Eric Galyon has been a participant in the Wayne WIA Youth Program since August 2011. Upon entry to the program, Eric was dealing with a number of barriers that affected his ability to obtain employment. Not only did he lack credentials but he also struggled with soft skills. With the services offered by the Wayne Michigan Works Youth Program, Eric was able to overcome these adversities and succeed at meeting his goals.
Much like many other youth served by the WIA Youth Program, Eric had dropped out of high school and had no credentials. Admittedly, he was also lacking a vision for his future. Realizing these deficiencies, Eric took the first step in securing a successful future. He participated in individualized GED preparation provided to him by Michigan Works. His hard work and dedication paid off when he passed the GED exams in September 2012.
Along with his lack of credentials, Eric also possessed several other issues that were negatively affecting his employment prospects. A lack of self esteem, little in the way of employability skills knowledge, and poor communication skills hindered his efforts in securing employment opportunities. Eric decided that it was time to make a major change in his life. He began participating in one–on–one coaching and began practicing techniques he learned in various employability workshops offered through the program. Eventually, Eric was able to overcome many of the obstacles that were impeding his ability to succeed. As Eric learned more about himself and his abilities, he began to develop a greater appreciation for his strengths and a more positive self- image. Ultimately, with the help of staff, Eric began setting solid employment and career goals.Through intensive career counseling, the Youth Program helped Eric discover a passion for the Information Technology (IT) field. Staff helped Eric obtain a Paid Work Experience (PWE) through a partner organization, the Senior Alliance. They provided Eric the opportunity to work directly with their IT Manager to learn various aspects of network management and maintenance. This training provided him the critical hands-on experience needed to become employable in this field. During his PWE at the Senior Alliance, Eric excelled at all his job duties and tasks. His supervisor, Alex Plona, stated that “Eric has shown the enthusiasm and determination to learn the skills that he has gained, and will continue to gain going forward.” Eric’s performance exceeded expectations so much so that he was offered a temporary position to assist with a server migration and staff trainings after completion of his PWE.
Will began the 14 week program and quickly realized the intensity of the requirements. There were several classes, many with hands-on experience. The participants were also required to maintain a positive attitude and good attendance. As the program progressed, Will became more excited and eager to attend class, and his self-confidence increased.
Eric is presently continuing his work at Senior Alliance and will be there through March 2013. In addition to this temporary position, Senior Alliance is providing offsite training to help him gain additional knowledge and further prepare him for a career in the IT field. Eric states “The Michigan Works Youth Program handed me a successful career.” He continues on by saying “I’m only 20 years old and I have already received some training. I’m writing manuals, guides, and training staff on the software programs. I really love what I’m doing.” Not only has his PWE helped him to develop his skills and knowledge, but it also opened other doors for professional development. He is really excited about his future and will be focusing on additional certifications and college degrees in the IT Industry.