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Workforce System Success Stories

                                ​​Program Year 2023 Q2 and Q3 Success Stories

Success Stories: Innovation

Decision to Enroll for Services through LKLP JobSight Leads to Career in Healthcare Leadership for Dylon Baker 

Just a few years ago, when he was 18 and a recent graduate from Buckhorn High School in Perry County, Dylon Baker hadn’t yet mapped out his career path. “I graduated high school in May of 2018 and had no clue what I wanted to do right then,” Baker says, though he adds that he wasn’t without a plan for long. 

Baker says he made the decision to enroll in a paid internship opportunity within Appalachian Regional Health (ARH)’s human resources (HR) department. Having just graduated from high school at the time, he thought it might be a good way to make some money for the summer, so he signed up at LKLP and just seven days after turning 18 began the 480-hour internship. 

“I was almost like an assistant, helping out in the file room,” he says. “But during that time, I was able to start kind of getting pulled into different conversations and kind of seeing what other folks in this department did.” 

Recruiters with ARH are responsible for coordinating interviews and filling job vacancies in the company, and the position includes a lot of community involvement, outreach, and engagement. “That’s something I’ve always enjoyed,” Baker adds. “I’m a huge people person.”

Over the course of his enrollment for services at the LKLP JobSight, Baker says he became interested in pursuing a full-time job as a recruiter for ARH once he exited the internship. By August of 2018, Baker had transitioned from an intern to a full-time recruiter for ARH, and by the next year he had earned his first promotion and accepted the position of System HR and Talent Manager and began overseeing recruitment for the company. In just under a year, he was promoted again and became the System Director of Talent Acquisition at just 20 years old. 

Two years after earning his high school diploma, Baker, then 20 years old, became a system director for Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH). And just three short years later, in 2023, he was named Assistant Vice President of Workforce Initiatives for ARH, which operates 12 hospitals in Eastern Kentucky and two in southern West Virginia.​

By November 2023, he was appointed Assistant Vice President for Workforce Initiatives. “It’s been a crazy five and a half years,” he said of his career growth. At just 23 years old, Baker is building a career that is not only self-sustaining, but one that can help support his family. And that was a journey that began with a singular decision to accept an opportunity as a recent high school graduate for a summer internship. 

“I think they went above and beyond to expose me to those other resources that I would have had no clue to even inquire about,” he says. “The overall process was easy.”

“Virtual reality equipment being uses as workplace training tool“– by Kristin Howard

The executive director for Career TEAM in the Lincoln Trail region, collaborates closely with the Kentucky Career Center-Lincoln Trail to deliver comprehensive services to both regional employers and job seekers. The team includes the executive director and five career advisors stationed across the five Kentucky Career Center locations within the region. Recognizing the importance of efficiently connecting job seekers with local employers, they have recently found VR technology to be an invaluable tool in their efforts.

Working with KCC-LT, they are utilizing technology from Transfr VR, a company that is building classroom-to-career pathways for millions of workers via hands-on training using immersive technologies in partnership with schools, businesses and government entities. The VR headsets were purchased by the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board.

Transfr VR provides users with immersive, hands-on experiences across a diverse range of career fields, such as health sciences, construction, IT, law/public safety, manufacturing, skilled trades, warehousing, hospitality and automotive sectors. What sets this VR technology apart is its continual software updates, reflecting emerging trends and high-demand career paths.

For the complete article by Kristin Howard, please visit here. To learn more about Transfr VR, visit​

ECTC’s Custom Training Provides Pathway to New HR Careers By the News Enterprise

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) Workforce Solutions, in partnership with the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board, Kentucky Career Center-Lincoln Trail and professional services company YRCI, recently celebrated eight students beginning new careers in human resources.

The students, who were WIOA eligible out-of-school youth and dislocated workers, completed a 75-hour training program through ECTC to prepare for full-time remote positions with YRCI, supporting the company’s Federal Human Resources Remote Operations. Once participants completed classroom training, they started WIOA funded on-the-job training. One of the students, Nivia Griffin, a military spouse, had been laid off from her previous job and was drawn to the class because she was ready to learn something new. “I’m really looking forward to on-the-job training, moving forward and continuing to grow” she said. That’s what I wanted most in my career-the opportunity to continue to grow.”

