It's a program of second chances. Transportation Connections WorkAdvance is the pathway to getting trained in transportation, manufacturing or the aerospace industry.Last October, the first class of graduates hit the field they were trained in. Melissa Sweet was one of the 48 students that graduated from the program just seven months ago and got a job at McElroy Manufacturing."I would have never thought that six or seven months ago I would be working at a company like this," Sweet said.Sweet was a server at a local restaurant and says because of a felony conviction she couldn't find a high paying job. Then one of her friends told her to apply with the program, which has only one big requirement."There are no education requirements. They do not need to let the lack of a high school diploma or the lack of a GED be a barrier we are looking for individuals who are motivated," Program Director Christopher Bernhardt said.Thirty companies make up the field for these trained graduates to go into and they are all local companies. There are scholarships they can get from three local programs."They are getting the talented workers they need. Folks are getting the talented skills that they need and we are really just being that linkage between the community and the business community," Bernhardt said.The third class of students will be starting soon. Bernhardt said they focus on people that are either under-employed or un-employed and more than two thirds of their graduates are placed with a company or go back to school."Get in there, get interviewed, get screened, if you have a dead end job or a low income job or no job at all, I would advise definitely go in there. They will help you every step of the way," Sweet said.The second class will graduate June 18, 6 p.m. at City Hall on the 10th floor. There will be 70 graduates that will be placed in their field in the coming months.For the next class they still have 30 spots available. You can call 918-442-2200 for more information.
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