At 54-years-old and tired of working physically demanding, temporary jobs, Anna Johnson turned to SC Works Trident, which helped her graduate from a competitive training program and land her dream job.

In March 2017, Johnson, a Summerville resident, was having trouble securing a full-time position. She decided to take a proactive approach, reaching out to SC Works Trident – the tri-county arm of South Carolina’s comprehensive SC Works workforce development program – for career help.

“I was working dead-end temp jobs to survive, and most were physically demanding and taking a toll on my body,” Johnson said. “I knew I needed a change.”

Johnson started by conducting labor market research at the Charleston office’s resource center. She continued her journey by taking the WorkKeys skills assessment test with assistance from federal Workforce and Innovation Act (WIOA) funding. That, in turn, made her eligible to enroll in a 288-hour boot camp program at Trident Technical College.

“I was so thankful SC Works Trident helped me take the WorkKeys tests for free,” said Johnson. “When I discovered my dream career, WIOA funding helped me gain the skills I needed to achieve my dreams.”

She completed the program in August and earned high remarks from the instructor for her exemplary work throughout the course. Upon completion, many employers recruited Johnson for positions within their companies.

“Where else can you go through graduation and have a job immediately waiting for you?” Johnson said. “SC Works Trident changed my life.”

Johnson weighed all her options with guidance from her career counselor. She accepted a full-time on-the-job training position as an Electricity System Commercial Operator (ESCO) earning $15.50 per hour (plus shift differential and bonuses) at PK Precision, a German-based machining company.

“Anna, from day one, was dedicated to the program and her goals,” said Gene Borzendowski, SC Works Trident Workforce Development Specialist. “She’s a great example of what the program can do for individuals who are persistent in bettering themselves and their future.”

Although Johnson’s success didn’t come easily, she landed her life-changing dream job through hard work.

“I am so grateful for a day I never thought possible. I have a full-time job where I am using my mind more instead of one beating up my body daily,” she said. “I now worry less about a physical injury forcing me to retire. I feel like I’m 20 years old again and constantly learning.”

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