Success Stories

Workforce Solutions helped him get a job, now Ken helps others find their careers

Ken Hull, from Workforce Solutions, stands outside wearing a cap and a smile.

Recently, one morning, the Workforce Solutions* office in Portland, Maine was bustling with activity. Ken Hull, Program Coordinator, popped up from his desk. With a big smile, he greeted a young woman, who was holding a baby in a carrier. Not knowing where to start, she expressed her interest in a pursuing nursing career. Ken shared some entry-level training programs that she should consider. As she filled out paperwork, Ken glided over to a man who sat in the computer lab. He sifted through several on-line listings, searching for a career opportunity in the oyster industry. Ken remembered him from a previous visit and encouraged him to reach out to one of the job listings. The man seemed nervous about the process, but Ken, with his personable and relaxed approach, eased the man’s anxiety.

Ken understands what it is like to ask for help because he’s been there. He asked for help when he came to Workforce Solutions for a job. Now he helps other people find jobs.

At the workforce office another man stopped in and asked if Ken could help him change his cell phone SIM card. This simple request for help led to a deeper conversation. Ken was able to provide a much-needed voucher for this man to get some clothes at Goodwill.

“I wake up early every morning wondering who am I going to meet today? How am I going to be able to help them?” Ken said.

Ken came into his job at Goodwill NNE as a Peer Life Navigator through an opioid grant program. Through that position, he thrived and received training to help people who struggle with mental health. But Ken still craved growth and opportunity. So, working with a Life Navigator, he took classes to train as a Certificated Alcohol Drug Counselor (CADC). It was with pride he shared how he made the Dean’s List.

As a life-long musician in percussion and saxophone, Ken credits much of his flexibility and patience to his music. Being a musician has given him tools to navigate who he is – and to help others navigate where to go. He wants to give back to his community. He said that all his life experiences have come together for this moment, and that brings him a sense of peace and happiness.

“I fell into a bucket of goodness, and I am in no hurry to get out.”

*Workforce Solutions, operated by Goodwill NNE, is a service provider of Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc. (CCWI) for the Coastal Counties region of Maine.

Ken Hull, with Workforce Solutions, greets people as they enter the office. His colleague, Rachel, stands behind him.
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