WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Workforce Network Board recently recognized seven nominees for outstanding achievements in the local workforce.
The nominees were chosen based on four categories: business leadership, individual achievement, innovative solutions and individual leadership.
The nominees were Symbol Training Institute for business leadership, Brian Anderlik and Teresa Bozek for individual achievement, McHenry County Reentry Workshop and McHenry County College for innovative solutions, and Barbara Ladner and Lynette Volant for individual leadership, according to a news release.
Symbol Tool had been a tool and die shop for 30 years when it found there was a lack of skilled labor and available adult vocational training. In 2006 Symbol Training launched a formal manufacturing training program.
Symbol trains individuals who are looking to start careers in the manufacturing industry and helps them with job placement services to fill job openings at local manufacturing companies.
Anderlik came to the McHenry County Workforce Center after he had to close his carpentry business because of the economy. Recognizing there were few employment opportunities in carpentry work, he decided to make a career change to the health-care field as a licensed practical nurse. He completed his training and earned his license in January 2013. Shortly after receiving his license, he was hired by Fair Oaks Nursing Home.
Bozek came to the McHenry County Workforce Network in April 2011 with a plan for a career transition into health care. Combining Pell grants, WIA funds, her part-time earnings and careful budgeting, she completed her degree program in May 2013. After graduation, Bozek landed a position as a cardiac technician. She recently passed the first of two board exams to secure an American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography credential.
McHenry County Reentry Workshop is a joint initiative of McHenry County Workforce Network, McHenry County Specialty (Drug & Mental Health) Courts, and the Stateline SHRM Chapter of the Society of Human Resources Management. The goal of the program is to help make local business professionals aware that individuals suffering from a mental health disorder – even if they have been convicted of a crime – can still be successful and productive workers. They are hopeful the Reentry Workshop will help prepare Specialty Court participants for reentry into McHenry County employment.
In 2009, McHenry County College received a USDOL Grant for Flexible and Sustainable Training (F.A.S.T.). McHenry County College’s F.A.S.T. Initiative project addresses employer-identified occupational training needs within McHenry County including Basic Manufacturing and Computer Numerical Controlled Machining (CNC). The target population for the F.A.S.T. Initiative Project includes under and unemployed residents, the county’s growing immigrant population, GED students and recent high school graduates. These F.A.S.T. courses have become part of the regular MCC curriculum.
Ladner has served as a leader in the ongoing local workforce system for more than 10 years. Most recently, she chaired the McHenry County, DuPage County and River Valley Workforce Boards, while serving as a member of the Lake and Will County Workforce Boards. Ladner demonstrated a commitment to the workforce development system by taking a strong leadership role with stakeholders to advance workforce services, not only in the local area but in the Chicago area before retiring in late 2013.
Volant enrolled in the Youth Program in the summer of 2009. While in the program, she obtained her GED, increased her basic literacy and numeracy skills, attended weekly work-readiness classes, and attended the career exploration group events. Volant became a Youth Program Assistant in February 2013 at the McHenry County Workforce Network Youth Center. Because of her leadership skills, she was asked to develop teambuilding activities and facilitated the exercises during the organization’s June events.
The McHenry County Workforce Network Board oversees the McHenry County Workforce Network, which offers programs and services for employers and job seekers seeking assistance.
For information about the McHenry County Investment Board, visit www.mchenrycountyworkforce.com.