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Deron Rick, an ex-offender living in Lonoke County, was enrolled into the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program on May 7, 2018 at the Arkansas Workforce Center in Lonoke.

After he was released, Deron became discouraged that it was taking so long to find a job. As a new father, ready to provide for his family, he was anxious to find employment right away. Struggling to find employment due to his insufficient work experience and background, he contacted the Workforce Center for help.

Shelia Sims, One-Stop Center Manager, met with Deron to review his barriers and employment goals. Shortly after, he participated in the Job Readiness Training and learned skills such as Resume Building, Interviewing Skills Training, and Dressing for Success. Then, he enrolled in the Work Experience Program and gained helpful work experience at the City of Carlisle.

Surpassing in his job duties and responsibilities, after only 5 weeks in the program, the City of Carlisle offered Deron employment which included benefits after their 90 day probation period, and in June 2018, Deron began working as a full-time Street Maintenance Worker.

In the end, because of his support and the determination to succeed, he was able re-enter the workforce and receive the tools and confidence he needed to take the proper steps back into the workforce after being incarcerated.

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