, and aiming for a comfortable home where he could spend quality time with his family.
Enter the Transportation Alliance for New Solutions (TrANS) program. This program helps people like Leon start successful careers in road construction. Leon’s manufacturing and construction experience made him solid candidate.
Meanwhile, his attitude made him an ideal candidate: “The class meant the world to me,” Leon insists. He pushed himself to earn his CDL, OSHA 30, CPR certification, and more. “Best thing that has happened to me. This offered me a career. I feel like I am set for life with this career.”
Leon is especially thankful to all of the organizations who helped make his training possible. In addition to funding from FSET, a grant from the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation supported Leon’s training. Meanwhile, the Oshkosh Area United Way loaned Leon a laptop to attend virtual classes in road construction.
Before long, Leon started working for the Local 8 Iron Workers Union; a job with benefits, a pension plan, and an hourly wage he can see leading to the house of his dreams.
“I can foresee myself being a very versatile employee and valued member of [this] prestigious company,” he says. “Being able to afford anything my heart desires is a wonderful feeling.”
Congratulations on your inspirational success, Leon!