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Success Stories

Erica Sheffield

"When I was first laid off, I was upset and didn't think things would go my way. Now I'm excited about being in nursing school. The Kentucky Career Center helped me pay for tuition, books and scrubs. I want to be able to buy a house and set up a college fund for my sons. I'm excited about our future."

Erica Sheffield, mother of two boys, has completed school and is a licensed practical nurse.

Maryella Gibson-Davis

"After being laid-off, I was drawing unemployment and looking for a job, but I needed a viable skill in the workforce. So I'm majoring in medical billing and coding at Spencerian College. Without the Kentucky Career Center funding, I could not go to school. The program has meant everything to me."

Maryella Gibson-Davis, who plans to work in a hospital or doctor's billing office

William Gesell

"Trying to find a job was a challenge – it's a tough job market. I really didn't have a choice but to go back to school. Now, I can't think of anything better than to get in a field where I could help people. I want to work with the Veteran's Administration at one of their clinics."

William Gesell, who was laid off from a machinist job after years working in manufacturing. The U.S. Army veteran is majoring in clinical assisting with limited medical radiography.

Roderick Daily

"When I lost my factory job, I needed further skills to get another job. Without the Kentucky Career Center, I still wouldn't have more skills and would still be searching for a job. With their assistance, now I have skills and am employable."

Roderick Daily, who completed welding training

MaryBeth Winchester

"It's my dream come true to be an RN. Before the Kentucky Career Center program came along, I always felt I'd be stuck and not be able to advance. If I was to win the lottery, I would still want to be an RN – it's been a dream for a long time. This program has al me to accomplish my dream."

MaryBeth Winchester, who has completed training to become a registered nurse

Lakeita Wright

Click here to read a transcript of Lakeita's speech at graduation from the KentuckianaWorks Welding Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program.

"It was an easy decision to choose pipefitting as my trade. It fits my tenacity ... This program has opened a door that many of us never thought would be open to minorities and women."

Lakeita Wright, a laid-off worker who learned new skills for a new career through KentuckianaWorks

Gail Zehnder

"Going back to school has definitely put a positive influence throughout the whole house. It's a good role model for my sons. They know I have a goal and now they have a goal later down the road. My husband is very proud. The   Kentucky Career Center has helped me tremendously with paying for school."

Gail Zehnder, a surgical tech student and mother of two

Phyllis Snider-Cummings

"I saw this program as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to better myself. To me, my family and my future, this is a daylight and dark difference. It has given me financial stability. I've been out of school for a long time, so this has been an adventure as well as a challenge, but I'm thrilled to no end that I did it."

Phyllis Snider-Cummings, who has completed training to become a registered nurse

Jeffrey Bassett

Click here to watch a video interview.

Click here to read the interview transcript.

"The Kentucky Career Center helped put me through school, which I couldn't afford. It even gave me the choice of picking out what I wanted to do. I've bought a house, I've bought a motorcycle. Child support is paid. I don't have everything I want, but I have everything I need. I'm a whole lot better off today than I was before."

Jeffrey Bassett, a father who lost his machinist job. Through the Kentucky Career Center, he earned his CDL (Commercial Driver's License) and became a truck driver like his father and grandfather.

Anthony Barbee

Click here to read a transcript of an interview with Anthony.

"I would just say that if you believe you can do something, just try it -- just give it your best. But don't let your fear be the reason you don't take the shot at opportunities given to you."

Anthony Barbee, a father of three, earned his associate degree in Radiologic Technology from Spencerian College, and works as an x-ray technician.

Ebony Calloway

Click here to watch a video interview.

Click here to read the interview transcript.

"Before the Kentucky Career Center, I was in a dead-end position. They were laying off, so I was unemployed for about three months. Then I decided to go to school. I recently got my associate degree in accounting and started applying for higher positions. About my second interview, I got a job. We recently bought a house, so it just opens up a lot more opportunities within the family."

Ebony Calloway is employed at a local bank and working on her bachelor's degree in accounting with a goal to become a certified public accountant.

Hank Carr

Click here to watch a video interview.
Click here to read the interview transcript.

"I'm doing what I like to do. I love coming to work every morning because of that. I'm able to save money, pay my bills, take care of my kids. I'm able to travel. I can buy my kids things they need, plus some of the wants. Without the construction pipeline training, I wouldn't have the opportunities that have come my way. That's what I looked for and wanted for so long was just the opportunity."

Hank Carr went through the KentuckianaWorks Construction Pipeline training, which is now closed. A similar program for construction career training is the Bridges to Opportunities Workforce Training Program.

Daniel Hawkins

Click here to watch a  video interview.
Click here to read the interview transcript.

"The Kentucky Career Center helped me become successful by giving me a career counselor. I mean, I knew what I wanted to do, but the career counselor helped me get on track to graduate. If you even remotely have an interest in anything, pursue it."

Daniel Hawkins, RN, accessed a KentuckianaWorks Scholarship to finish his degree.

Willie Lynch Jr.

Click here to watch a video interview.
Click here to read the interview transcript.

"I think, wow, a few months ago, I was just pounding the pavement wondering what I was going to do with myself. Unemployment isn't where you want to be. Now, I have a stable job, a job that's needed. And it's well paying. I have a future. I enjoy my job and look forward to going to work."

Willie Lynch was laid-off from a restaurant management job and went into training paid for by the Kentucky Career Center. He was employed nine days after passing his certification tests.

Sheila Pry

Click here to watch a video interview.
Click here to read the interview  transcript.

"I went back to school after being out of high school for 30 years and had a 4.0 (perfect grade-point average). It's given me self-confidence. I've got a good job now. I'm self-supporting. I support myself totally by myself, and I'm independent. And that the most important thing – I'm independent."

Sheila Pry lost her factory job when it closed. Through the Kentucky Career Center, she became a medical assistant and is employed in a doctor's office.

Robert Dean Kearn

KentuckianaWorks One-Stop Career Center, Native American Employment and Training customer, Robert Dean Kearn

Click here to watch a video interview.
Click here to read the interview transcript.

“I have more time on my hands; I could spend more time with my daughter. And I don’t have as much stress, since I make more money now. I’m able to have a livable income, and I’m very happy with my job.I guess when you get into this (going back to school), you don’t know all the good things that could happen. Everything just kind of worked out. But I had to have help, and the Kentucky Career Center really helped me.”

Robert Kearn went back to school and earned his associate’s degree in Respiratory Care. The Native American Employment and Training Program at the Kentucky Career Center, located at the Nia Center, provided the job-training funding for his education. Robert is now a respiratory therapist at a local hospital.

Jemiah Clay

Click here to watch a video interview.
Click here to read the interview transcript.

"So many good things have come to me behind this Construction Pipeline Program. Financially, I am great. Family-wise, it’s given me so much more confidence. I have five daughters, and I set the standard of what a man is. It feels so good to be able to do for my family. My wife, she’s more confident in me. I mean, my kids are more confident in me. When they go to school and say my daddy’s an ironworker or my daddy helped build the arena, I can see the glow in their face. All the way around, it’s helped tremendously. I owe everything to the Construction Pipeline Program, I mean absolutely everything! I can walk with my head up, my chest out because I’m really working."

Jemiah Clay went through the KentuckianaWorks Construction Pipeline training, which is now closed. Jemiah is in an ironworker's apprenticeship. Find construction skills training through the Bridges to Opportunities Workforce Training Program.

Jessica Drake

Click here to watch a video interview.
Click here to read the interview transcript.

"The (KentuckianaWorks Construction Pipeline) Program helped me to prepare for exactly what’s going on in the field and to know that it’s hard work, but it’s rewarding and it pays off in the end. I’m a single parent of two children. And eventually they’re going to college. I’ve been in a lot of dead-end jobs. I wanted to have a career. I wanted something with stability and longevity."

Jessica Drake was working as a first-year carpenter's apprentice in 2011. She went through the KentuckianaWorks Construction Pipeline training, which is now closed. Jessica's dream job is to own her own remodeling business. Constructions skills training is available through the Bridges to Opportunities Workforce Training Program.


Dr. Mark Wourms

"At Bernheim, summer work is a combination of seasonal employment and internship. Our interns are always engaged in educational activities so they get an understanding of the business as a whole. Seasonal employment is about getting out there and getting dirty and doing things that need to happen. By combining those two areas, we not only give these young people a chance to earn money but we convey a good work ethic and basic job skills, plus broadening their perspectives by exposing them to different areas of our business. We've had a great group of young people – they've worked hard, have done what we wanted and have been respectful. I think it's been a very, very good program."

Dr. Mark Wourms, Executive Director, Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Ten summer jobs participants were involved in all aspects of Bernheim's extensive operation.

Maxine Jeffries

"Having summer jobs participants working at City Hall has helped us catch up on many of the 'someday' jobs – those things you mean to get to someday but never have time to. This has been an excellent program for us."

Maxine Jeffries, City Clerk, Shepherdsville
Five participants did filing, general office work and landscaping for city government.

Darleen Horton


"It's been a life changing experience for these young people. I would hire any of them to work for me."

Darleen Horton, Chenoweth Elementary, science lab teacher
Summer job participants helped her maintain the school's outdoor classroom.


Mindy Smith

"Our summer job participants worked really well with everyone. They learned networking skills, how to introduce themselves and job interviewing skills. They've exceeded everyone's expectations. It's been great for us, and I would definitely call it a success."

Mindy Smith, Girl Scouts, where three 16-year-olds helped in the office and with camp

Dale Douthat

"This is a great program. It's nice for young people to get experience and letters of recommendation from an employer."

Dale Douthat, Habitat Restore, where 19 summer job participants worked in all aspects of the store's operation

Ryan Deal

"The kids are getting a chance to see what work is like and see that IT (information technology) is fun. It's helped students because they get to see the professional environment and learn how to act in a work environment."

