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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Midlands Local Workforce Investment Board - Columbia OneStop


Meet Dean

Workforce Challenge

Dean Smith didn’t give much thought to higher education after completing high school. He had worked in his family’s business in Central Florida since he was 15-years-old and after graduation began working full-time at a family-owned manufacturing company. As the economy began to downturn, however, the family business faltered. Dean was laid off in September, 2009.

Workforce Solution

Leaving behind his wife and two young children, Dean made the difficult decision to move to South Carolina where he could find some work with another family member. A desire for more stable employment and advanced skills led him to the WIA program and a workforce consultant who quickly assessed his employability and helped him enter training at Midlands Technical College to earn his CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Machining certificate.

For months, Dean balanced work as property maintenance specialist at Lawson Associates and school, earning A’s in all his courses and calming his own doubts about his ability to one day pursue a degree.

Outcomes & Benefits

Upon completing his training, Dean was promoted to CNC Operator at Lawson Associates and now helps to manufacture parts for “Harvey,” the cardiopulmonary patient simulators used to train cardiologists. Dean’s salary doubled from $10 per hour to $20 per hour.


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