Shawn completed the Cornerstone Construction Training program at the end of February 2020. Graduating with his OSHA-10 and NCCER certifications and a month of hands-on experience, he was offered a job by Iron Workers Local 44 for work on the FC Cincinnati soccer stadium. However, in March, when the effects of COVID-19 began to hit the U.S., and as companies’ futures became unclear, Iron Workers Local 44 had to put their offer on hold.

Shawn, like so many others seriously affected by the pandemic and economic shutdown, was both qualified and eager to work, but had very few options. Iron Workers Local 44 made it clear they were hoping to hire as soon as possible, but that they could not provide work immediately. 

While waiting, Shawn pieced together side jobs to support his family. To supplement his work, due to the radical generosity of the grassroots-led emergency relief fund, CityLink was able to support him with groceries. 

At the end of May, Iron Workers Local 44 reached out with a start date for Shawn. However, in order to start the job, he needed to purchase special tools. Since his paychecks were going to support his family, he didn’t have cash on hand for the tools. CityLink was able to use the emergency relief fund to give him a microloan to buy the tools and get started.

Shawn has now been working on the stadium with Iron Workers Local 44 since the beginning of June and is enjoying his experience. In addition, he has already begun paying back his loan for the tools. 

We are so proud of Shawn and the patience and persistence he’s practiced in this difficult season. We are also so thankful for the incredibly generous community that has enabled CityLink to support families in need.