Ms. Griffin, along with other program graduates, is earning $45,000 per year, receives competitive medical, dental, vision and life insurance benefits and receives a generous PTO package. The collaboration is a win for the training participants who are now on a pathway to a long-term rewarding career with good pay and benefits.​

Success Stories: Fair Chance

Meet Charles – NDWG/Adult: Transformative Impact

Charles, facing the challenge of 31 years of incarceration, came to the Career Center on the recommendation of his parole officer. With a background that made securing suitable employment difficult, Charles, a former truck driver, who lost his CDL over three decades ago, decided to re-enter the field. He entered the Skills 2 Succeed program and enrolled in 160 Driving Academy, successfully earning his CDL. Working closely with Marie, he crafted a resume and navigated the job search process, which proved to be a challenging journey.

Eventually, Charles secured a position at MPW, hauling equipment and earning $25 per hour. Grateful for Marie's support, he reflected, "Last week I was eating dirt in a confined space, and now I have a career. Marie is the best. I don't know where I'd be without her help." Charles' success story underscores the transformative impact of second chances and dedicated support on the journey to rehabilitation and meaningful employment.​

Keith Jones Transformation Story

In the heart of Kentucky, Keith Jones found himself amidst a journey of transformation guided by the Ky Career Center's Career Development Staff and others. We were introduced to Mr. Jones as one of the participants from Frontier Behavioral Health. Through a series of workshops Career Development Office (CDO) Staff conducted at Big Sandy Community and Technical College, Keith embarked on a path towards redemption and employment.

The workshops were diverse and comprehensive, covering essential topics ranging from health and workplace balance, interviewing skills, and conflict resolution, to ensure his portfolio was

attractive and showed cased his dedication and skills. Keith eagerly absorbed each lesson, recognizing their potential to reshape his future.

But it wasn't just about finding a job; it was about keeping it. The Career Development Staff instilled in Keith the importance of a strong work ethic and effective communication, preparing him not just for employment but for success in the workplace. The support didn't end there. The Career Development Staff helped Keith access fidelity bonds, providing reassurance to employers and opening doors to opportunities that may have otherwise been closed.

Keith’s first stop after leaving Frontier Behavioral Health and was to the Kentucky Career Center to continue working with Career Development staff. CDO staff stood by his side, offering guidance and support every step of the way. With newfound knowledge and skills in hand, Keith could approach his job search with confidence and determination. Staff made him aware of job vacancies he was a good match for, assisted him with applying for those jobs, and connected with the employer afterwards to make them aware of his application. An interview was scheduled and armed with a polished resume, portfolio, and a perfected elevator pitch, he showcased his abilities to potential employers and was hired! Keith secured a position in the security sector, a field he had long aspired to enter.

With a job secured and a future brightened, Keith's success serves as a beacon of hope for others in similar circumstances. His journey from reentry to employment is a testament to the power of second chances and the unwavering support of those who believe in one's potential. 

As Keith continues to thrive in his role, he not only transforms his own life but inspires others to believe in the possibility of a brighter tomorrow.

Success Stories: Veterans

Veteran Services in Northern Kentucky Success in Matching and Building Veteran Employer Champions

In the first week of September, a Veteran Business Consultant with Kentucky’s Career Development Office met Yuri LaTour, a veteran job-seeker, at the Kenton County Public Library weekly meeting and found out he was a Marine Veteran that had been let go from his previous employment.

Yuri expressed interest in going back into federal work having felt defeated in the private sector and was told there were opportunities with the IRS that he may be interested in. He was connected with Megan Taylor at the IRS and submitted his application. He was hired within the next week.

Additionally, this Veteran Business Consultant continues to work with employers to promote veteran hiring practices. He reached out to Ryder Systems Inc. at their airport warehouse located in Hebron. Ryder Systems expressed a high level of interest in hiring veterans and after the tour and further communication she extended the opportunity to send any veterans looking for specific roles from auditor to shipping and receiving directly to her for an interview. An HR Manager has​ direct hire authority at the Ryder warehouse in Hebron and basically created a fast lane for Veterans to be hired on with her given a recommendation from us and a single vetting interview. This kind of collaboration allows for our veterans to continue to be of service in new careers and new ways.

Success Stories: Youth

KentuckianaWorks Youth Center, The Spot: Nickolas

Nickolas was incarcerated for eight years before we got connected to our youth career center, The Spot. He showed a strong work ethic and wanted to get a fresh start with his life and career. After deciding that he wanted to work with animals, The Spot's Business Services team identified a new partnership opportunity at the Louisville Zoo. After completing career readiness courses at The Spot, Nickolas successfully landed an internship in the animal hospital at the Zoo!​

KentuckianaWorks Youth Center, The Spot: Dariana

Dariana is a single mother who was struggling to pay her bills. She completed the curriculum at The Spot and the team helped her land a full-time job at KORT Physical Therapy. Dariana speaks fluid Spanish and has an interest in teaching, so The Spot was also able to get her an internship teaching ESL at HighPoint Charitable Services. She has been recognized for outstanding work by her employers and plans to get certified as an ESL instructor.

