“I want to be a good role model for my boys”

Nathan is 25 and lives in Cottage Grove with his twin boys, who turned four in April.

After completing FFLC’s warehouse training program last year, Nathan got a job at Starfire Lumber Co. in Cottage Grove just as he was assuming sole custody of his children. Starfire has been a great place for Nathan. He started “pulling wood, like everybody else,” but quickly became a supervisor.

“I’m currently supervising the chain,” Nathan says. “I love it. It’s close to my house, and everything’s in my little town.” Nathan credits FFLC’s job training program for giving him the skills he needed to not just survive but to thrive. At FFLC Nathan gained useful experiences, from managing people to operating a forklift.

“My DHS worker suggested the FFLC program for me. I thought it was right up my alley, so I went with it. I always wanted to learn something new. You guys do a lot for the community, and I think that’s really cool.”

It was FFLC’s job training program that made the difference for Nathan’s family. His job helps him care for his two boys, and he’s proud to have a good job, “that I can work hard at and retire at. Benefits, healthcare, 401k — so blessed.” He hopes that he can be a good role model for his boys.

“I want them to learn responsibility and to save money,” he says. “I wish someone would have taught me at a young age to save money. I try to save what I can. If I was more prepared, I’d put a percentage away from my check each time. I’m living and learning.”

At $525 per child per month, the cost of child care takes half of Nathan’s paycheck. “Then there’s rent, car insurance, gas. It all adds up.” But this dad is undaunted. Nathan sees a bright future at his current employer.