The Perfect TEMP for Success

Tyler made an instant connection with Bob and Marley when he started volunteering at the Grant County Humane Society. The brothers were untrained rescued dogs, unfamiliar with human kindness. Today, Bob has found a home and Marley [pictured] is still at the shelter waiting for a family. In the meantime, he loves going on walks with Tyler, but not nearly as much as Tyler loves working with him, thanks to a TEMP position through Wisconsin Works!

When he was younger, Tyler got 3rd degree burns on his arms, face, and upper body while escaping a house fire.  As soon as he got out, Tyler realized that his friend was still inside. Sadly, his friend perished. Since then, Tyler has had extensive reconstructive surgery, but he faces long-term medical and mental health complications that have made it difficult to maintain a job.

His reconstructed skin, for example, cannot sweat to relieve him from heat. As a result, “some days, Tyler would be standing in shoes filled with sweat puddles, because his feet overexert themselves to get the sweat out of his body from other parts of his body that cannot,” his case manager Tammy explains.

Tammy has been a key advocate in his fight since Tyler enrolled in W-2 this April. ”I assured Tyler that he came to a great place where we will help get him the resources that he needs,” says Tammy. “However, the important part of success and wanting help is to stay committed to the help that is given.”

Tyler has proven his commitment every week! Right after their first appointment, he called to schedule appointments with the doctor and counselor that Tammy recommended. From there, they formed a plan to help him work through his barriers, including a volunteer experience that has changed everything.

This May, Tyler started volunteering at the Grant County Humane Society/Lancaster Veterinary Clinic. He was eager to work with the animals and quickly became a beloved member of the team. After three months, they contacted Tammy to arrange hiring Tyler on part-time! Working at a site that believes in him and communicates regularly with W-2 is helping Tyler work toward his goals. Both Tyler and the Humane Society/Vet Clinic love the support and feedback from Wisconsin Works. Today, Tyler is excited to be earning money on his own and is hoping to transition into full-time employment over time.

Congratulations, Tyler!! We love seeing the joy on your face as you work with the animals and are excited to see where you are going!

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Danima’s Success

With three young boys to love, Danima had no time to lose. She came to FSC to jump out of unemployment and get her family the care they needed to thrive. This summer, Danima started her new full-time job with Tyson Foods, and she couldn’t be happier. “The pay advances and benefits this company offers mean I can not only provide for my sons but we can finally be comfortable.”

Danima co-enrolled in FSET and Wisconsin Works to maximize her benefits and get the support she needed to achieve her goal as quickly as she did. FSET helped Danima navigate her job search, while W-2 provided the extra support she needed to keep her family strong. She was able to get cash support, transportation to interviews, and a great work experience helping customers apply for Emergency Assistance at the FSC office to add to her resume.  This gave her a simple way to cut transportation costs, since she was already at the office for support, while keeping her primed for the next job prospect.

“This job means more than just making a living,” Danima says. She is saving up to give her family the comfort of their own home. “I would still like to finish a bachelor’s degree, but this job means I can finally start improving my credit and actually buy a home for my family. That’s what I am most excited about!”

We’re excited for you, too! Congratulations!

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Eugene Climbs His Mountain

Ranard describes Eugene with two words: “simply amazing.” At 58 years old, he is the oldest male to graduate TrANS, and he’s not only moved into a great career, but was promoted to crew lead within a month of hire.

“Truth be told I was hesitant to bring him on board knowing that our contractors are looking for prime-age candidates,” says TrANS instructor Ranard. “He simply wouldn’t accept no for an answer! This man would be waiting for me in the parking lot when I arrived each day in class 40 minutes before start time, with coffee in hand.”

After a decade in meat-packing, TrANS was Eugene’s chance to get into career he always wanted to explore. “I felt that life was at a standstill – like I was going around and around a mountain getting nowhere. My children were adults and out of the house I knew that this may be my last chance for success in a career I was always interested in.”

After he graduated from TrANS, Eugene enrolled in Fox Valley Tech and earned his Class A CDL. Fahrner Asphalt Sealers took him on and was so impressed that they promoted him within a month. “I have the responsibility of my own truck and crew,” he says.

Today, instead of going around in circles, Eugene says that he can see “a profitable future in a job that has given me a platform to go up the mountain… The TrANS program prepared me to be professional always by going to work on time everyday eager to both listen and learn.”

“I am so proud of this man,” says Ranard. Great work!

