Jerri Eversull came to the Cheyenne Workforce Center as a dislocated worker seeking job skills training and re-employment services. She had worked at Trilegiant Corporation for just over 12 years and was a customer service representative when the business closed down and left the Cheyenne area.
Eversull and her fellow Trilegiant employees had been informed of the WIA program through Rapid Response, although she never personally took advantage of available services at that time. By the time she came back to the workforce center for help, she was 56years old, had been unemployed for a year and had exhausted her unemployment insurance. Eversull's longevity with Trilegiant was working against her in that all of her employment-skills development was specific to her former employer. Being an older worker with limited computer skills, and competing against nearly 300 of her former co-workers - in addition to other individuals in the community - Eversull was not finding success in the local labor market.
Their success is individual success.Eversull completed the Choices Interest and Workplace Importance Locator Assessments, offered through the workforce center, and expressed an interest in employment as an administrative assistant. With the assistance of her career advisor, Judy Carroll, she also completed a Job Research Worksheet for this occupational goal and was referred to the Adult Career and Education System (ACES) program at Laramie County Community College (LCCC). At ACES, a formal assessment of Eversull's computer skills was conducted and a list of suggested courses was developed that, with completion, would make her marketable in the local labor market. Eversull was presented before the workforce center's WIA committee, which approved the plan for her to receive intensive services that included her attending computer software training through the ACES IC3 program at LCCC.
The IC3 program helps students acquire computer skills in using the Internet, e-mail and various other office tools such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint. This program is particularly good for older workers and single parents because the course work is self-paced and is open entry - open exit. Also, students may take up to one year to complete their training. This is a less intimidating environment than a regular class room and the students are competing against their own skill level. Their success is individual success. The program is open days, evenings and some weekends so the students have the opportunity to go in and complete assignments. Students do not achieve college credit for these courses, but do receive certification of completion and a lot of support from the program team. LCCC has successfully marketed their IC3 program to the community and participants in this training find success in the local labor market. Most of the Workforce Center's participants hired even before completing their respective programs!
Eversull completed her ACES training in approximately eight months. As a result of her training, she has found full-time employment as a Customer Service Representative with Cheyenne Light Fuel and Power (Black Hills Corporation). Employment at Cheyenne Light Fuel and Power is competitive and highly sought after. Eversull began her employment on November 1, 2005 with a salary of $12.77 per hour plus benefits, which was greater than her ending salary after 12 years employment with Trilegiant. She received a pay raise in May 2006 to $14.38, and has recently received a cost of living raise of 3.7%.
With WIA assistance and skills training through the ACES program, at LCCC, Eversull went from a despaired, long-term unemployed, under-skilled individual, to being successfully employed in a highly sought after position, with a company with a reputation of being difficult to gain entry. She is making an excellent income for the local labor market and has the opportunity for continued success.