ECWDB Success Stories

Workforce Development is all about helping to create successful individuals and successful businesses.

Montreai Woodard

WIOA Helped Montreai Attain a CDL and a Job

Montreai Woodard : Youth Success Story

When 21-year-old Montreai Woodard of Walstonburg came to Lenoir Community College (LCC), he knew exactly what he wanted to do, he just needed financial help to do it. He was working at a local car dealership at the time. His goal was to enroll in Truck Driver Training and obtain his CDL. After talking with him and asking a few questions, I was able to determine that Montreai was eligible for assistance through LCC’s Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program. This program assists out of school youth ages 16-24 that qualify for assistance with schooling, training, and finding employment.

Montreai was highly motivated and eager to complete the necessary steps for enrollment into WIOA Youth Program. Being a parenting youth, he said his goal was to provide for his family and give his son the best life he possible can. He enrolled in WIOA October 5, 2022. During enrollment we set two goals for him, to attain his CDL, and a Career Readiness Certification (CRC).

Montreai enrolled in a five-week CDL Training Class and while studying and attending that class, he also practiced at home on attaining his CRC. He completed CDL training and got his License on December 9, 2022. He took the CRC exam three days later and scored a Gold Certificate. In accordance with WIOA’s policy on Incentives he earned a $250 gift card from Wal-Mart for achieving these two goals.

Although the WIOA Youth program also aids in job search, paid work experiences, creating resumes and interviewing skills, Montreai did not need assistance with those program elements. On December 15, 2022, Montreai received his Wal-Mart gift card and reported to me that he had been hired at SouthCo Distributing Company in Goldsboro, NC as a driver.

I have worked with a lot of young people over the years helping them to reach their goals, but this young man reached his goals the fastest of anyone I have ever worked with. His determination coupled with his enthusiasm was refreshing. Montreai said “I am so grateful for the help I received through WIOA! I had no idea programs like this existed. I will definitely spread the word to family and friends about this awesome program.”


Submitted by: Tracey Price-LCC Youth Career Advisor

Penny Thorne

A Perfect Career Match

Penny Thorne : Job Position

Charliss Gwynn, Career Advisor in Duplin County, has helped people find their next job and quite often their “perfect career match” for the past 22 years. However, in 2021, she may have provided one of the best referrals to a local job opportunity that her teammates in the Duplin NCWorks Career Center could have ever asked for!

In early September 2021, Penny Thorne from Wallace called the NCWorks Career Center in Duplin County and spoke with Charliss Gwynn. During their conversation, Charliss asked pertinent questions to uncover not only Penny’s experience, but also what she was looking for in a rewarding position. Penny’s background as a middle school math teacher in Duplin and Clinton City Schools made her a “perfect match” to apply for several open positions in Duplin and surrounding counties. Charliss spoke with her about these positions and referred her to them in an email on September 8th that included the job descriptions and links to apply.

One of the positions Charliss referred Penny to was for a Workforce Career Coach with Eckerd Connects.

On November 29, 2021, Penny Thorne officially joined the NCWorks Career Center in Duplin as the Youth Career Counselor with Eckerd Connects. Penny is an integral part of Team Duplin! She brings a wealth of educational knowledge, passion and understanding for helping the youth of this community! Charliss, once again, has proven her skill and expertise when referring the right person to the right employment opportunity!

Team Duplin is proud to call Charliss and Penny their “teammates!”

Submitted by Lynne Moore, Duplin NCWorks

Beth Henry

Beth Found her Career through Craven NCWorks

Beth Henry : Adult Success Story

Beth Henry began working with a partner agency, Coastal Community Action, at the NCWorks Career Center in Craven County in August of 2020 as a CARES NC Case Manager. She was initially seeking an opportunity that would allow her to gain more experience and knowledge in Human Services. Beth worked full-time while also attending Lenoir Community College to earn her degree in Human Service Technology and a Certificate in Substance Abuse. She graduated with Honors and began to dive deeper into seeking other employment because her contract with them was soon coming to an end. She had tried for many years, since 2018, to get on with the Craven County Department of Social Services. She was getting discouraged because she was not having any success. She was not getting any interviews but continued to submit applications with the hope of securing employment. Her passion has always been to help families in the community and an advocate for the less fortunate. She has always believed that helping individuals in turn helps the communities.

