Roman and Kseniia both were established professionals in Ukraine when the war with Russia began. Kseniia has her Master’s degree and worked in fashion and Roman, a high school graduate, worked in trades. But starting over in the United States meant learning a new language and culture, and finding the right resources to help them achieve their two main goals: to find living-wage jobs, and to explore the United States.
Skyline CDL in Ridgefield, WA offers a Ukrainian-language commercial drivers’ training program, which was a perfect fit for Roman and Kseniia. After taking English language classes at Big Bend Community College and receiving their work authorizations, they reached out to SkillSource for training assistance to become CDL certified. Thanks to Federal Economic Security for All (EcSA) funds they were able to receive the educational support they needed, as well as helping with costs for transportation to school, lodging while training 300 miles from home, assistance with testing and licensing fees, and other expenses.
Skyline CDL referred to Roman and Kseniia employers who work with limited-English speakers, and they were invited to do job shadows at several companies. In June 2023 Kseniia and Roman started a long-haul team-driving job for PNB Trucking, and after only one month they had already visited 12 states. Their two main goals were realized: see the country, and achieve self-sufficiency with a living wage of $22/hour.
Starting over is never easy. But with their determination and willingness to learn, and the resources and support available to them, Roman and Kseniia are now, literally, driving themselves to success!