For four years, Curtis worked at a local meat packing plant. The shifts were grueling and conditions difficult, but it was steady work. “Making $15 an hour, I was struggling to make ends meet,” he recalls.
When the plant started to cut their production schedule, bills began to stack up. Already stretched thin, the reduced hours were devastating for his family’s finances. They did their best to get by, and struggled to hang on when temporary layoffs were announced. Weeks later, Curtis learned the layoffs were permanent—the plant would never reopen.
Determined to find a better opportunity, Curtis enrolled in the YWCA’s Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Training Program. While earning his CDL, he was also learning about how to stand out during the interview process and how to succeed in the workplace.
With his eyes on the prize, Curtis worked hard to earn his credentials and made his job search a top priority. Through networking, he connected with a local construction company who promised a job once he earned his license. “Having my CDL helped me get my foot in the door,” he says.
Today Curtis is employed full-time with a local construction company. He’s now earning more than twice what he made packing meat and is thrilled to have permanent, fulltime work. “At the YWCA I learned it’s not who you are or where you’ve been,” he says. “It’s where you want to go.”