Last fall, Wynnielle Howland had a difficult decision in front of her. She had just finished serving time at the Kent County Jail and she was ready to start fresh in a new career, but she didn’t know where to start. She was recommended to our New Beginnings program and paired with one of our coaches, Julie. They began meeting and discussing Wynnielle’s career goals. Her father had been a welder, and Julie suggested Wynnielle enroll in the 18-week welding program at GRCC M-Tech.

Wynnielle began classes in December 2019 and attended school full time Monday through Thursday. She was in a small class of five people, including one other woman who was working with the Women’s Resource Center. After intense, months-long, hands-on training, Wynnielle was comfortable with the helmet, jacket, and gloves needed for the job. She knew all about safety precautions and how best to start a new project. She persevered throughout the quarantine period and graduated this summer with her certificate — and a full-time job offer from a local metal manufacturer.

We are so proud of Wynnielle and many others who continued pursuing education, a job change, and skills training throughout the pandemic shutdown.


“When I met Wynnielle, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. I suggested the welding program. I’m elated and overjoyed to watch her progress. She’s an amazing woman and an amazing mother. She’s had some tough times, but she’s driven. Even when tough things happened, she had that drive and said, ‘I’m going to succeed,’ and she did!”


“Julie was the best. Very positive. I’m just thankful that I met her. I don’t know where I would be today without her. She’s kind of like my sister. She was always there. Any time I needed to talk to her she always picked up the phone.”