Jody Turns It All Around
Jody’s story is one that any job-seeker can relate to. With a newborn and a teenager to care for, she was scrambling to find work. After weeks of searching, the weight of rejection piled up and she slipped into a deep depression. An abusive relationship made it even harder to climb out, until she saw a tiny glimmer of hope: she learned that her FoodShare benefits could help her find a job. That’s when her life started to turn around. The staff at FSC quickly helped her find more than a job – she also discovered the confidence to face anything that holds her back!
“I feel like I’m worthy now,” Jody tells us. Her FSET and Wisconsin Works teams proved right away that they truly wanted to make sure she was set up for long-term success. “I went through big time anxiety to becoming calm and having to go through therapy per my case worker which has changed my life for the better.” They helped her tackle the emotional and financial toll of unemployment, encouraged her throughout her job search, and empowered her with the resources to improve her life.
“It’s an amazing program which I have recommended to more than a few people since I have been here,” Jody insists. This fall, she’s starting a job at Guardian Insurance as a Dental Claims Approver. She loves the field and hopes to “grow within the organization and possibly move to the south,” where her newfound job will help her launch a great career. Best of all, though, she will not let anyone or anything hold her down. “Now I won’t accept any of that. All has changed for the better as I gave in and Let God!”
Zach’s Diligence Pays Off
Zach may be young, but he’s already proven himself a man of integrity. After losing his parents in his early teens, Zach had to move away from home but decided to do everything he could to keep his remaining family intact. On turning 18, he gained legal guardianship of his brother and finally moved back, where he became the sole provider for his family. Thanks to a great Work Experience through WIOA, Zach is now able to support his family with a full-time job that is funding his education at NWTC!
“Upon entering WIOA, Zach did not have a job but was attending college,” says Shelby, a Career Services Specialist with WIOA. He was determined to earn a college degree before entering the workforce, so he could start his family’s new life on the right track. “Zach is a hard worker and is never one to back down from a challenge.” says Shelby. “But above all, he is the most caring person you could ever meet and is always willing to help anyone.”
Zach wanted to get a job in his field, CNC machine operation, by the end of his second semester. Alongside the Bay Area WDB, WIOA helped him find a Work Experience as a machinist intern that turned into a paid internship while he was still in school. Zach’s skills and commitment turned this into a full-time job before he graduated with his technical degree. In fact, his employers were so impressed that they’re funding his continued education to earn his journeyman’s license this year!
Zach insists that any difficult experiences have shaped him into the person he’s become today. “I’ve used these bad experiences as a ‘what not to do’ kind of thing to encourage me to push myself as far into a good life and career as I can,” he tells us. He adds that his main barriers were always financial, “because I love what I do in my classes. I’m there because I want to learn, not because I have to be.”
That’s where resources like the Independent Living program, Oconto County Human Services, and WIOA stepped in to help cover his transportation and education. “Shelby has helped me with everything from doing my taxes, to applying for health insurance, to helping me find a job, and keeping up with everything at school. I couldn’t be more thankful.”
Congratulations, Zach! We’re excited to see where you go from here!