Cornelious Brookens, an energetic 58-year-old and father of four, worked in the retail industry for more than 30 years. As he moved through the industry, he found a company he liked, and stayed with them for 15 years. He was a manager trainer, and he helped many people become store managers. Unfortunately, changes in the industry led to his layoff. “It wasn’t based on my experience. I saw it coming, but I enjoyed the sales business,” says Cornelious, “Shopping online was growing, and the consumer is not looking for customer service as far as personality or identifying with needs. So, once it happened, it allowed me to validate that it was time to make a change.”

As he began to gather his thoughts on starting a new career in his 50s, he arrived at National Able Network’s office at Prairie State College and he was particularly drawn to many of the programs for older workers. Cornelious applied for and enrolled in the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) Program. He quickly got started and took part in many of the workshops. The passion and knowledge of the instructors in teaching all the job search skills from LinkedIn to resume writing were really helpful for Cornelious. “I haven’t been in school in forever, but they made me feel real comfortable,” says Cornelious, “They helped you walk through the process and help with what you should be looking for as a career changer.”

After much research and thought, Cornelious found truck driving and decided to pursue his new career. “Once I decided to go to truck driving school, my career coach Cheryl Travis was really helpful.” Cornelious enrolled in Progressive Truck School to pursue his Commercial Driver License. He successfully completed the program and began training for permanent employment with Cary Transit!

Cornelious says, “The Able program ordered my steps that took me to the next level. Thank you for helping me with my personal and professional growth.”