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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
High Country Workforce Development Board


Meet Aren

Customer Photo

Workforce Challenge

Aren joined the WIA Youth Program at 15. The oldest of six children in a single-parent family, Aren took on the responsibility of caring for his siblings. While in high school Aren was taking courses at Mayland Community College and working part-time at McDonald's to support the family. Then his girlfriend gave birth to a very premature baby. All Aren had known was a life of government assistance and he wanted something more.

Workforce Solution

With his involvement with the WIA Youth Program, Aren participated in leadership activities and the work experience component of the program - which led to a part-time job with TRC Computers during the school year and full-time work in the summer. More importantly, it set him on his career path to get his associates degree in computer programming.

Aren graduated high school, continued working full-time, and taking classes at night to work toward his computer programming degree. Aren also worked hard with the Mitchell County JobLink staff to perfect his job search and interview skills, which prepared him for the three-hour interview process with his current employer.

Outcomes & Benefits

Aren completed his coursework and graduated with a computer programming degree from Mayland Community College. He also was offered his dream job: a position as the network administrator at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital. Aren still works there today. In addition, Aren was a recipient of the 2007 Governor's Award for Excellence in Workforce Development. He and his girlfriend are now married, have bought a house, and their daughter is healthy.


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