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Pennsylvania

Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, Inc


Meet Zekay

Workforce Challenge

Zekay, a 19 year old Allentown resident, had been unemployed for almost two years when he heard about the Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, Inc (LVWIB) CareerFORCE program through Dieruff High School. Zekay graduated high school in 2011, but did not attend college. When he entered the CareerFORCE program, operated by Henkels & McCoy Training Services, he was desperate to find a job to help support his family. Zekay was excited about joining the CareerFORCE program because he wanted to gain work experience and show an employer how enthusiastic and dedicated he was to gain full time employment.

Workforce Solution

Zekay worked through the Occupational Information Network Interest Profiler and confirmed his interest in working with his hands, tools and machinery. During the CareerFORCE program, Zekay was able to hone in on his interests and how they applied to several career paths. Zekay developed work-readiness skills, earned the National Retail Federation Customer Service Certification, and created a resume and cover letter.

Combining Zekay’s interests, academic abilities, work-site preferences and his passion for learning, Zekay was placed at ABEC, Inc. in August 2012 for his work experience. ABEC, Inc. is a company focused on design, engineering and manufacturing of high quality production equipment for pilot and commercial scale biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Gary Bender, ABEC’s CFO, who is a board member of the Lehigh Valley Business Education Partnership, decided that working with the Lehigh Valley’s youth population was an important part of being a member of the community.

Outcomes & Benefits

During his work experience, Zekay instantly became part of the ABEC, Inc. team and was viewed as a team player. He focused on his duties, was an enthusiastic learner, and demonstrated his ability to be able to manage his new responsibilities. In September 2012, Zekay was hired as a full-time material handling assistant making $10.00 per hour, with a full benefits package and a 401K that would start one month after his first day of full time employment.

Zekay is grateful for the opportunity that CareerFORCE provided him with ABEC. Not only did Zekay grow professionally, his self-confidence and self-esteem improved with his success at ABEC. He continues to live at home with his mother, father and three sisters as he advances his career and helps to support his family. When asked about his goals, Zekay commented that he loves his job and the company, and that he would like to continue to learn and grow into positions with greater responsibility within ABEC, Inc.


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