Practice Brings New Opportunities

Coming to the U.S. from a Somalia engulfed in civil wars for decades, Said wanted to give his family the opportunity for a fresh start and peaceful life in Wisconsin. Enrolling in Road to Livelihood this May gave Said the chance to build on his solid work ethic with a new job and a new outlook on the opportunities ahead!

A Road to Livelihood specialized hospitality training course gave Said a chance to practice his English, while learning the ins and outs of a new profession. He was determined to speak confidently about himself and his experiences during interviews. His practice soon paid off.

During a tour of the Hyatt, Said’s professional appearance and diligence caught the attention of their HR Director, Megan. She immediately asked about bringing him over for an interview. His RTL Account Representative Liban, helped throughout the interview process, while Megan eagerly introduced him to the other staff.

Today, Said has been working as a Public Attendant for almost one month and is thrilled about the opportunity! His family is getting settled and is starting to look at Wisconsin as their new home. Congratulations!

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Jenni Finds Her Hope

Jenni loved being a server, but when she fell sick, her doctor said she’d need to find a new career. Thankfully, she knew exactly where to turn. Her team at Wisconsin Works helped her find a new career path, along with the support she needed to pull through some of the hardest times in her life.

“I love customer service and talking with people because it makes me feel good,” says Jenni. Her strong desire to interact with people made her the perfect choice for a front-desk volunteer. Plus, since she was already familiar with W-2, she felt comfortable explaining to staff exactly what she’d need to succeed. “With the help of my ever favorite Case Manager Krissy, [I got] right back in and once again I was part of the team.”

“I also enrolled in FSET, which I was not in before,” she tells us. “With the extra help, gas, and clothes, I could not turn the opportunity down.” Jenni’s teams worked together to help her buckle down on applications and get her in touch with employers who could easily work around her health restrictions. With a phone call from her Account Representative Ian, she secured an interview with West Corporation the day after she applied!

With a stable job, Jenni plans to pursue her Bachelor’s in healthcare administration – but the best benefit is how her new job will help her family. “Great pay and hours for a full-time mom,” she beams. “I will miss my FSC family, but at the same time I am moving on to bigger and better things and will now be able to provide for my three children.”

“I thank God for programs like this,” says Jenni. “It makes what seems hopeless hopeful, and I feel so lucky to have gotten to be a part of something so wonderful.” We are so glad to see you succeed, Jenni! Congratulations!

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Gabby Plans to Save Lives

“Being a Nursing Assistant is something important to me,” says Gabby. “It is such a rewarding feeling.” Before joining Wisconsin Works, Gabby did not think that going back to school as a single mother was possible. With the support of W-2 and FSET, she just earned her CNA certification and is dreaming bigger than ever before.

Gabby wanted a job that she could turn into a career, but with her daughter to care for and the bills piling up, she felt stuck grasping for any job she could get. Her FSET and W-2 teams, however, assured her that the opportunity to live her dream was still alive. They provided transportation vouchers for school and interviews, helped her enroll at FVTC, and funded her classes. They even covered her school fees, including the cost of new scrubs and shoes.

With financial help, “My biggest challenge as a student was being the student!” Gabby recalls. “Sitting through the conventional lectures was difficult. My mind was always going to thinking about my bills and my daughter, and I couldn’t wait to get out of my seat.” She focused all her energy into listening actively and taking good notes. Before long, she had earned her certificate!

“It felt good knowing that what I had worked toward paid off,” she insists. With a fresh certificate, Gabby is working side-by-side with her W-2 and FSET teams to go after a job in her new field. “Great people, great program! [They] set me in the right direction for my future.” After a few years as a CNA, Gabby plans to go back to school for her Bachelor’s in Social Work before joining the military as a nurse.

Congratulations, Gabby!

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An Extra Happy Independence Day!

Help us celebrate independence by cheering on Charetha! FSET and Wisconsin Works helped her find a new outlook on life – and she’s using it achieve her American dream!

Charetha wants to encourage others to “wake up and show up!” She’s a natural leader, studying for a bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration. She hit road bump after leaving her job, and soon it was between caring for her family or continuing her education. Family came first, and Charetha decided that enrolling in Wisconsin Works was the most responsible thing she could do. Before long, however, she realized that she did not have to choose – by co-enrolling in FSET and W-2, she could have both a strong family and her college career again!

