How We’ve Helped

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The Workforce Connection Success Stories

How We’ve Helped–Success Stories from The Workforce Connection

Success Stories from Employers

Swedish American Hospital

SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health, received funding from The Workforce Connection to help cover the cost of training more than 1200 staff members on its new electronic health record (EHR) system. “SwedishAmerican is thankful to The Workforce Connection Board for affording us the opportunity to further train, develop and grow our Associates,” said SwedishAmerican Vice President of Human Resources Jerry Guinane. “The ultimate goal of the training is to prevent delays in communication and help our associates be more efficient in the new EHR…”


Magna, one of the FCA suppliers located in Belvidere, has an ongoing need for forklift operators. For four months, the business team worked with Cardinal Staffing, Magna’s staffing agency to identify nearly 100 potential employees and enroll them in one-day classroom and hands-on training, resulting in the forklift certification needed for employment. Nearly all of those workers who completed training were hired by the company. 100% of the cost of the training was covered.

Ceroni Piping and Construction Management

Ceroni Piping and Construction Management, located in Cherry Valley, provides process power piping, plumbing and fabrication for food manufacturers, utility companies, automotive industry, defense contractors and other industrial and commercial customers. Ceroni has offered apprentices from the Plumbers and Pipefitters training program opportunities to gain work experience, using On-The-Job training dollars. Ceroni said, “By being able to participate in this program, we are able to pass down savings to our contractors.”

Leading Edge Hydraulics

Leading Edge Hydraulics has had several new employees participating in on-the-job training through this year. “Working with the staff is amazing and the partial reimbursement helps us put money back into the company. We find that the new employee has a loyalty to the company and we get a better product because we are investing in the worker. We encourage other companies to give OJT a try.”

Success Stories from Job Seekers

Tamarius Brewer

Tamarius Brewer began attending Career Readiness classes through The Workforce Connection Elevate program to gain employability skills and to receive career guidance. He was also enrolled in our Math class to raise his test scores. Tamarius was able to obtain his GED certificate and continue his education by enrolling in the TechWorks manufacturing training program offered by Rock Valley College, with financial assistance from Elevate.

Tamarius enrolled in our on-the-job-training program and is now employed in manufacturing. He has always received excellent reviews both from the programs that he has been enrolled in and from his employers.


“When I was in school I didn’t attend much. I dropped out at 18 and enrolled in the Elevate program. When I was in the career readiness class I learned so much about school, careers, life skills and most of all about myself. The instructors motivated me to pursue what I only dreamt was possible. I wanted to go to college to be a psychologist but didn’t know how to get there. The program instructors showed me the steps and told me I could do it. I sat with my career planner and made my plan. I started testing and within two weeks I finished all the tests and graduated. I got a job at The Workforce Connection and now I’m moving back to my hometown to pursue my education and career plans. I can’t thank the program enough!”

Success Story

I have been coming to The Workforce Connection for a long time and with their help and the grace of God, I overcame many obstacles. Being unemployed is challenging, but unlike so many others, I didn’t give up. Thanks to The Workforce Connection, I’m back to work, not only with a job, but a career.


Ephraim started coming to the Workforce Connection in 2017. He was anxious to learn new skills and obtain a life sustaining job. Guided by his Career Planner, Paul, he worked hard every day in the Career Center. He studied for his Work Keys test, worked hard to improve his computer skills and attended the Employment Transitions program with Karyn. He enrolled in CNC TechWorks and is proud to display his NIMS Certificate in Measurement, Materials and Safety. Next step: working with the business services team to help find him a job. Ephraim embraced the programs and resources offered at TWC and not only built his self-esteem, but valuable skills.

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