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The Power of Partnerships—NCWorks Career Center-Cabarrus and Vocational Rehabilitation Working Together

Board mtg oct 2017 1Keith Aardema, a retired Airline Supervisor and now on a work experience assignment at the NCWorks Career Center-Cabarrus in Concord greets every customer who walks into the doors of the NCWorks Career Center.  He is the receptionist for the Center and got connected with the Center through NC Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) in Cabarrus County.  He retired from his full-time job in 2015 where he worked for Airlines in Denver and Charlotte after having a host of medical issues.  In February of 2009, his kidney shut down and he received a kidney transplant in January of 2010. 

In October 2010, during a routine check-up, doctors found that Keith had a BK virus (a disease that is typically associated with patients who have had a kidney transplant; they tend to be mild: respiratory infection or fever) in his blood.  Doctors later got the virus but it had attached to the transplanted kidney and the transplant had to come out in 2014.  This prompted Keith to getting connected with VR.  He was at home but knew that he wanted to go back to work.  Keith’s social worker at the time heard his desire and connected him with VR. The wonderful partnership at VR allowed him the opportunity to get connected with the NCWorks Career Center-Cabarrus staff.  Lori Carlson, Business Relations Representative at VR (who often works out of the Center) introduced him to NCWorks Career Center Leader Gary Mason and the rest was history.  Keith interviewed with Gary Mason and landed the job on August 1, 2017. He is excited about the work experience opportunity and is looking to work at the Center long-term.

“I love the opportunity of working here! This job fits me,” Aardema said.  “This is what my personality is all about.  There’s great people here,” he said.  “It’s friendly and fun but we know how to have a good time and people see that when they come in and are at ease!” 

Overall, he thinks the partnership between VR and NCWorks Career Center-Cabarrus is amazing and put him in the best situation for his current life challenge.

“It’s a great partnership with the two.  You couldn’t get put into better situations than what both organizations have helped me with,” Aardema said. 

The Centralina Workforce Development Board and the NCWorks Career Center-Cabarrus would like to thank Vocational Rehabilitation in Cabarrus County for the strong partnership!  To see a list of all our partners in our seven-county region visit, http://centralinaworks.com/PartnerMap.asp.



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