Tyson’s Continued Success

Construction Job | Signage

All stories are a work in progress. This one is no different. Lorie Thompson, a coordinator for the Southwest Transportation Alliance for New Solutions program, updates the continued success of a program alumni who rises to the challenge of each day — proving that success isn’t a destination, but an active pursuit.

A text message is sent. The message holds only a picture of a key. Pretty simple – no words, no explanation. A rather simple object to capture in a photo.

But that photo spoke volumes; it held within its glossy sheen a dream that had seemed so unobtainable only a few years ago. Lorie Thompson, Transportation Alliance for New Solutions (TrANS) Coordinator in the Southwest, knew the significance of the key. This photo brought her great joy and pride. The graduate who sent it was sharing the achievement of his biggest dream for his family. As a single father of three children, he chose to enter into road construction with no experience only faith that this new venture would offer an opportunity to find employment stability and financial growth for his family.

The photo of the key was sent by Tyson, a 2019 Rock County graduate of the TrANS program. He wanted Lorie Thompson to know that he had closed on his house. No words were needed; she knew what it meant. Tyson had shared this dream of purchasing a home for his family many times since he started the program.

Tyson knew it wouldn’t be easy, but he was confident that he would make this and other dreams come true. He wasn’t about to give up on himself or allow for excuses. Due to scheduling conflicts between the program’s classes and his work schedule, Tyson had quit his job to join the class full-time. Because of this, Tyson admits there was pressure to complete the program and find good employment. However, he wonders if that is exactly what propelled him through times of struggle.

He understood that three kids were looking toward him for not only their well-being, but for their security and stability, too. He may have struggled at times to give them the things they needed, but he dreamed of a time when he could give them the things they wanted. But Tyson wouldn’t have changed a thing. These kids were his life, and he was theirs. You can see it whenever he talks about his children there is love and pride in his eyes. You can see it with the smiles on their faces when the family is together at a restaurant, at the park, or just hanging out together. You can hear it in their voices when they talk with each other the respect, love, and concern.

Tyson has been a busy guy since TrANS. He was hired within one week of graduation and remained focused on his career, advancing into positions of more responsibilities and skills.

He dreamt of becoming an Operating Engineer, working the heavy equipment on jobsites. Last year, Tyson accepted a position that offered a direct connection to the Operating Engineer union by working in a quarry for a construction company. This year, Tyson will continue working toward his dream of becoming a journeyman in the union.

Are any of these things easy? No. But, life isn’t a practice run. Tyson understands that and finds blessings in everything a sunny day to play outside with the kids, a good pizza for dinner, or a fun family movie. And the smiles. His kids smiles and their laughter.

For that, Tyson will continue to challenge himself, to dream bigger knowing that he’ll achieve them. Because reaching beyond what he had originally thought was impossible has become the norm for Tyson. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tyson benefitted from the following programs: