Centralina News

Centralina WDB NextGen Youth in Anson County Overcomes Setbacks and Lands Job

Sep 03, 2019

Lajohnny Leak enrolled in Centralina WDB NextGen services in 2016 at the age of 20 seeking a change in his life. Lajohnny was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at an early age. Lajohnny had no work experience due to his medical condition. The Centralina WDB NextGen Career Development Specialist, Detreian Melton, evaluated his needs, delivered career counseling, and provided guidance to assist in determining the next steps.

Lajohnny expressed a great desire to become employed. NextGen Specialist Detreian Melton placed Lajohnny in a work experience in August of 2016 at the NCWorks Career Center-Anson. Due to the lack of soft skills Lajohnny was terminated within 3 months. Detreian Melton continued to provide coaching and counseling to expand on Lajohnny’s soft skills. Lajohnny and Detreian discussed the barrier and personal challenge of basic skills deficiency. Lajohnny enrolled in the academic enrichment program with South Piedmont Community College in June of 2017 and after one-week tutoring, he was able to pass the TABE test. Lajohnny was placed at Union County Community Action for a work experience as the receptionist. He worked there for several months and continued to attend the monthly leadership sessions with NextGen Specialist Detreian Melton. Lajohnny received his last WIOA service in December of 2017.

During Lajohnny’s follow-up visit with Detreian Melton in September of 2018, he was referred to Vocational Rehabilitation for services. He started receiving services in October of 2018. Vocational Rehabilitation contracted services with Lifespan. Lifespan met with Lajohnny at the NCWorks Career Center in Wadesboro and collaborated with the center to help find employment for Lajohnny. Lajohnny and his Lifespan coach attended the Anson County NextGen youth job fair in June of 2019 and Lajohnny was offered a position as a cashier at McDonald’s. McDonald’s was pleased with Lajohnny’s soft skills during the onsite interview. He was hired and McDonald’s agreed to accommodate Lajohnny’s physical condition by providing him with a stool to sit on to take orders.

Monica Gramling, NCWorks Career Center-Anson Leader/Interim NextGen Services Leader, says LaJohnny's story is a prime example of a quote by author Debasish Mridha,"Persistence, perseverance, and continuous improvement are the ingredients for forming a successful person."

To find out more about NCWorks Career Centers and NextGen services in the Centralina WDB region, visit www.centralinaworks.com.

Tags: Career Seekers Success Stories Business & Professional Services Career Employment Job Placement Unemployed

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