Zach may be young, but he’s already proven himself a man of integrity. After losing his parents in his early teens, Zach had to move away from home but decided to do everything he could to keep his remaining family intact. On turning 18, he gained legal guardianship of his brother and finally moved back, where he became the sole provider for his family. Thanks to a great Work Experience through WIOA, Zach is now able to support his family with a full-time job that is funding his education at NWTC!
“Upon entering WIOA, Zach did not have a job but was attending college,” says Shelby, a Career Services Specialist with WIOA. He was determined to earn a college degree before entering the workforce, so he could start his family’s new life on the right track. “Zach is a hard worker and is never one to back down from a challenge.” says Shelby. “But above all, he is the most caring person you could ever meet and is always willing to help anyone.”
Zach wanted to get a job in his field, CNC machine operation, by the end of his second semester. Alongside the Bay Area WDB, WIOA helped him find a Work Experience as a machinist intern that turned into a paid internship while he was still in school. Zach’s skills and commitment turned this into a full-time job before he graduated with his technical degree. In fact, his employers were so impressed that they’re funding his continued education to earn his journeyman’s license this year!
Zach insists that any difficult experiences have shaped him into the person he’s become today. “I’ve used these bad experiences as a ‘what not to do’ kind of thing to encourage me to push myself as far into a good life and career as I can,” he tells us. He adds that his main barriers were always financial, “because I love what I do in my classes. I’m there because I want to learn, not because I have to be.”
That’s where resources like the Independent Living program, Oconto County Human Services, and WIOA stepped in to help cover his transportation and education. “Shelby has helped me with everything from doing my taxes, to applying for health insurance, to helping me find a job, and keeping up with everything at school. I couldn’t be more thankful.”
Congratulations, Zach! We’re excited to see where you go from here!