Do you remember the video we shared of Tiara M., an individual who came from the Rockford Rescue Mission interested in finding a career? You can find her video here.


The Workforce Connection shaped a paid work experience opportunity for her through Kids Around the World, where she developed her skills and found an interest in welding. As her supervisor and career planner mentored her, she learned more about the career and training options.


With an understanding of her options, Tiara attended welding training and earned her AWS Welding Certification. Between this new credential and her work experience, she moved into a new work opportunity in manufacturing at Evergreen Machining, where she is developing her CNC Machining skills, and The Workforce Connection is able to assist the employer by offsetting a portion of the on-the-job training costs. A win-win for everyone!


Dr. Lisa Bly-Jones, Executive Director of The Workforce Connection, praises employers who support their staff and help them move along. “Tiara’s first employer saw the hidden talent and gave her an exciting opportunity, showing how much they value human potential. That experience supported her to not only develop her skills, but to further her career. This is a great example of how workforce development is the people component of economic development,” said Dr. Bly-Jones.

Tiara is a living example of how employers and individuals can support each other, and The Workforce Connection is here to assist them both. Referring to The Workforce Connection, Tiara says “there are people who work hard on your behalf to help you achieve your goals. Never give up, no matter what!”


A positive story to remind us all not only of our own potential, but the potential of each employers’ human capital investment.

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