Paul SmithCheyenne

Paul Smith (an alias) moved to Cheyenne from the western slope of Colorado. He had a wife and a two-year-old child to support, and he had been unable to find suitable employment.

Smith's work history didn't show much stability because he had traveled around the country and worked in various states. He worked for awhile as an apprentice electrician. However, he found that he did not have strong enough math skills or aptitude for that position. He had also worked in various seasonal laboring positions. Smith's main goal, when he came to the Cheyenne Workforce Center, was to find employment that would enable him to make a good wage and provide some stability for his family. He didn't want to continue moving around from state to state looking for employment. He also wanted to be able to get off state-assisted food stamps. He explored many job opportunities, but was unsuccessful because of his lack of skills. For a family of three the self sufficient wage based on 185% of the federal poverty guidelines is $15,355 for six months. In the last six months, Smith had only earned $6,500 and his wife was a stay-at-home mother. That put him and his family way below the recommended amount for a family of three.

Smith began to research training options. After exploring all of his options, Smith decided that getting a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) would make him marketable to many businesses. Truck driving is considered a demand occupation for this area because of the numerous openings available. The fact that Cheyenne sits at the crossroads of two major interstate highways (I-25 and I-80) is a huge plus to the trucking industry and those seeking trucking as an occupation.

Smith inquired about training for the CDL license at Sage Technical Services. He was referred to the Cheyenne Workforce Center for assistance and, after extensive assessments, his career advisor, Jan Eatmon, presented his case to the WIA committee where he was approved for training. During his training he excelled and earned a 95.04 grade point average. He received his CDL in record time and was employed within a few days after receiving his license.

Smith... continues to be a huge success for himself and his family...Smith was hired by a major carrier in October 2005 and began his training. His starting wage during that period was $350 a week. After a few weeks of in-house training, Smith was put with another driver and received additional training. During that phase he earned $425 a week. Upon completion of his training, Smith got his own truck and began to drive alone. He stayed with this employer for approximately six months. He recently accepted work for another major truck line and is now earning approximately $1,000 per week. He is thrilled with that wage, which puts him and his family way above the federal poverty guideline of $15,355 for six months! He now is earning approximately $24,000 every six months.

Smith has been driving since October, 2005 and continues to be a huge success for himself and his family, the workforce center and the WIA program. His wife and daughter remain in Cheyenne while Smith is driving, and they are no longer dependent on any state assistance. Smith stays in contact with the workforce center staff and always shares his appreciation for all that the staff did to make his dream a reality.