For WIA participant Tyler B., law enforcement is not just a job, it’s a calling; a call to public service and to protect public safety. This calling was evident to WIA staff when Tyler visited the Galax workforce office seeking assistance to move him away from public assistance and into self-sufficiency.

Although Tyler possessed experience in manufacturing, the income he received was not enough to support family and his new baby. Tyler had the desire to pursue a career in law enforcement and his CareerScope and basic skills assessments confirmed both his strong interest and aptitudes.

Tyler had pursued pre-employment enrollment at New River Criminal Justice Training Academy and had passed all of his entrance requirements. However, he was unable to fund the cost of the training. Due to limited funding on both the WIA youth and adult programs, Tyler was co-enrolled in both programs as he met the eligibility requirements for each. The programs shared the cost of his training with the youth program funding Tyler’s tuition in the amount of $6,300.00 and the adult program funding all supportive services and additional training fees.

By co-enrolling Tyler on the WIA youth and adult programs, People Incorporated was able to meet the full financial need of his training. Tyler successfully completed the Basic Law Enforcement training at New River Criminal Justice Training Academy and earned multiple certificates including Court Security/Civil Process, Department of Criminal Justice Services Entry Level Firearms, and a TASER Conducted Electrical Weapon certificate from TASER Training Academy. Tyler also earned a silver career readiness certificate.

Upon completion of training, Tyler immediately obtained employment as a police officer at Radford University Police Department. Tyler earns an annual salary of almost $32,000 per year plus a full benefits package. Tyler will have numerous opportunities for advancement in both the criminal justice career field and with Radford University. Tyler is a true example of the economic impact affected through workforce development and is a true asset to the field of criminal justice.

Tyler is grateful for the assistance that he received through the WIA program and states that without the assistance of People Incorporated and WIA, he would not have had the opportunity to begin a long-term career and build a stable future for his family.