The NextGen Youth Program Helped Travis Find a Promising Future
Travis : Lenoir Success Story
Twenty-year-old Travis of Snow Hill has a new job with a promising career in his future, and it all started at Lenoir Community College (LCC). Career Advisor Tracey Price met Travis while he was attending High School Equivalency classes at LCC’s Greene County Center and thought he’d be a perfect fit for the NextGen, Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program at LCC.
“I mentioned it to Travis several times, but he just wasn’t interested, she said. “WIOA is designed to assist out of school youth ages 16-24 in career exploration, financial assistance with training cost, paid work experience, and support services based on individual needs. The goal of the program is for youth to attain employment become good employees and be financially independent.”
Price said she was talking to a co-worker, Dennis Liles, when she discovered he knew Travis and his family very well. Liles agreed that Travis would be a good fit for the Next Gen program, and he offered to reach out to Travis’s parents about the opportunities the program offered.
In that same conversation with Price, Liles discussed forming a partnership with the Town of Snow for youth to explore careers, providing them with paid work experience jobs. “It was from that conversation, I found out the Mr. Liles was also the mayor of Snow Hill, and we formed a partnership between the College and the Town,” Price said.
With some encouragement, Travis enrolled in the NextGen WIOA Youth program in August 2022. “With some guidance, Travis set four goals in the program,” Price said. “He wanted to attain his High School Equivalency Diploma, attain his national Career Readiness Certificate, complete a paid work experience successfully, and obtain his driver’s license.”
Travis completed all his goals in record time, and in addition to that, while working with the Town he decided he would like to pursue a career in wastewater management.
“After working with the Town of Snow Hill, I became interested in the wastewater field and the opportunities it has to offer,” Travis said. “I learned new skills through this work experience and through the program.”
Because of Travis’s work ethic, dependability, and interest in becoming a wastewater operator, he was hired full time by the Town, in May 2023. He plans to enroll in wastewater classes to become a certified operator as soon as possible.
“This is a training WIOA can pay for,” Price said, “but due to the timing of the class that is available the Town has offered to pay for his training. Travis’ story shows that hard work, and dedication does pay off. And the power of networking, people and agencies pulling together is an awesome way to help young people succeed.”
“I am so thankful for Mr. Liles getting involved and encouraging me to make a great choice to enroll in the NextGen program,” Travis said. “The mentoring I received from all the instructors and staff at LCC, and the knowledge I gained from my co-workers & my supervisor, Mr. (Drake) Robart, all played a part in my success. I thank God for making this all come together, from the work experience to landing a job with the Town of Snow Hill. I am grateful.”