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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Lara’s Worth It!

When Lara got a notice in the mail stating that she needed to start FSET to keep her Food Stamps, she did not know what the program would offer. She was not expecting to find passionate teachers, contagious energy, and her long-lost confidence. Now she’s starting the job she “never thought in a million years” she would be able to get, thanks to the team that “changed everything.”

It all started when Lara came to her first skills training course. Her instructor, Korissa, had the dedicated spark of energy that brought Lara’s motivation back to life:

She was so excited and passionate about the class, and really cared about each and every one of us. Her energy was contagious and I found myself going home with a renewed sense of vigor. I was more confident with my job search and caught myself doing things I wouldn’t normally do, telling myself it was “because I’m worth it.”

She taught Lara how to craft a powerful cover letter, tailor her resume to each job she applied for, perfect her interviewing skills, and more. “I now have 5 different versions of cover letters and resumes, reference lists, letters of explanation, and a whole lot more ammo to prove myself to the working world that I am more than capable.”

On top of her training, Lara discovered that “a multitude of other resources” were now at her fingertips, ranging from transportation assistance to Goodwill vouchers. She was especially happy to learn that the Women’s Career Closet could provide her with professional attire that “helped me nail my interviews. I even found myself enjoying the volunteering requirement,” she says. “I made friends at St. Vincent de Paul and have genuinely enjoyed donating my time to help those in need – not to mention gaining job references along the way! Lisa has also been a wonderful case worker since my initial introduction to the Brown County Job Center and the FSET program – she’s been there with me since day one and is helping me still as I work on maintaining my recent employment.”

“Long story short – the program helps. These people are here to help you with anything and everything you might need. They want you to succeed. To quote Korissa, they ‘don’t want to see you back here,’ because they genuinely want you to get that job and move on. Thanks to the program, I am now employed with the Brown County Public Safety Communications Department as a telecommunication operator – a job I never thought in a million years I would have been able to get, yet here I am. I have the program and these awesome, dedicated people to thank for it. I am worth it!!!”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Congratulations, Lara!

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Antoine’s Team

“I just feel so happy and blessed to be where I am now,” says Antoine. He knew the TrANS program by its reputation for getting people solid jobs in construction. What he didn’t know was that co-enrolling in FSET would become the kind of life-changing experience he would recommend to his closest friends.

The hands-on TrANS coursework was everything Antoine needed to get a fresh start. A month after graduation, however, he realized that he needed more support in his job search. A quick chat with his instructor got him on the fast-track straight into the FSET program. “My employment specialist supported me through everything,” he says. His team helped him form a personalized employment plan, find supportive services, and encourage him when he needed it most. “The skills instructor even helped me put together my resume and my letter of explanation.”

Antoine wants his story to encourage others to ask for help when they need it. “At one point in my life I was angry at everything and would never ask for help,” he insists. “Now I know it’s okay to ask for help, and I’m just so happy that I have some support behind.”

Antoine was just hired as an asphalt sealer with American Pavement Solutions. He says that he wants to keep in touch with everyone who’s helped him along the way. Nothing could make us happier! Congratulations, Antoine!

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Steering Toward the Future

Dylan knew that moving forward meant getting an education. He joined WIOA to make it happen. This spring, he has a diploma in-hand and is starting a job that puts him straight on the path to success!

Last October, Dylan enrolled in WIOA and immediately met with his Career Services Specialist, Alison. He wanted to learn more about mechanics but needed a boost to get his education started. They got to work planning. WIOA helped fund his enrollment at the NWTC-Marinette Campus. The extra support team motivated him to study hard, and he earned his GED just as the snow was starting to pile up.

While his diploma was still hot off the printers, Dylan decided that now would be the time to start a career. He worked closely with his WIOA team to find work that would steer him toward mechanics and was recently offered an exciting full-time position at Waupaca Foundry. He’s considering enrolling Automotive Technician program this Fall, and can’t wait to learn more every day.

