Greenville Region Workforce Collaborative Advances Career Development

LaChrisha Miller was tired of working dead-end jobs. Despite high aspirations, she found herself settling time and time again for low-paying positions with limited potential for advancement. As a single mother of three, she struggled to make ends meet with hourly wages and felt trapped. Eager to find a career and not just a job, LaChrisha turned to Greenville Region Workforce Collaborative (GRWC) to improve her skills and position herself for better opportunities.

GRWC is a partnership of local, state, federal, public and private funding sources working to bring employers and job seekers together and provide the community with sector-based workforce development. By improving the overall quality of the workforce pool, the organization promotes economic development in terms of income, quality of life and a sustainable economy. To build and maintain a qualified workforce, they promote an integrated learning approach that develops higher skilled workers and results in growth of per-capita income.

Through GRWC’s Career Skills Now program, LaChrisha received the training she needed to develop skills for career achievement rather than simple employment. The program works with employers and job seekers to recruit, train and place unemployed and underemployed individuals within the manufacturing sector. The training prepared LaChrisha to earn certifications from the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council in safety, and quality practices and measurement, and she is now employed as a quality technician at Syncreon.

Not only did LaChrisha gain the skills and certifications she needed to position herself for higher-level career options, she also found immediate positive employment outcomes. She boasts that she already had a foot in the door just from being associated with the program.

“It helped me tremendously to solidify myself as a manufacturing professional in the Upstate,” LaChrisha said. “My reputation preceded itself and I received great recommendations that helped me land my current position. Now I have a job I love at a great company and a career I can actually advance in.”

During her time in the program, Career Skills Now was able to help LaChrisha with more than just job training. After being laid off from her current job, she was evicted from her home with her family. She reached out to her case manager from the program who directed LaChrisha to community resources that helped her obtain housing and fix her credit. “They didn’t judge me and were so open to helping me in any way they could. I really appreciate all of the resources they referred me to during the program.”

LaChrisha’s current salary supplies her with enough to provide stable housing and transportation for her family. “One of my goals was to be able to provide for my children and myself without having to struggle or rely on others for help,” she said. “With this particular position, I’m now on my way to do that. The potential for advancement here is outstanding and I’m looking forward to growing within the company.”
Although she’s graduated from the program, LaChrisha’s not done learning. She is continuing to pursue advanced training opportunities and certifications to prepare herself for increasingly sustainable, higher-paying employment.

“The more you continue to learn and build relationships, the better you position yourself for a sustainable and successful career,” she said. “Career Skills Now’s training offers people more marketable skills and connects them to great networks. Their programs are helpful for anyone looking to better themselves in the workforce. They work hard in order to see you succeed.”

For more information about Career Skills Now, please visit www.careerskillsnow.com.

Debbie Nelson

Debbie Nelson is the president and founder of DNA Creative Communications, a woman-owned public relations and inspirational marketing firm for nonprofit organizations. Under Debbie’s leadership, in 2010 DNA founded Shine the Light Nonprofit Forums, an annual training program for Greenville nonprofits in partnership with the Community Foundation of Greenville County, the United Way of Greenville County and the Hollingsworth Funds. To support other nonprofits across the state, she also manages education programs for the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organization. As an a advocate for the nonprofit community, each month Debbie shares nonprofit stories in her Shine the Light columns in the Greenville Business Magazine and the Columbia Business Monthly. In addition she teaches nonprofit marketing at Clemson University to inspire and develop future nonprofit leaders. Debbie is a graduate of Leadership Greenville, Leadership South Carolina and the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leadership Initiative. She currently serves on the boards of the Greenville Area Development Corporation, the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, the United Way of Greenville County and the United Way Association of South Carolina.

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