Success Stories

This month’s success story is about fifty-eight (58) year old Wilfred Cobb that has seen more than his share of storms, yet still keeps looking for his ray of sun to burst through the clouds. This season man enrolled into the PACE program back in February of 2017. He came to PACE after thirty-three (33) years of living on the wrong side of the law. He simply stated that he was tired and needed to turn his life into a new direction, and he was hoping that PACE could help guide him on his journey.

Mr. Cobb came to PACE by referral from his home detention officer. Mr. Cobb attended orientation, then Advancing Your Career Workshop. Mr. Cobb was assigned to PACE Employment Coach Lydon Clanton, to assist him with obtaining employment. At their first case management meeting, Mr. Cobb talked to Lydon about the challenges that he has been facing since being released from incarceration. Cobb stated that employment (any type of employment) was suitable to him for the moment and that other areas of his life would need repair as well, but Mr. Cobb stated that it had to begin with employment. PACE Employment Coach then called one of the PACE Preferred Employers (Kelly and Ware) and referred Mr. Cobb for a position with that company. Mr. Cobb was offered a warehouse laborer position with Kelly and Ware for the pay rate of $8.00 per hour. Lydon informed Mr. Cobb if he just hung on to that job, he would find better employment for him in a couple of months. Mr. Cobb started work on March 2, 2017.

Mr. Cobb kept Lydon updated as to the ups and downs of the job at Kelly and Ware and also updated Lydon as to the changing conditions at his (Mr. Cobb’s) home. On May 1, 2017, PACE Employment Coach called Mr. Cobb and asked him to come to the May 5, 2017 Career Networking Group to meet a new employer and interview with them. This employer was Micrometl. Mr. Cobb had made an instant connection with this employer and was ask to attend a second interview. On May 26, 2017, Mr. Cobb was offered an assemblers position at Micrometl for the pay rate of $11.50 per hour.

Mr. Cobb had already moved out of his house with his then girlfriend and has since stayed focus on achieving his goals of a new and better life, leaving behind anything toxic and it is for this perseverance and purpose driven focus, Mr. Cobb is the Employment Success Story of the Month.

“Thank you for giving the chance to me. I have tried to tell people about LEAP and about PACE. I really appreciate what you have done to help me.”

– Steaven Johnson


Steaven Johnson (Age: 34) Prior to coming to PACE LEAP program at the Duvall Center the client had been incarcerated due to poor choices he had made. He had had success in his business and personal life and his incarceration led to a period of difficulty.

The LEAP program allowed him to see that he could take a different direction, while in work release, than what he had predicted. His goal became the completion of training and obtaining a job with a partner agency.

Steaven received job readiness training and support, including interviewing techniques, resume development and how to research employers and wages. He also learned techniques surrounding the navigation of work relationships and how to make himself valuable to the employer. He was able to use the relationship between PACE and Goodwill to obtain a job and to enter the New Beginnings Class.

He has the offer from Goodwill to apply for a Team Lead position upon release and will see an increase in wage of nearly $3.00 per hour. He has no additional involvement with the criminal justice system. His involvement with the New Beginnings program has put him in a strong position within their organization. He has been able to have a no contact order lifted and is looking forward to release in early September. He has housing arranged and has transportation lined up. He is looking forward to being with his family and will be able to complete probation right before Christmas 2017. He says that would be a great present!

John Yarrell has been a PACE client since June 5, 2017, however, within three short months, he has made considerable progress.

John has completed multiple workshops including the Dollars and Sense workshop, Common Cents workshop, Resume workshop, and he also attends the Career Networking Group on Fridays. In addition, John is determined to be a better parent to his two biological children as well as his step-child so he attended the Tools for Fathers workshop at the Edna Martin Christian Center and he is a regular participant of the Fathers & Families Center.
John has made mistakes in the past, but his attitude and recent efforts prove that he is committed to staying on the right track. PACE helped John option employment and though he was nervous, John said he was also optimistic about the opportunity. He felt like something great would come as a result of him working. He was right! John is currently employed at Kelly & Ware – while he enjoys having stable employment and earning a regular paycheck, John said the owner of the company helped him out in another way – by helping him reunite with Christ.

John’s boss – a deeply Christian man – invited John and his wife to church. The couple was so impressed with the church members and pastors, John, his wife and their children eventually joined the congregation. They are very active members of the church. John said PACE’s efforts to help him secure a job and that job leading him to church was the best thing that ever happened to him. The family attends church regularly and John and his wife also attend counseling to help them stay focused on one another and God’s plan. John was recently selected as the first person to participate in the IHA pilot program designated to help residents with their long-term living expenses.

With the progress he has made thus far, John is well on his way to achieving all his goals.