Retraining helps Ingli launch new career
When the manufacturing plant where she worked shut down in 2011, Amber Ingli found herself in need of a job and at the threshold of what would be some years of struggle for her and her family.
Today, she has a job helping people who are in need of a job.
Ingli, a 1991 Ellsworth High School graduate, received her associate degree from Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) in the Administrative Professional program May 8. Even before the graduation ceremony, she had lined up work with SEEK, an employment agency in Hudson.
“We’re getting there,” Ingli said of the turnaround from the days of difficulty for her family. “It’s nice to know that I’m going to be working. I feel more at peace.”Ingli was one of 46 graduates in five academic programs to be honored at the CVTC River Falls Campus commencement held at River Falls High School. The graduates included 21 in the Nursing-Associate Degree program, 12 in Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement, nine in Business Management and three in Marketing Management. Ingli was the only Administrative Professional program graduate.For Ingli, her CVTC education and assistance from federal job retraining programs were keys to recovery from her job loss. Her husband, Mark, works at his father’s business, Ingli Auto Body in Ellsworth. Amber had a job as a production worker at Johnson Controls in Hudson since 1998. The plant shut down in 2011.“It was a scary feeling,” Ingli said. “I carried the health insurance for the family. It was a good job, and I was first shift.”Fortunately, she was eligible for job retraining and financial assistance through the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance and Trade Readjustment Allowances programs designed to help workers displaced due to foreign competition. She was able to start her program at CVTC in January 2012, right after the plant shut-down. But that was a scary time, too.“I was very nervous. Would I know how to study? Does my brain even work anymore? But it all came back to me. I’m graduating with honors,” Ingli said.One of her concerns was a lack of background in computers, which would be needed for a job in an office setting. But she found the faculty at CVTC knew how to help people like her.“They’re used to my generation coming back and my younger generation classmates were very helpful,” she said.Her studies led her to an internship as an administrative assistant in the human resources office at Sajan in River Falls, and that helped her land the job at SEEK, which she started on April 7.“I recruit applicants and place them in the correct jobs. We don’t want to place people at just any job. We want it to be the right fit,” Ingli said.Her experience being unemployed after a plant shut-down helps her relate to the applicants coming into SEEK.“I know what it’s like to be on that side, and a lot of the people we place are in light manufacturing.”