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Strong Allies, Strong Family

Suli enrolled in Wisconsin Works because she plans on welcoming her second child to a strong family. After a series of setbacks left her and her little girl homeless, Suli determined that she would do whatever she could to get them under a safe roof. With the support of a great community, Suli now has a full-time job, her GED is within sight, and she’s saving for a place to call home!

Having allies is Suli’s key to success. Wisconsin Works helped her find these allies while searching for a good job that could support her family. While Suli prepared for interviews and worked on her GED, Encompass provided 10 free days of childcare for her daughter. Meanwhile, House of Hope gave her a safe place to stay, provided classes on self-sufficiency, and helped her stay on top of her job searching activities. With gas and bus vouchers from Wisconsin Works, she buckled down on finding work and planning her family’s future.

Her children are Suli’s motivation throughout everything. “She’s a great mother and knows what she needs to do to support her daughter and baby,” says her case worker with W-2. “Suli never gives up!”

Suli just found a good job as a line worker and recently enrolled in FSET for additional support as she continues to strive for her GED. She hopes to work with children in the future.

We’re excited to see your family thrive! Congrats, Suli!

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Allisha’s Grand Opening

Allisha is opening up a new chapter in her life as a small business owner, with a boost from FSC!

Other people might call it unemployment, but to Allisha, it was a time of opportunity. She had always dreamed of being a nail technician and opening her own salon. With two young boys to care for at home, she didn’t waste any time looking for resources to make her dream a reality. Allisha joined FSET and Wisconsin Works to get the support and training she needed.

Together, they made a plan to help Allisha switch careers. She enrolled in a 15-week course and earned her certificate in Nail Technology. FSET helped provide educational funding, job counselling, and transportation help to get to class, while W-2 helped provide additional funding and help finding childcare. With this support, she was able to save enough to get a location for her new salon!

Allisha just had the grand opening of her very own Luxe Designs & Styles, LLC. To Allisha, this business means both stability for her family and “never going on another interview!” She couldn’t be more excited! Congratulations, Allisha! We’re thrilled to be part of your story!

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Pawahna’s Success

“Pawahna lights up the room with her enthusiasm,” says Meghan, a counselor with the FSET program. Even though Pawahna has been a U.S. citizen for most of her life, she did not speak English well enough to earn her GED until joining the FSET program this year. She was a child when her family fled from Laos, and she left school after sixth grade to work at a strawberry farm. “My education opportunities were low, but my attitude and work ethic are very good,” she says. Together with FSET, Pawahna has found both the work she wanted and the opportunities she never knew were within her reach.

Pawahna is heading back to school this fall to earn her GED with a full-time job in a field she’s truly excited about. “She is beyond happy to be working in what she always wanted to do and now has hopes of obtaining her GED through FVTC and being able to advance in this career!” Meghan tells us. She and Pawahna formed a close team as soon as they met. They knew that the first step to a long-term career would be improving Pawahna’s English language skills.

“Meghan works so hard. She really cares,” says Pawahna. “She found an excellent volunteer opportunity that allowed me to work with people from different cultures and helped me use my English in a work setting.” Meghan used her connections to help Pawahna start volunteering at both Riverview Gardens and the Literacy Council, where Pawahna was also a student. FSET also helped Pawahna enroll in ELL classes at FVTC, including paying for her books and gas vouchers to get to class.

“Attending ELL at FVTC allowed me to be at a college that works hard to make people ready for work,” Pawahna says. She was hoping to start in facilities and maintenance, because she loves cleaning and knows it’s a place where she can move up. When Pawahna’s FSET team told her about a job fair at FVTC featuring Cintas, Pawahna leapt at the chance. She practiced interviewing with Meghan, attended the fair, was called back for interviews, and got the job!

“I have gained a lot of confidence in my future,” says Pawahna. She plans to study for her GED classes each morning before work and is staying with FSET while she finishes school. Congratulations!

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Jacole’s Unrestricted Success

“It means a lot to me to have a good job with a great company!” exclaims Jacole. After a back injury left her out of work, this mother of two was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to get a decent job again. She enrolled in Wisconsin Works, and today she’s thrilled to have a fresh start with Goodwill Industries!

Through W-2, Jacole learned how to explore careers that could accommodate her new weight restrictions. Talking with her case manager Karen also helped take the weight of stress off her shoulders. “Working with her gave me options I didn’t know I had,” she says. Karen helped Jacole find career paths she didn’t know were open to her and the hope she had almost lost.

Volunteering helped Jacole narrow down her career goals. She loves working with children, but after a brief stint at a local preschool, she realized that it just didn’t match with her long-term goals. She noticed openings at Goodwill and decided to drop off an application in-person. She told the supervisor how she thought she might be a great candidate for their company, and after looking over her application, they decided to set up an interview and start training.

