Johnson’s driven to help family, gain stable career


Franchesca Johnson faced a dilemma. She needed to gain skills to land a job, and she needed to take care of her grandmother, who was facing health issues.

Johnson turned to Meridian Community College’s Truck Driving Program and was confident she could find employment in the area after completing her course work. As a bonus, she was awarded an ITA – an Individual Training Account. ITAs are vouchers given to those who need occupational skill training to become employed or re-employed.

When her grandmother’s health issues demanded more of Johnson’s time, Johnson could not complete the necessary driving time required for taking the driving test. “We worked with her and her instructors, and they were able to give her an incomplete for that part of the course,” said Shannon Coleman, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity (WIOA) case manager. “This would allow her additional weeks to get her driving time in,” Coleman said.

Persistence paid off for Johnson. After completing the necessary hours, she was able to get her commercial driver’s license a few months later. She landed a position with the City of Meridian, where today she drives dump and bucket trucks and other equipment in which a commercial driver’s license is required.

“She enjoys her job since it allows her to work a day shift and be home with her grandmother in the evenings and overnight. Her job helped provide the needed income to cover household expenses and well as her grandmother’s medications,” Coleman said.

Coleman added, “Franchesca was committed in doing what she had to do.”


Photo: ITA Specialist Regina Edmonds, left, and WIOA Case Manager Shannon Coleman, right, join with Franchesca Johnson in giving a thumbs up for a successful career transition.