Fort Wayne Black Chamber of Commerce - Testimonal

Last February, I had to leave my job at Frontier Communications to take care of my sick mother; she was very ill and required a ton of time to get back on her feet.  A year later my mother regained her strength and was able to move about her home safely without a visiting nurse or myself making sure she was safe.  Even though my Mother’s strength was able to return, I was not able to return to the job I previously held at Frontier.  I had officially been out of work for a little more than a year and getting back into the work force was proving to be a little more difficult than anticipated. I had applied within Temp Services around town, volunteered my time with the Fort Wayne Township for Bill Assistance on numerous occasions and even followed up leads on their wall of opportunity to no avail.  I was essentially running low on hope and spending more time on Facebook than I was looking for work, with bills piling up and a new baby on the way this obviously was not a recipe for success. 

Ironically, it was on Facebook and a post from Linda Golden that caught my attention "If you are looking for work and serious about a career contact me".  With one eyebrow raised and not nearly enough info to go on I bit the bullet and contacted Mrs. Golden via FB, which led to a phone call.  Upon speaking to Linda she reiterated that if I was not serious about working and my future to NOT come out to The Fort Wayne Black Chamber of Commerce and pursue an extremely rare opportunity.  Well, considering I was broke to the 3rd degree, I was very serious about my future and indeed in desperate need of change. Therefore, I attended a meeting with the FWBCC with a few other brothers and sisters from the community (not nearly enough in my opinion) and we met with local Union members and carpenters and they spoke of an apprenticeship program offering schooling and work at no cost to anyone meeting the criteria which was basically having a Drivers License, record of HS diploma or GED and a Birth Certificate. 

Now I was thinking that this was all too good to be true, no job does this and ask for nothing in return, so I attended another meeting and obtained the address to the Carpentry School located in Warsaw and drove there for a meet and greet with the Director as well as some of the instructors.  I became very excited after the tour of the facility and began envisioning the possibility of my life as a carpenter, I had zero experience in such a field and it did not matter they promised to teach me as much as I could learn and pay me for it, it was a scholarship into a new life with skills that could not be taken away from me and all I had to do was want it. 

I was hooked and when I told the Director I was a Navy Veteran, I got an interview on the spot, which was before the actual calendar date for interview selection.  I was thrilled and motivated, but I was not going to put all my eggs in one basket, I had received an additional email from the FWBCC because apparently the Carpenters weren't the only ones offering an Apprenticeship Program. The Local laborers from Hall 213 were accepting applications as well and their school was starting sooner and they were putting people to work faster at a higher wage. 

For the first time in log time I had a choice, do I wait for my interview with the Carpenters or do I accelerate my future and enroll with the Laborers?  To make a long story short I did the responsible thing I called the Carpenters and cancelled my interview and went to Laborers school for two weeks and I have been working ever since, great work with great pay and even better benefits. I have the Fort Wayne Black Chamber of Commerce to thank for this opportunity, I have learned skills that I could only dream of learning at no cost to me other than union dues, a small price to pay for real job skills promoting a real future for myself and family.  Thank you FWBCC I would not be in this position for success if not for you.  God Bless.

-Cortney White