Congratulations, Dylan!


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Keeping Connected

When Myra sees a great opportunity, she jumps into it with both feet forward! After just two weeks with Wisconsin Works, she co-enrolled in FSET, joined a training course, got a job, and is moving forward with more connections than ever before.

After moving to Green Bay, Myra knew that finding a solid network in her new home would be key, both to her job search and to find resources to care for her child. That’s when she enrolled in Wisconsin Works. When she met with her case manager, she was happy that they immediately started discussing next steps. She signed up for a resume workshop and started creating a plan of action. When she learned that the FSET program could give her more support in her job search for doing the same activities she had already started, she was eager to sign up.

By the end of her first week, Myra was already preparing for the upcoming Job Fair. She struck a positive note with the staff from Homes for Independent Living right away. They offered her a full-time job, starting at the beginning of March!

Myra is thrilled to have a stable job that makes her feel excited to wake up each day. Plus, she says that the start date was perfect, since it gave her just enough time to finish her Job Skills Training course with us before moving into her new role. Since she is still working with our programs, she feels like transitioning back to the workforce is easier than expected. With continued support, she knows that her family will have the resources they need to chart a bright future.

Congratulations, Myra!

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A Mom with a Plan

After working with Wisconsin Works for only a few months, Victoria is thrilled to have a great job, a happy daughter, and a plan for the future.

Victoria says that W-2 changed her life from A-Z. “I just needed help,” she says. “I knew I had the ambition but needed resources to get started.” Victoria’s work search was having trouble getting off the ground, and taking the bus in winter with a 2-year old was just as difficult as it sounds. This all changed when she joined Wisconsin Works. She sat down one-on-one with a career counselor who helped her create a savings plan, secure daycare for her daughter, and prioritize day-to-day activities. She finally had the time she needed to look for stable employment.

“Anything I needed, they helped with,” says Victoria. “Vouchers for work clothes, bus passes, and just someone to discuss issues with when that’s what I needed. I can’t thank them all enough!” Wisconsin Works staff got Victoria the lucky break she needed when they learned about an opening at a local candy store. She knocked the interview out of the park and started her new job right away.

Today, Victoria’s family is doing better than ever. “I love my life! I have a job that I love where I am valued and appreciated. My daughter is happy with me! And I am progressing towards our own house. I couldn’t ask for much more in a few months time.” Congratulations, Victoria!

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Finishing Strong

One thing was certain: if James was going to travel down the road to success, he wanted to do so driving a semi. He had everything he needed to get started, but he found himself running out of some essential resources before he could finish the first leg of his journey. That’s when he heard that WIOA could give him exactly what he needed to get his career back in gear.

James had just earned a 3.6 GPA from Sabertooth Truck Driving School, but he still needed to earn his CDL and find a job. He spoke with Kaitlin, his Career Services Specialist, about exactly what kind of job he was looking for and how he could get there. WIOA gave James the resources to pass his exam and pay for the license. Then they got to work crafting the perfect cover letter and resume to help his skills shine. Diligent and eager to learn, James attended Job Clubs and appointments with Kaitlin every week, ready with new questions at every turn.

Suddenly, James’ life started accelerating. After several interviews and job offers, he found the perfect fit with Roadready Transfer Services. James is now working full-time and receiving benefits for the first time in over a decade. He still thanks Kaitlin every time he leaves the office. He says that finding the perfect fit with her ensured that he can spend more time with his dad, just diagnosed with late-stage cancer, while the skills and knowledge he learned gave him a newfound confidence.

We could not be more happy to be part of your journey. Congratulations, James!

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Congrats New Grads!

Our WIOA participants all have unique paths, but each of these young men also have something in common: they have all just earned degrees and are excited for the future!

