Hearthside Food Solutions LLC in Michigan City received a WorkOne Achievement Award last week for partnering with WorkOne to create employment opportunities for local Hoosiers. The award was presented in a ceremony at the Indiana Statehouse.
Gary Brooks, of East Chicago, was presented with the WorkOne Achievement Award last week for overcoming several employment barriers and pursuing a better life for himself.
Hearthside is the nation’s largest independent bakery. Hearthside took advantage of WorkOne’s On-the-Job Training program and was able to directly hire individuals from a pool of qualified candidates. Over the last year, all but one of the OJT candidates secured full-time employment with Hearthside. The company also hired 10 additional jobseekers through other WorkOne services.
“The collaboration between Hearthside Food Solutions and WorkOne has been a productive, positive experience for the community and job seekers,” said Scott B. Sanders, Commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development. “We appreciate the partnership, which will enable them to continue employing a skilled workforce that is ready to meet the ever-evolving needs of their customers.”
Brooks served as a train engineer for 18 years. Last year, he decided he wanted to return to the workforce and visited his local WorkOne for job search assistance. A WorkOne career adviser reviewed his resume posted on Indiana Career Connect. After a few months of job searching, Brooks determined he needed new skills and expressed interest in obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License.
Although his WorkOne career advisor informed him of available funds for training, he refused to use them because he wanted to ensure the funds would be available to someone with greater financial need. He began training for his CDL and btained his license. Earlier this year, he began a new career with Falcon Transport.
“Gary serves as an inspiration for all Hoosiers,” said Sanders. “He is a great example of how partnering with WorkOne can help Hoosiers achieve new career goals.”