With her background in healthcare, Charetha was quick to sign up for a job skills course in caregiving. She was not sure what to expect, but she was happy to find herself among like-minded people once more. Charetha was amazed to see how the group came together and started lifting each other up. Her story became an inspiration to the class, who saw her drive to succeed in school, with her family, and in life every day, no matter what obstacles came up. With her confidence restored, she started learning new skills and transformed her view from one of “I need to do this” to one of “I want to do this.”

Before long, she was getting calls for interviews almost every day, until she was finally offered a job at her college for the position of Student Ambassador. She says that it was all made possible with the support and options that FSET and W-2 offered. She was in charge of choosing the job that was best for her and her family, and that made all the difference between starting a job and starting a new life!

Congratulations, Charetha, and Happy Independence Day!

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Family Man with a Plan

When we first met Brett, he told us a story about grocery shopping with his young son. Walking down the aisle,  his son asked for a bag of chips, like all kids do. Brett had to explain that they couldn’t afford them right now. This quickly served as a turning point in Brett’s life and he soon signed up for Wisconsin Works and FSET to get a good job. Today, he’s thrilled that he can provide all his family needs and even treat his son to a bag of chips once in a while!

Brett wanted to get back to work right away, so his team helped him find a volunteer opportunity at a local food pantry. Brett knew that he was an important part of the pantry’s operations and grew more confident each day. He loved going home and telling his family about how he got the nickname “Potato” because he was strong enough to move the potato bags around.

To grow his job prospects, Brett decided to learn more about manufacturing and conquer his fear of interviewing. Brett was a superstar in a manufacturing training course, spending extra time researching the tools they discussed and working on his math every week. He practiced interviews with staff before going home to practice with his friends and family. Before long, he was ready for the job fair. Working with the FSC team, this job fair quickly turned into a job offer – and now work.

Three weeks later, Brett came into the Job Center with an energy we’d never seen before. He was so excited about his job that he could not stop talking. He spoke of his job, how much he is learning, the praise he gets from his supervisors, and most importantly, the great changes he has made for his family. He says that it’s the best job he’s ever had, “the pay is pretty darn good.”

Congratulations, Brett!

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FSET for the Whole Family

Deana’s story is all about how caring communities can make a difference in someone’s life. Looking for work was a top priority for Deana, but she was having a hard time landing the job. Thanks to Green Bay East High School’s new partnership with FSET, Deana now has a solid job and is excited to see her whole family back on the career track!

The staff at Green Bay East is always looking for the best ways to help their students and their families. When they learned about free services that were available through FSET, they were eager to hear more and invited the team to present at the school. That’s when it all clicked into place – within a week, Deana spoke with a school social worker about her situation. They knew exactly who to call: FSET.

Just a week after she enrolled, Deana called the FSET team with fantastic news – she would be starting her new full-time job through Pro Staffing Inc. at the beginning of the month! She credited Lisa Soung, her FSET Employment Specialist, for motivating her to pursue her goals again. Knowing that a team had her back gave her the courage she needed.

In fact, she was so impressed that she encouraged her son to enroll too. They’re now working to find part-time work that will lead to a career after high school.

Congratulations, Deana!

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Active Mind, Great Career

“The WIOA program has helped me learn necessary skills for a job market that is in need of job seekers,” says Matt. He joined WIOA last year, to learn more about a training opportunity in manufacturing. Matt not only excelled in his training but also recently accepted an offer that has him excited about his future!

Matt wanted a job that would keep his mind as active as his hands throughout the day. So when he heard about a free training program where he could earn a Machine Tool certificate, he was keen to learn more. He talked with Amy, his Career Services Specialist, about getting started. A quick assessment process showed that he would be a great fit for the training. Then they set up a tour with a local metal manufacturer that got Matt more excited than ever about this opportunity.

Since the program sponsored his training, after only 4 months he earned a certificate without racking up any extra debt. As his coursework became more challenging, Matt’s confidence grew – he started to realize that the more mentally stimulated he was on the job, the better he could perform. He gained a passion for machine tool programming and learned more about his options through local tours with WIOA.

Matt started applying for positions as soon as he had a certificate in-hand. He brushed up his resume with Amy and started practicing interviews to show that he was as knowledgeable in person as he now was on paper. He got two job offers right away, but when he got an even better offer from a well-known manufacturer in Wausau, that was the one he jumped on. He’s now earning enough to save up for all of the necessities and then some: he hopes to save up for his own apartment, to pay off his car, and to visit his sister in Japan very soon.

Congratulations, Matt!

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