Cory joined WIOA last summer. He explored several career paths with his Career Services Specialist Allison, before setting out to earn his CDL at Midwest Truck Driving School and a certification at North Country Heavy Equipment in Escanaba, Michigan. His passion for the jobs overcame his nerves about returning to school, while WIOA gave him the opportunity to attend both courses within a 7-week period. He has been offered a full-time position starting this spring!

Auston joined WIOA last November and is proud to be holding his GED from NWTC-Marinette! He says that earning his diploma has opened career options that he can’t wait to explore. He’s already started looking at ways to further increase his skills with his WIOA team, with a keen interest in electrical systems.

Austin was also excited to explore career paths as soon as he earned his GED. He’s talked with us about his passion for Information Technology and he’ll be starting job-shadowing in that field to get a deeper understanding for it this spring. Austin will be in good company when he starts classes at NWTC-Marinette this fall.

Meanwhile, Kile just started working as a welder at a local shipyard after earning his technical degree from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC). Kile was determined to earn a diploma, but tight funds were forcing him to choose between tuition and rent. Allison helped him apply for housing assistance, and before long, he was moving into an apartment of his own. Kile says that he pushed himself harder than ever to succeed to earn a B or better in his classes, to get reimbursement from the program. His mother saw his determination and found enough money to help out during the final semester. Kile is now the first person in his family to graduate with a technical diploma! To top it all off, he has just welcomed a baby girl into the world this February.

Tanner also earned his technical diploma in welding from NWTC-Marinette this December! He has always had a passion for welding. He joined the Youth Options Program, which let him earn college credits while he was still in high school. Eager to get started, Tanner also joined WIOA’s youth program, to make sure he had all the support he needed to move forward with his training as soon as possible. The community networking he did with WIOA paid off right away, and Tanner also found full-time work by the time he graduated. Plus, you might see his artwork decorating your neighbor’s yard – he’s started a side business creating yard ornaments with his new Plasma Cutter.

Congratulations all on a job well done! We can hardly wait to find out where you go from here.

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The Harvest Is In

Daniel is certainly no stranger to hard work. When he first came into FSET, he quickly got a job laboring at a local farm. Unfortunately, this ended when the harvest was in, and he turned his eye to a career in manufacturing or logistics. Once again, he came to FSET for some help taking this next step.

Kelsey, one of our dedicated Employment Specialists, got to work with him right away to help him create a resume that would get the jobs he wanted. They met each week to complete online applications, and she suggested the perfect training courses to prepare him for the jobs he was looking at, including OSHA training and other classes in workplace safety.

One thing was still missing: a reference. That’s when Kelsey introduced Daniel to the Work Experience program. He started volunteering at Evergreen Thrift and got a great endorsement from their team. Before long, he got a call back from Employment Options. Daniel aced the interview, and they were so impressed with his new skills that they offered him a job the same day.

With a stable job, Daniel says he feels more assured than ever. “My plans for the future,” he says, “are to stay with the job and get my own house to live in.” Congratulations!

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Standing Tall

Only a few months ago, Anthony was just getting used to the idea of reconnecting with his children, after his release from prison. He was starting from scratch, and without transportation or a place to live, he wasn’t sure how to be the independent man he wanted them to see. Today, he’s standing tall, talking about all of the goals his new job will help him accomplish, thanks to FSET.

Anthony joined FSET in January to figure out how to transition back into the workforce. His Employability Specialist, Jess, helped him create an action plan right away. They talked about careers he wanted to explore, and she helped him join skills training classes to get a foothold in the industry. She also helped him get transportation to and from job interviews. “Jess inspired me to be hopeful and continue to shoot for the stars,” Anthony says. “I’m thankful for her.”

When he learned about the February Career Event at the Job Center, Anthony was eager to test his new skills. While there, he filled out an application with Neenah Foundry. Within a day, Jess was helping him prepare for an interview!

His new, full-time job just started, but Anthony is already setting plans for the future. Today, he talks about saving up for a car and a place of his own. We’re proud of you, and we can’t wait to hear more great things from you soon. Congratulations, Anthony!

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