She decided to get some help with her resume and application that she was preparing to submit. She had tried it her way and wasn’t successful and so she decided to reach out to Mr. Eric Cedars at NCWorks.  Although, she had referred many of her clients to NCWorks, she had not actively pursued the help she needed with her own resume and application with Craven County Department of Social Services. She decided to take her own advice and she brought a copy of it to Eric Cedars, a Career Advisor in Craven County. The worked on the resume together and Eric suggested some improvements.

Beth soon put in an application for DSS. This time, things were different. She got an interview. She knew that once she got the interview that she would be able to close the deal. After a second interview, she got the job that she so wanted. She is very thankful for the help that she received.

Her current job title is Transportation Coordinator, Processing Assistant IV. She believes that trusting a professional Career Advisor to critique her resume showed her a different prospective of what employers are looking for.

“The honest advice and recommendations of Mr. Cedars made all the difference. I highly recommend Craven County NCWorks to anyone seeking advice on resumes, applications, interviewing tips, etc. The NCWorks Career Center also hosts job fairs, facilitates workshops, and so much more. I wholeheartedly believe that I secured my current career because of the help of Craven NCWorks,” Beth told NCWorks.

Source: NCWorks Craven County

Trenton Carmon

NCWorks Helped a Marine Veteran find Work

Trenton Carmon : Veteran Success Story

Trenton Carmon, a Marine Veteran, registered with NCWorks on January 18, 2022 as a Veteran with barriers to employment. Disabled Veteran Outreach Specialist Janet Buck received a notification that a Veteran with SBEs registered with NCWorks. She immediately sent him a “Welcome to NCWorks” email advising him of all the services our center has to offer. After receiving DVOP Janet Buck‘s, Welcome to NCWorks Veteran Services’ email, Trenton contacted her the next day to schedule an appointment with Janet.

During the appointment, Janet and Trenton worked on his NCWorks profile and background information, created a resume, and reviewed available positions available in the local area. With new opportunities available, he expressed interest in logistics. Over the course of the next few weeks, Janet provided guidance and assistance as Trenton applied for positions and they worked on interviewing skills. During one of their appointments, they discovered a job posting on NCWorks – Associate with Postal Annex. Janet referred Trenton, he went to Postal Annex that day and was hired on February 14. Congratulations Trenton!

We are proud of our NCWorks Craven’s DVOPS who work with military Veterans everyday with barriers to employment to give them a “Hand Up.” Great work Janet!  

Source: NCWorks Craven County


Graduated and Ready for the Next Step

Shawn : NextGen Youth Success Story

Shawn was not expecting a graduation, but he was more than excited! With a little help from NextGen’s Site Supervisor – Mrs. Kelly – the tassel was placed and ready to be flipped!

Already equipped with experience in HVAC, Shawn showed great interest in the credentialing and work experience offered by the program.

Coming this Spring, Shawn’s next step will be to attend classes related to HVAC technology. Work experience is also on the radar for this promising young man!

Source: Eckerd Connects


Craven’s first NextGen GED Graduate

Rachel : NextGen Youth Success Story

Rachel is Craven’s first NextGen GED graduate. What a beautiful day it was for a graduation celebration! Classmates even joined the NextGen team on the lawn to show their excitement for her achievement.

With so many interests and passions, Rachel will be participating in a work experience like no other. Through this work experience, she will be able to cultivate a wide range of skills and develop the ability to put those skills to work!

Once she finds her niche, Rachel will be furthering her potential by continuing her education.

Source: Eckerd Connects

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