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Illinois workNet Center of Northern Cook County

Meet Neal

Workforce Challenge

Over the years, Neal worked in various occupations and industries, from biologist to computer/network system analyst. His stable work history came to an end in September 2009, when he was laid off from his job as a computer/network system administrator. After an unsuccessful job search, he heard about the Illinois workNet Center of Northern Cook County via IDES. Neal was excited to hear about the many job seeker services and was eager to receive any help that was available.

Workforce Solution

The Harper Career Stimulus program was particularly beneficial as it allowed Neal the opportunity to interact with other job seekers.

“It was a wonderful program as it allowed me to network with some individuals, but most importantly it helped me understand that I was not alone that there were others in my situation,” said Neal.

Neal also took advantage of WIA training services. although he had a strong computers/networking background, he felt that he would need a skills upgrade to find employment. With the help of his career advisor, he was able to look at different options and decided on a CCNA/CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Associate/Professional) program.

Outcomes & Benefits

In January 2011, Neal passed the CCNA exam. After a few months of intensive job searching and networking, he eventually interviewed with a contract firm. He was offered a contract-to-hire position after the initial interview. Neal has now been happily employed for the past few months with a cable company in the area. The WIA services he received gave him opportunities for re-employment that he would not have had on his own. Congratulations, Neal!

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