“This job means I get more opportunities to be successful and make sure my kids have everything I can give them,” she says. Her family means the world to her. “They push me every day to be a better person. I want to be the best person I can for my kids, my family, and myself,” she tells us. Jacole plans to keep pushing forward and see how far she can advance, while saving for a new car and her children’s education. Congratulations, Jacole!

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Amber Finds Her Way Out

“The support I’ve received from my FSET and W-2 workers…has been priceless,” Amber tells us. She’s made four big breakthroughs over the past month. She graduated from FSC’s Office Foundations Training, found stable housing, owns a car that works, and graduated from the first step of Circles Green Bay. For Amber, it all came down to finding people she could rely upon to pull her from a “shaky living situation” onto stable ground. Once there, she started taking small steps toward her dreams.

“I was looking for a place to fit in. Not just in the workplace, but truly in life in general,” says Amber. Her family needed her, but without a home, car, or job, “I was being crushed under the weight of so many people depending on me for their own basic needs.”

Together with FSC and Circles, Amber is learning the skills she needs to not only find a job but to “become employable.” She’s learned how to budget both her time and money so she can do more with less. Training with FSC has helped her polish her resume and learn the skills she needs to find a solid career. Meanwhile, joining Circles fulfilled a heartfelt “desire for community and support from other people that share my struggles and understand my journey.” She says that she feels more accountable for her choices now, is motivated to change, and also feels “prepared to adapt to the changes I expect to continue to come.”

“The hardest thing I had to face was the full acknowledgement that I am the captain of my ship… and it is 100% my responsibility to find a way out,” says Amber. “With the support of an amazing team behind me, one step at a time, I found my footing.” Amber invited Emily to attend her Circles graduation, where Amber gave a speech about her progress so far. Amber is on the next step in the program and hopes to enroll in courses that enable her to “pursue a voice in victim advocacy, whether through volunteer work or a career. I will keep moving forward even if that means tiny steps full of trips and falls, and I will be able to be fully self-sufficient in the next couple of years.”

Congratulations, Amber! We can’t wait to see your next graduation!

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Makhia’s Expecting Great Things

Imagine studying for your finals with one youngster at home and another on the way. That would be enough to make anyone gulp, but when Makhia learned that she was expecting again, she knew that it was now or never. She signed up for Wisconsin Works and FSET to earn the diploma she needed to strengthen her family, and this summer she’s done it!

Makhia realized that earning her HSED was the first step toward finding a job that could support her growing family. She had previously worked in customer service and healthcare, but her pregnancy made it difficult to find work in those fields. “I still had a child at home who had needs,” she tells us. “That was a HUGE challenge when I didn’t have a job.”

Wisconsin Works helped Makhia with cash assistance throughout her work search, but to get her enrolled in school, her case manager introduced her to the FSET team. Through them, Makhia immediately enrolled in Blackhawk Technical College‘s GED Fast Track program. As she passed one test after another, her anticipation turned into excitement. She eagerly reported each score to her case manager. By the last test, “I was on pins and needles waiting for the results!” she says.

Makhia plans to put her new HSED to use as soon as possible to find a great career. “None of this would have really been possible without the W-2 and FSET programs!” she says. “ W-2 helped me continue to pay my bills and take care of my daughter, while FSET helped me study for the HSED and tests!”

Great job, Makhia! We’re excited to see where you go from here!

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DeShawn Trains for Family’s Future

“Only you can hold you back,” says DeShawn. He just graduated from the TrANS construction program, and with hard work and teachers who believe in him, he’s not holding himself back anymore!

DeShawn came to TrANS because although he had a stable income, it was barely enough to make ends meet. “In class,” he says, “I learned what I was capable of doing. I knew if I pushed myself beyond what I thought I could do, I’d find success.” On the advice of a friend, he started training to earn his CDL, so he could land a job as soon as possible after graduation. Instead, he earned one before he graduated.

When his TrANS instructor Lorie heard that a contractor was looking for drivers before the hiring season started, DeShawn was in her top 3 recommendations. “The contractor kept in contact to get updates on DeShawn’s progress, and they asked him to contact them as soon as he received his CDL – which he did.” Ptaschinski Construction hired DeShawn before he graduated, and he’s been working as a driver for them since the season started this year.

With Ptaschinski Construction, DeShawn has found more people who are willing to teach him, so he can grow and get better at his job. “Not only is my future looking good, but I no longer worry about finances or my responsibility to my family. I know I can provide for them.”

Congratulations, DeShawn!

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