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WIA Update: Everyone Please Read

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WIA Update: Everyone Please Read

Old 04-03-2009, 11:56 AM
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Default WIA Update: Everyone Please Read

Hey, everyone. I’m writing this for all past, present and future laid off and furloughed pilots. Over the past few months, I have read threads about the WIA and how to go about getting that “free” type rating. Some were helpful and others just plain confusing. So, I’m going to try to shed some light on the situation and see if I can make things a little clearer. Before you do anything, please read this entire thread. I even have a checklist at the bottom to summarize it.

I started what I like to call “my process” (and believe me at times it can be process), a few months ago. I had a local employer in Colorado tell me that if I could get a C-500 type, they would use me as a contract and maybe even full time pilot for a start-up 135 op. So, I started calling around asking about the WIA program. The easiest way to find a Job Center’s number is by going to the state’s unemployment website and search “Job Centers”. It should bring up a list by city. I tried Wisconsin first, since that’s were I was living when I was laid off and that’s where my airline was headquartered (Skyway Airlines), but had little luck. It took me about 3 weeks to even get someone on the phone who understood what I was asking about. Come to find out weeks later, I was asking the wrong questions. After a few weeks of banging my head against the wall with Wisconsin, I went to my local Job Center in Colorado to see if they could help. Oh boy did they ever! I walked in at about 8:30 in the morning and within 10 minutes I was being helped by not one but two of their counselors.

The first thing we did was to get me enrolled in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). This is nationwide and what every state calls it. Second, and this is the most important part, they enrolled me in the DISLOCATED WORKER PROGRAM. Again, this is nationwide and what every state calls it. It is part of the WIA and is where you can get the most money. I was lucky enough to have most of the information they needed with me so, I didn’t have to go home and come back. Its very simple stuff, like past employers, copying your social security card, your address and a couple other things. The big thing they need to see is a FURLOUGH LETTER or the original letter the state sent you when you started collecting unemployment. The state letter has things like the date you applied, how much money you will be getting, and a few other things. The easiest way is to use your furlough letter; it’s short, sweet and to the point that you were laid off on a specific date.

Before I go any further, I want everyone to understand that the money you are eligible for is based on which COUNTY you apply in. So, if you live in the middle of nowhere Colorado like me, the most I was going to get was $1,500 and that’s not nearly enough to pay for a $15,000 C-500 type. So, with inadequate money, I tried Wisconsin......again. After another two weeks of playing phone tag, I was able to get to the right person, who informed me that Wisconsin was granting up to $6,000. Believe me, you need to ask for someone who specializes in the Dislocated Worker Program. I started the process all over again with them, except this time everything had to be mailed, because they needed original copies. That’s no big deal, but it takes a little longer. One thing that is very important- every state has different requirements to get enrolled in the program. For example, Wisconsin wanted me to return to the state for an informational meeting and to prove I was who I said I was. I got around that by having my local Job Center tell the people in Wisconsin that I can’t afford to travel to Wisconsin because I’m unemployed, and they also confirmed that they had checked my ID to establish my identity. Wisconsin also wanted me to take a math and English test. Colorado didn’t require it because I have higher than a high school education. So, I went to my local Job Center took the tests on a computer and sent the results to Wisconsin. For those of you who’s state requires that, its very easy and won’t take more than an hour for both. It’s just for the state’s records to show that you have an education. The questions were so simple a 6th grader could pass the test.

Ok, on to the next part.....don’t worry it should get easier from here on out. You now need to find out if the type rating you want is on the state’s approved list. The list can be called Eligible Training Providers or the ITA list. Start by going to the state’s unemployment website and search Eligible Training Providers. Once you find the list, it should comprise a huge number of the companies approved for your state. Most states should have the big ones like Pan Am, Flightsafety, Simcom, CAE Simuflite, Higher Power, and Flight Training International who are already approved for specific type ratings. Here’s the catch. The specific type rating you want has to be listed, NOT just the school. The approved class will have information on specific type, how long the class is, how much it costs and a few other things. This is great for planning because $6,000 still wasn’t going to pay for my C-500 type. So, I looked into what I could get for $6,000. Right now, Pan Am is offering the 737 Classic out of LAS and MIA for $5,000 and 737NG for around $8,000 or $9,000. If the class you want is not on the list, it is your responsibility to get in touch with someone at the school and have them contact the person you are working with in the WIA. I’ve got you covered there. I’m putting all the contacts I’ve made in the checklist at the bottom.

Ok, you’re on the home stretch. The class you want is on the approved list and you are enrolled in the Dislocated Worker Program. All you have to do is get your contact at the school to get in touch with the person you are working in the WIA, because some paper work needs to be filled out with information about the type rating, when you will be attending class, how much it costs, etc. Once that happens, your case will be reviewed and should be approved for the money. The state will then send a “letter of intent” to the school saying that they are going to pay.

Congratulations, the school will now contact you to send your books and get you in touch with someone who can help you out with a local hotel, rental car (if needed) and any other questions you might have.

Some personal notes I’d like to add. I live in SW Colorado and plan on driving to LAS. I have found out that Wisconsin will pay for me to drive, but not to fly, so keep that in mind. Remember, you will be in training for at least two weeks, so get into a hotel that has a microwave and fridge in your room, laundry services in the hotel (you never know), maybe a free breakfast, and if you’re lucky, a shuttle service that will take you to the grocery store and to class. That way, you won’t need a rental car. Wisconsin has told me they couldn’t help with housing, so if you can get a buddy to be your sim partner, share a room as well and that should help keep the costs down. The good news is that all the schools have deals with local hotels so the cost for two weeks hopefully won’t be to high.

