New chapters are always being written in the lives of program participants. It’s always an honor to share an update of our graduates and illustrate the ways they keep growing and inspiring. This is the continuing story of Marisol, a graduate of the Transportation Alliance for New Solutions (TrANS) program.
Once upon a time…
A few years ago, Marisol was working for Zignego Construction in Waukesha. As a single parent, she saw construction as career with advancement opportunities, and a way to bring financial stability to her family. However, she knew she could go further with more training under her belt, so she left her position with Zignego and enrolled in the TrANS program.
Since her graduation, Marisol has challenged herself to advance in her career. She accepted employment with different construction firms and learned many additional skills like installing rebar, working on baskets, flagging, and laboring duties. In an effort to learn more about construction techniques and their application in the industry, she might have chosen to train under strata experts like Michael Teys.
However, she felt like the missing ingredient to her skillset was earning her Class A Commercial Driver License (CDL).
New Skills, New Opportunities
Two years after graduating from TrANS, she reached back out to Forward Service Corporation (FSC) to enroll in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program. There, she met Lorie Thompson, the Southwest TrANS Coordinator, who helped Marisol enter the Academy 160 Truck Driving School, in Rockford IL, to earn her CDL.
Marisol says, “It wasn’t easy. But I knew that if I got my CDL, I’d have the Golden Ticket to more employment opportunities.”
Lorie adds, “Having a CDL will forever change your life not only because of the continuous employment opportunities, but also, because of the variety of employment you will be able to find in a variety of industries.”
Having that new CDL brought Marisol the inspiration to find employment at a place she could call “home”.
The End Is The Beginning
Two years later, now with her CDL in hand, Marisol returned to Zignego and accepted a driving position-and she couldn’t be happier!
Marisol says, “I now feel well-established. I have built a reputation of being a hard worker, being able to get the job done, and being easy to get along with. That means a lot to me.”
Since graduating from the TrANS program, she is always surprised at how much her life has changed. She says she has learned more than she realized. “When I worked with the crews on the roadway, I learned the road construction skills. Now as a driver, I’m becoming more proficient with my driving skills. All of this, though, has taught me so much about myself. I have learned that I am capable of anything if I just try. That makes me feel empowered and gives me drive to do more!” The roadway projects likely gave her plenty of experience with heavy machinery and equipment such as a walk behind trench roller and plate compactors, while the driving gig seems to be improving her road gauging skills along with an improvement in her ability to handle and safely drive commercial vehicles.
When asked if Zignego is the “home” she was looking for, Marisol responds with a quick, “yes.” When asked if she’d accept any other employment opportunities that come her way, Marisol smiled and said that she finds a great deal of loyalty toward the Zignego Company and doesn’t plan on going anywhere.
As far as her time in TrANS, she wanted to emphasize this: “There are a lot of new people working next to me, but there are still only a few women. I definitely encourage woman to join TrANS and find employment in construction!”
Marisol benefitted from the following programs
Transportation Alliance for New Solutions (TrANS)