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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Northwest Workforce Council

Following Seas

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Workforce Challenge

Thomas Cook has “a lifetime of experience at sea.” Always drawn to the water, he was able to satisfy his attraction by joining the US Navy. After the Navy, employment at sea without additional credentials was difficult.

Thomas came to WorkSource Whidbey seeking assistance to overcome barriers preventing him from entering employment in the maritime field. He had the experience, but needed additional certification to meet the US Coast Guard requirements for licensing as an Able Seaman.

Workforce Solution

Thomas was eligible for WIA funds as a Dislocated Worker. Under the guidance of his WIA coordinator, Thomas conducted research discovering he could obtain the necessary training to become an Able Seaman (journeyman) through an eligible training provider in nearby Everett, WA. The Northwest Workforce Council provided WIA funding for the course and in February of 2010, Thomas successfully completed his training. In addition, he also received required lifeboat training (PSC-Proficiency in Survival Craft). The combination of these two new occupational credentials assisted Thomas in regaining employment.

Outcomes & Benefits

In a letter to WorkSource Whidbey, Thomas shared, "I am very appreciative of the assistance the Council provided me. The training I received, combined with my prior qualifications and experience, enabled me to be hired through the Sailor's Union of the Pacific. I am writing this while onboard USNS Waters, a military research and development vessel supporting the U.S. Navy. Thanks to you, I am no longer stuck in the insidious loop of unemployment and dim prospects for gainful employment. Wishing you all fair winds and following seas!"

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