On December 9, 2022, Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services, Inc. (CMJTS) held a legislative breakfast at River City Extreme in Monticello. Legislators were given the opportunity to hear success stories from individuals who have or are still participating in a CMJTS program. Four programs were highlighted including business services, youth, public assistance, and WIOA adult.
Rick Buyens, the owner of Distinctive Door Design, Inc. located in Princeton, Minnesota, talked about employee retention and work culture. The company was in the process of doubling its orders, but employees were exiting. They started with an employee survey which told them change was needed. Buyers worked with CMJTS business service coordinator, Rebecca Perrotti, to source training that would help mitigate this issue. Leadership training for management was selected, and the CMJTS Incumbent Worker Training Program was able to help reimburse a portion of the training cost. Staff were rewarded with a bonus as well as a pay increase after completing the training. Once completed, all employees were asked to complete a post-training survey. The culture improved, turnover was much lower, and the management team was more cohesive. Since the training, Distinctive Door Design has doubled its revenue and the number of employees.
Jenny Johnson, a single mom, came to CMJTS having no luck completing job applications or finding a job. CMJTS adult employment specialist, Emily Lentner, assisted with Johnson’s résumé and job search. With the help of some skills assessments, Johnson discovered what she had been interested in may not provide the best job security for her and her daughter. Johnson is now in the process of earning her teaching certificate. “This will make a huge difference in my life. It will provide security of employment for me and my daughter and will be very positive for her to see me progressing,” said Johnson. WIOA Adult Program funds assisted Johnson with the cost of her education, as well as guidance to set a path for success.
Kaleb Kuppa is a 19-year-old student attending Ridgewater College. While visiting Ridgewater College as a Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) high school student, Kuppa learned about the youth program at CMJTS. Youth employment specialist, Delina Woltjer, met with Kuppa who is currently pursuing a career as an LPN. Not only did CMJTS assist with tuition, but also with scrubs and transportation costs. Woltjer also assisted Kuppa in learning how to prioritize time to keep up with school assignments and also be involved in a variety of student activities.
Bridget Denery came to CMJTS through the MFIP program in Pine County as a single mom of three. After struggling through some tragic life events over ten years, Denery finally felt comfortable looking at her future career goals. Public assistance employment specialist, Joey Johnson, provided resources for Denery to examine career pathways. CMJTS was able to provide the cost of Denery’s education to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). In addition, Denery had to overcome obstacles with her vehicle and household essentials, and CMJTS was able to assist with that as well. “It was a lot of hard work and I am very grateful for the program and constant reassurance from Joey Johnson,” said Denery.