Spokane Job-Readiness Program Helps to Launch Careers

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George was a graduate of our Roadmap to Success job-readiness training program in Spokane and was grateful for all the help he received in re-launching his career as a professional truck driver after incarceration.

Our Roadmap to Success job-readiness training program is a three-week course that students attend five days a week. Recently, because of COVID-19, students are participating in the class online for safety reasons. Individuals with criminal convictions who are trying to successfully transition back into their communities in Washington state can be referred by their case manager, therapist, corrections officer or self-refer for the application process.

Once accepted into the training program, individuals learn the needed skills to find and retain employment. The course focuses on overcoming barriers to employment through:

  • Cognitive thinking transformation
  • Soft-skills development
  • Professional communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Time management
  • Job search techniques
  • Targeted resume building
  • Interviewing techniques and handling different management styles
  • Computer skills

The Spokane Pioneer team was excited to share the success story on George, who was a part of the very first cohort of the training program. George engaged in the program while moving around from shelters, to family and friends’ homes. 

When George completed the class he made the choice to pursue his goal of becoming a truck driver. He had driven a truck before, but during the time he was incarcerated his license had lapsed and he needed to get into a re-training program and obtain a new commercial driver’s license (CDL). He was now completely committed and focused on being a professional truck driver. 

Darin Christensen, Spokane Workforce Development director said, “When George graduated from Roadmap, we started working on how to make it all happen. Ultimately, we worked with a total of four different agencies to help put together the funding and get him into the CDL class through Spokane Community College.

Along the way, Pioneer helped navigate the numerous Department of Labor (DOL) hurdles that a formerly incarcerated individual has to overcome. Unfortunately, the class was shut down a week prior to completion due to the COVID-19 restrictions. However, as soon as it opened back up George jumped in and completed the training. 

Christensen stated, “George never gave up trying despite all the roadblocks and class cancellations. He finally got to take his CDL tests, and navigated some additional DOL restrictions. We are so proud of him and his efforts to reach his goal and get employed.

George was recently hired by a trucking company and was very proud to send us a photo of his new truck that he will be driving. “It is so rewarding to witness his success in employment and know that we can make a positive difference in someone’s life,” shared Christensen.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020