Graduation to Career! Austin Cameron – In-School Youth

Austin Cameron entered the program as a rising senior at Christian County High School. He was basic skills deficient and an unemployed but he had a goal to become a Lineman. He needed tutoring to keep up with his assignments and earn above a C average. He was advised to seek assistance from the Christian County Public School’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act In-School Youth program, which is funded by the West Kentucky Workforce Board.

Austin attended tutoring on a regular basis, which resulted in his improved test taking skills and confidence in his test taking strategies. This allowed him to achieve a Measurable Skill Gain. Then he began a paid work-experience at Cayce Mill Supply. There he worked in the electrical parts warehouse and lighting department. After graduation, he was able to keep his job. He still aspires to be a lineman, but for now he enjoys working and earning money.

Success Story: From Unemployment to Reemployment

Unemployment Insurance That Turns into Upskilling and a New Career!

Russell Moorman visited the Kentucky Career Center in need of assistance with filing for an unemployment claim. Mikayla Paulin, Workforce Development Specialist, first assisted him with completing ID.Me registration, while doing so, she asked if he was interested in employment services as well. Russell mentioned that he would like to get his CDL. Mikayla informed Russell about the Skills to Succeed program that Equus Workforce provides for Dislocated Workers. She spoke to him about the160 Drive Academy CDL and the Skills to Succeed Programs, he was very interested.

Russell was referred to Equus Workforce and Kim Shannon, Talent Development Specialist, soon touched base with him to get the information needed to start the program. Russell has successfully finished his program for the CDL training with 160 Driving Academy and obtained his CDL on October 6, 2023. He obtained employment with the company he originally worked for, and the employer worked with him on his hours so that he could complete his CDL training.​

Bradley Smith Lands Job in the Medical Field with Help from Daniel Boone JobSight in Clay County 

Bradley Smith first came to the Kentucky Career Center JobSight in Clay County after he was laid off from a factory job. He was looking to take a turn in his career path and go into something in the medical field, and with assistance from JobSight it didn’t take long before his search helped him land the job he was looking for. Once he enrolled for services at the career center began working with Career Advisor (now WIOA Director) Joann Nolan. Nolan got started right away, leading him toward services designed to help him gain employment based on his career interests. 

“She actually told me about this school in London where I could get my CMA (Certified Medical Assistant) Certification called Choice MD,” Smith said. “Right when I needed a job, pretty much the most, she set me up with that.” 

Choice MD provides short-term training for a number of medical and dental professions. Smith’s training allowed him to work at his own pace, and while the course typically lasts three months, he finished in a little under two. And because he was enrolled for services through the JobSight at Daniel Boone CAA, his tuition was completely covered, as were other costs, including materials he needed such as scrubs. “I didn't pay a penny," Smith said.

Smith now works as a float medical assistant at Mountain Family Practice in Manchester. Through his employer, he has been trained for different aspects of the job, such as assisting with drug screens, lab work, blood work, giving injections, and working in triage. He says he wouldn’t have been able to land the job had it not been for his decision to enroll for employment services through JobSight. 

“I had no clue about the school I got my CMA certification through,” he said. “I would still have no clue about it if it wasn’t for [JobSight].” Now working directly in the medical field, Smith said he wants to build on his career and continue on the nursing pathway. He has even been back in contact with Nolan to see about available assistance in finishing his degree in nursing. 

Smith added that the services available through the career center were a big help to him, and he would recommend that others looking for a new job opportunity consider them, as well.

Johnny (Dislocated Worker) Upskilled to Find New Employment After a Layoff

Johnny found himself among hundreds of workers laid off from Century Aluminum, facing stiff competition for new jobs. Aware of his lack of qualifications and credentials, he feared the challenge of securing employment. Attending a Rapid Response meeting, he learned of training opportunities and decided to explore them further. He sought assistance at the Kentucky Career Center in Owensboro, where he met Kim Shannon from Equus Workforce Solutions.

