Posted on Tuesday, July 11, 2017

For Andrea Davis, the Workforce Credential Grant (WCG) program has been nothing short of life changing. Andrea was arrested for selling drugs and spent eight-and-a-half years in federal prison.

“I never used drugs,” she said, “But it was, I thought, the only way to feed my family. I was a single mom and needed to take care of my kids.”

Davis recently received her Commercial Driver’s License at BRCC and now works for Western Express.

After serving her time, Andrea knew she had to make a change. “When I got out of prison, I knew I wanted to do something legally that would give me the kind of money I needed. I was working at a Shenandoah Valley poultry plant when I saw the WCG fliers. I never thought I would be able to get into a program like that. I figured there would be a lot of paperwork and hoops to jump through.”

But, Andrea was pleasantly surprised at just how easy the process was. “It only took five minutes to answer a few questions,” she said. She decided to pursue a Commercial Driver’s License at Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC).

During a probation meeting soon after being accepted into the program, she learned about the BRIDGE grant at BRCC that provides financial support for workforce training specifically for felons and single mothers. With the WCG and BRIDGE grants, Andrea’s entire training program cost her nothing out of pocket.

And, the good news kept on coming. While out driving one day with her BRCC instructor – and with a “Student Driver” sign posted on the back of the truck – Andrea pulled over at a truck stop where she encountered a driver for Western Express.

“We got to talking,” Andrea says, “He strongly encouraged me to apply for a job with Western Express. I did and got the job!”

Today, Andrea feels blessed. “I love my new job. I get to travel a lot; my region includes South Carolina to the Canadian border. I can make a flexible schedule, and I make good money.”

She is especially grateful for the WCG program for making it all possible. Most importantly, her life has purpose now, she says. “This is who I was meant to be and what I was meant to do.”   

Laura Osberger

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