So onto the checklist and those much needed contacts:


-Bring Social Security Card, Furlough Letter, Gov’t. ID, and Past Employer Info.
-Get an ideal of how much money you can receive
-Don’t give up on your first try remember you can apply in the county where you reside and where your company is headquartered, which in most cases is in big cities. That means a good chance of getting more money.
-Don’t wait, money is given out on a first come first serve basis.
-If you are in the MKE area go to the Hire Center, it’s in 8th and National. Talk to Pat Elizondo, she can be reached at 414-385-6969, or [email protected] I suggest emailing her, she almost never answers her phone.

-Here is a link for Wisconsin: ITA - Search By in the lower right hand corner there are links for Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa.
-Here is a link for Colorado: Colorado Workforce by the Colo. Dept. of Labor and Employment
-If the type you want is not on your state’s approved list contact these people:
Flightsafety- Jeff Svoda, I can’t remember how to spell his last name but he’s really nice. He works out of the Long Beach facility, 562-938-0100
Simcom- Linda McCormick, 1-800-272-0211 ask for her.
Pan Am- Sheri Egan, 1-877-394-2118 ask for her.
CAE Simuflite- Sonya Nieborg, direct: 404-354-9213
-Those are all the contacts I have at the schools, but I am going to recommend Pan Am, Simcom or Flightsafety all of them helped me immediately. Simuflite treated me like I was nothing and never tried to get the C-500 approved in Colorado. Every time I spoke with them it was like I never called before.
-I highly recommend Sheri Egan at Pan Am, they have a good price for the 737, if you are interested in it. She is a super sweet lady who answers on the first or second ring every time.

-This has to happen to get the letter of intent.

-Keep in mind your budget and what you can afford

-Your books should be on the way, get ready for a type rating and possibly an ATP for those who don’t have it and have the FAA requirements.(Don’t forget the ATP written if needed.)

I think that is just about everything I can think of. If you have any questions, comments, additions please DO NOT P.M. me lets try and get everything we can on here so we can help everyone out. Let’s see if we can get the links for every state’s Eligible Training Provider list and contacts at every training company. One last thing that is very important there are a few states that require you to have a letter saying if you take the training you will have a job waiting for you. This is completely stupid and pointless, the only two states I know of are Colorado and Hawaii. I have heard there is a loophole around this, if you want the 737 type bring in a copy if Southwest’s requirements to the Job Center and that should be enough to get around that.

Good luck to everyone, if I left something out let me know,

P.S. Vagabond please feel free to add or correct anything I know you went through a lot of the same crap. I also PMed HSLD he said this is going to be stickied and I'm also going to change this into an article for APC.

Last edited by dn_wisconsin; 04-03-2009 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:09 PM
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Good work man. I'm proud of you!
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:32 PM
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Thanks for taking the time to post this.
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:53 PM
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Awesome post....great gouge. Thanks for making this known to the masses.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:09 PM
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Alright, so since this was posted for the masses for Wisconsin, why don't I tell you about the process in Missouri, where I was laid off from Trans States.

The process is VERY similar, but from what I've gathered, each state is given a certain amount of money from the federal govt and it is their job to divide it up. I don't know if MO has more money, or if they have fewer workers laid off, but the max for MO is $5000...unless you are a dislocated worker, then there is a max of $10,000! This is enough money to get a CE-500 type from Flight Crew Systems in Carlsbad, CA. Which is what I just did!

Alright, so in MO, you have to go to a career seminar. Basically, what this is is a opportunity for the office of career services (in STL it is called SLATE) to have you fill out paperwork and explain the process and purpose of what WIA is. After the seminar, you get an appt with a career counselor. Since I had no prior experience or suggestions for this process, all I had with me was my Furlough Letter. Like Dr Wisconsin said, this is INCREDIBLY important because they have to classify you as a dislocated worker in order to get the max $10,000.

So, the burden was put on me to prove that this training would ultimately lead to my employment...the goal of WIA. In MO, it is not required, but preferred that you have a job pending, so what I did was I got a letter from a prospective employer that required an ATP (WASINC...the china leasing co). Then I went on job boards and printed out a bunch of ad's that showed the requirement of a CE-500 type. Those things, with my furlough letter proved to my career counselor's boss that this money would be well spent.

I was awarded $9000 towards the type and my ATP. A fellow TSA furloughee tried the same process in St. Charles county (just outside STL) and was laughed at. He then talked to me and went to STL city and he is set up to do this course in April.

The key to this i think is shop around. If at first you don't succeed, go where the money is.

Any questions?
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:13 PM
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PS, is it possible to sticky this in two forums (add it to the regional) and have both forums able to post to it? does that question make sense?
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:17 PM
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Great post DMI, PM HSLD he's the one who stickied this.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 250 or point 65
PS, is it possible to sticky this in two forums (add it to the regional) and have both forums able to post to it? does that question make sense?

We'll have it posted on the main site soon
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:50 PM
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Awesome post! Very informative...
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:28 PM
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Absolutely great post, dn. You convey information better than I do!

I also encourage everyone to do a search on the forums for the many threads on this topic. They ought to give you a slightly different perspective and round out what you need to know before embarking on this journey.

Many of you have contacted me about this. I seem to remember that at least one regional (that has been furloughing like crazy) has been giving pilots a difficult time with the furlough letter. Please correct me if I am mistaken.




Finally, the DOL website for all states is: Listing Of State WIA Contacts
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