This is actually my son’s story but since he’s probably not going to tell it and it’s been about as much mine as his I’m going to.
Last fall after having been caught in both the construction and the banking downturn (they do go together, you know; most people who were having something constructed weren’t using their own money, you know) so not having worked for a year (but at least having made well enough and without a golddigger at his side this time he saved enough he’d been living off it for that time but, alas, all good things must come to an end) he finally decided to saunter back to the local employment office (the nowly name One-Stop Career Center) to casually check out the job postings; (since he’d been so comfortably living off his cushion, even though he’d not had any new projects, he’d also been cushioned from what had really been happening with the rest of the economy, so he just thought there’d be no problem, hadn’t been befor) however, this time (what?!) there were none. Oh no, now what was he going to do? Well, unknown to him, because of all this economic downturn the fine folks at the gov’t job center (not quite sarcastic) had realized this and that therefore most people were going to need some training in order to get the jobs there were, so they were more aggressively sending people to talk to the WIA intake/resource specialists that were stationed there. Thus begins our journey into WIA world.
Since he does not have a college degree, the first step for him was that they sent him to an off-site Adult Learning Center in order to take the Test of Adult Basic Education, which I believe you have to master at a 9th grade level, which is a good thing because not only does he not have a college degreee, he was one of those (I know) who dropped out of high school (yes, in this day and age – well, not quite, it was 14 yrs. ago – remember the boom we had since then); he did get his GED but it did not require Algebra then and math was never his strong point. They give you a pre-test and he did not pass it because of the Algebra. Fortunately, they offer tutoring classes as a group; however, only on certain days and times, which you would think shouldn’t be a problem if you’re not working but you would be surprised how many things will conspire to keep you from trying to better yourself.
Also, during this time the WIA specialist at the One-stop had had him to go ahead to the local training provider and take his placement test, apply for enrollment and also for his Pell Grant (technically he could have done that online except he didn’t even know that; not sure if she told him, she probably assumed he knew it ). What she didn’t tell him was to not go ahead and register. He was supposed to be given an advisor and academic plan; what happened was that he was given an appointment to register, which really was actually supposed to be the same thing, except nobody communicated so when he went to register, that’s what he did. Except that when he got to registration they told him the program he was trying to get into he couldn’t, at least not that semester, which was summer; that’s not surprising normally. However, in this case the WIA specialist had told him the program was supposed to start in the summer, which is why she had sent him on to the training provider to get enrolled in it even before she had all her documentation. In this case it was supposed to start in the summer; however, the provider was in the process of moving the program to a new facility and getting new equipment because of a new add-on to the program they were going to be having that their instructor was going to have to trained for, so the program was pushed back until fall. However, they told him he had to take some classes anyway in order to get into the program so it had turned out to be a good thing because now he had time to take those so that’s what they registered him for. Except when he then took the schedule for those classes back to the WIA specialist she told him they couldn’t pay for those because they were prequisites; except it turned out they weren’t – you didn’t have to actually take them first but because he was they wouldn’t pay for them – except actually it turned out the problem was he wasn’t actually in WIA yet because he didn’t have all his documentation in and he wasn’t supposed to actually register yet.