Expressing his desire to work in maintenance at a manufacturing facility despite lacking the necessary skills, Kim introduced him to the ITEC program offered by Owensboro Community and Technical College. This program promised to equip him with the required expertise through a two-semester curriculum. Encouraged by the prospect of quickly reentering the workforce, Johnny enrolled.

Determined and focused, Johnny excelled in his training, achieving an impressive GPA of 3.893. He earned multiple certificates including Industrial Electrician Levels I and II, Industrial Automation and Robotics Technician Level I, Automation Technician, Industrial Maintenance Robotics Technician, Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Level I, Industrial Maintenance Electronic Mechanic, and Integrated Manufacturing Technology. Following his training, Johnny sought guidance from Marie Acton at Equus Workforce Solutions, who helped him refine his resume, hone his interview skills, and navigate the job market. With her support, Johnny secured a position in the maintenance department at Waupaca, earning a respectable wage of $25.56 per hour.

Reflecting on his journey, Johnny stated “I am so grateful for the assistance and support given to me by Kim and Marie. Kim provided monthly encouragement and support as I completed this training and Marie provided the assistance needed in creating a top-notch resume as well as numerous job leads and application assistance. Both of these ladies really care and were a pleasure to work with.”

Career Retraining post-COVID

Lisa Heflin needed a new career. She had taught school at Mayfield Middle School for 12 years, when she contracted COVID-19. The after affects left her with Long COVID exacerbated by her fibromyalgia. Unable to maintain the physical work necessary to be a teacher, she eventually became unemployed and without work for several months.

She met with a Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act Career Coach and learned about the West Kentucky Workforce Board’s National Dislocated Worker Grant for Project Twister. That is where she learned about the career retraining available through the grant’s paid work experience. She was assigned to work at the Mayfield-Graves County Long-Term Recovery Group as an Administrative Assistant. During her experience, she supported the organization’s staff and developed a resource list for Mayfield residents.

Lisa did an outstanding job. When she completed her paid work experience, she was offered employment by her work site employer, stating that her work was invaluable to their mission. Lisa has also been extremely happy in her work at Mayfield-Graves County Long Term Recovery Group and plans to work there as long as she is able. It was a perfect fit for both parties. She is now assessing customers for eligibility and assisting with marketing.​

RESEA Success Story / Morehead Kentucky Career Center

Jeromie's journey from a setback to soaring success is a testament to resilience and the power of effective collaboration. After facing a lay off from his assistant manager position at Pizza Hut due to a change in ownership, Jeromie found himself at a crossroads. He wanted to remain in food service but was struggling to find something new.

Recognizing the need for a strategic approach to his job search, he sought assistance and guidance. He was connected to a supportive advisor committed to helping him succeed. Together, they embarked on a journey to revamp Jeromie's resume, leveraging various tools and techniques to highlight his skills and accomplishments effectively.

He landed a managerial role, surpassing his previous position, and doubling his salary in the process.

He attended RESEA Orientation on 10/24/2023, Secured employment 1/11/2024

Layoff to Upskilling to New Career Pathway

Edwin Skerett had worked at Mitsubishi Steel Mfg. Co., Ltd. (MSSC) for 12 years when the company announced it would lay off the bulk of their workforce, including him. The closure was determined as a Trade-impacted closure by the US Department of Labor. Throughout the Rapid Response and Trade orientation process Edwin decided to retrain for a new career, as he knew he did not want to continue working in manufacturing. He visited the Hopkinsville Career Center and met with a Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act Career Coach, where he shared his desire to become a highly skilled Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Technician.

In August 2022, he started training within the HVAC Program at Jefferson Community and Technical College, in Louisville, KY, with occupational training assistance from the West Kentucky Workforce Board. While in school, he began an apprenticeship as an installer in with Sal’s Heating and Cooling. Edwin continued working with Sal’s Heating and Cooling through his apprenticeship and is now an HVAC technician. He graduated from Jefferson Community and Technical College in December 2023.

Single Mom Receives Training and Now has Her Nursing License!

Josephine Carnes is a single mother working as an aide at Baptist Health Paducah. She was not making enough to sustain her family of three and was receiving SNAP benefits to supplement food for the family. She visited the Paducah Career Center seeking assistance to obtain a nursing degree. She loved the healthcare field and knew from working at the hospital that this was a career that would offer a suitable wage.

She met with a and spoke with a Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act Career Coach and was approved to receive tuition assistance from the West Kentucky Workforce Board.

Josephine completed training and received her nursing license. She was promoted by Baptist Health Paducah to become a Registered Nurse. She loves her new position and enjoys earning a salary that allows her to support her family.​