Ryan Deal, technology teacher, Jefferson County Public Schools

Finish Your Education

Alan Jimenez

Click here to watch a video interview.
Click here to read the interview transcript.

"I would definitely recommend KentuckianaWorks College Access Center. They can help you if you're lost and don't have any idea how to start college. They can help with filling out forms and finding financial aid. They're the best option for help to go back to college."

Alan Jimenez graduated from the  University of Louisville's Speed School of Engineering. The KentuckianaWorks College Access Center provides free educational, financial aid and career counseling to help people enroll in college.

Dearl D. Hampton

Click here to read an interview transcript.

"KCAC has been a part of my support network for the past six years. The staff there is just wonderful - from the administrative assistant at the front desk all the way back to the counselors. They encouraged me the whole way through school, they really did."

Dearl Hampton is working on his Master's Degree in Social Work at Spalding University. The KentuckianaWorks College Access Center staff has helped him with career selection, scholarship searches, and encouragement throughout his college years.

Myra Woodard

Click here to read an interview transcript.

"I think it’s very important that we find people who believe in us even when we don’t believe in ourselves. And, I think that was the one thing that helped me because people at KCAC believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself."

Myra Woodard received a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work, with Honors, from Spalding University. She currently works as a case manager, helping homeless women, and is enrolling in the Master's Degree program at Spalding.

Michael Dee Hiser

Click here to read an interview transcript.

"My KCAC counselor helped me stay on track, constantly. He would see me in the halls and say, "Hey, how are you doing? How are your classes?" He'd hold me accountable. So I stayed at 4.0, on the Dean's List, and got a President's Scholarship."

Michael Dee Hiser came to KCAC in 2006 for assistance with finding a way to finance his education. He earned an Associate Degree at Jefferson Community and Technical College, a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Campbellsville University, and is now working on his Master's Degree in Counseling.

Jessie Brown

"There were many things to overcome. The main thing I was able to overcome was fear – fear of not bettering myself, fear of failing, fear of what's ahead. But as long as you stay on your path, you're sure for success."

Jessie Brown, who earned her GED through the Kentucky Youth Career Center and plans to become a certified nurse aide and then an RN.

Michael Murphy

"This program is good because of all the help and support you get. The people are really helpful. They prepared me for the GED and helped me get a grant for college. They are willing to sit down with you and teach you."

Michael Murphy, a GED graduate of the Kentucky Youth Career Center who plans to enroll in college.

Brittany Weird

"I wanted to make sure there would be no reason for my daughter wanting to ever drop out because that is not an option. I can tell her, 'I did go back. I did finish.'"

Brittany Weird, a recent GED graduate at the Kentucky Youth Career Center and mother of a young daughter.

Kyle Kobrock

"It was wonderful for me to get my GED through the JAG program. They will sit down and work with you on any subject – math, English, science, whatever. I highly recommend going through the JAG program."

Kyle Kobrock, who earned his GED through the Kentucky Youth Career Center.

Tori Martin

"Getting my GED is one of the best things I've ever done in my life. Right after I got my GED, I started (certified nurse aide) classes. The next step is starting nursing classes."

Tori Martin, a GED graduate of the Kentucky Youth Career Center and mother of two who plans to become an RN.

Spencer Sumner

"Obviously, having the GED is a lot better credential for pursuing something beyond high school. The classes helped give me basic knowledge for stuff I would use out in the real world and in employment. I'd like to enroll in college and pursue something in law enforcement."

Spencer Sumner, a GED graduate of the Kentucky Youth Career Center.

Victoria Carroll

"Now I can get stuff that I need – like a real career, real college, real degree. My GED is a stepping stone to a whole new life. I can now get into college. I can now pursue any career that I see fit."

Victoria Carroll, who earned her GED through the Kentucky Youth Career Center.

Eric Medley

Click here to read an interview transcript.

"The burdens of student loans are not as large because of KCAC's help. They helped me secure my money to go to school."

Eric Medley graduated from the University of Louisville with a Bachelor of Arts in Finance. He was accepted into the Master of Business Arts in Entrepreneurship program at Spalding University.

Tracy Darden

Click here to read an interview transcript.

"I don't know what I would be doing if I hadn't heard about KCAC. But, I thank them for their service because they have helped so many people. Now my 26-year-old daughter is going there for assistance."

Tracy Darden earned an Associate Degree at Jefferson Community and Technical College, and Bachelor of Arts Degree at Lindsey Wilson College. She's now working on a Master's Degree in professional counseling with a minor in Social Work. She would like to operate a group home for troubled teenage girls coming out of the foster care system

Charles Turner Jr.

Click here to watch a video interview.
Click here to read the interview transcript.

"KCAC most certainly gave me a jump start to my college career. The adviser at KCAC was very encouraging. Her words were very supportive, and I think that just hearing that from somebody who didn’t know me stayed with me throughout my course of studies."

Charles Turner Jr., who is pursuing his Ph.D. The KentuckianaWorks College Access Center has helped him with financial aid forms and other assistance for attending college throughout his college career.

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