Nicky Stays with W-2 to Achieve Dreams

Nicky’s achieved a lot in a short time. When her second child was born, she needed reliable support. Wisconsin Works was just the ticket. It let her focus on family during maternity leave, instead of worrying about how to afford them. She decided to stay with the program once leave ended, and their ongoing support has made all the difference.

Just one week after leave, Nicky found a job at Homes for Independent Living. “She’s a beam of positivity,” says her case manager. Her eager attitude, combined with some great work history, made her a great catch. The primary things she needed were childcare, transportation, and to move quickly. W-2 helped with each of these.

By her first day, Nicky’s children were enrolled at Encompass Early Education & Care. Her gas tank was full, and she was wearing new work clothes, thanks to vouchers from W-2. Staying enrolled also gave her another benefit: a no-interest loan for a better car.

Nicky’s thrilled to have a job that pays family-supporting wages. She’s also happy to pick up overtime, especially with the holidays coming up. Her gift this year: a new home.

Congratulations, Nicky, and Happy Holidays!

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Off to a Running Start

Harmony knows that a strong support system is key to thriving as a parent, particularly one who’s going for her degree. Her family has always been there for her – and when finances became tight, she found out that WIOA was there for her, too!

It’s easy to see how much she loves her family as she says that “I’ve been blessed with an amazing daughter at a young age.” Harmony is always upbeat and never complains, even when taking care of a sick child. The combined cost of raising a family and pursuing her dream, however, were making it hard to focus on either one. When Harmony learned that WIOA could help her pay for college, she felt like a huge weight was lifted. She could finally focus on being a great mom and student again.

“This helped reduce financial stress in our family and motivated me to do well in all my classes,” she says. Harmony also used WIOA to push toward her goals, find a career, and plan for the future. She met regularly with her career counselor Shelby to guide her through every obstacle. “Shelby has [been] the most amazing cheerleader and supporter… She helped me lay out a financial plan for my two years in school. She was always an ear to listen during the hard times. Shelby truly goes above and beyond!”

Harmony’s hard work paid off – she’s just earned her Associate’s Degree in Nursing from NWTC! Plus, her career got off to a running start with two job offers. Today she’s continuing to show her strong work ethic with a full-time job at a local nursing home while working part-time at a prominent hospital.

You’re doing an amazing job, Harmony! Congratulations!

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Karen’s Moving Up

“I’m working my way up from the bottom,” says Karen. After losing her office job in 2016, she had to give up almost everything she owned to make it by. After a winter spent sleeping in her car, she learned about FSET. That’s where she found the experience she needed to jump from “the bottom” straight up to a management position.

“I want personally to thank Hannah, Wendy, Giselle, and all the wonderful ladies at FSC!” Karen says with a smile. Their steady encouragement and key connections expertly helped her gain the skills she needed to get hired. Within her first week, she was practicing clerical work at the FSC office, crafting a great resume, and preparing for interviews. When the opportunity to volunteer at a real work site came about, she was ready.

New Valuations was hoping to hire someone after a trial period, and Karen was eager to prove herself. It didn’t take long before they knew they’d found the candidate they were looking for. Within two months, they offered her a job as office manager.

“I wouldn’t have been able to succeed without everyone’s support and encouragement,” Karen tells us. “It really means a lot and I am ever grateful.” Now, she’s saving for her own place and says “I am going to do everything in my power to remain in that upward motion.” We know you will, Karen. Congratulations!

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Amanda’s Silver Lining

Amanda is one of those people who can see the silver lining in just about every cloud. When her days were darkened by the struggle to make ends meet, she turned to Wisconsin Works to bring that silver lining back into focus. Today, she’s bringing her great outlook to a career in healthcare!

“She came to every appointment with a smile on her face,” says Tessa, Amanda’s case manager. Although some of Amanda’s children have behavioral health problems, she wasn’t about to let the extra chaos dim her optimism. Instead, it strengthened her resolve to provide for them. She was eager for advice. Together, says Tessa, “Amanda and I were able to come up with plans and activities that fit her needs.”

In addition to helping Amanda arrange a schedule and plan her career path, W-2 also got her in touch with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. The DVR and W-2 worked together to provide the educational assistance Amanda needed to take classes for the CNA program at NWTC this fall.

Today, Amanda is starting her career in healthcare as a personal care worker with Clarity Care. She looks forward to advancing in the field as she learns more, as well as this chance to focus on being a great mom.

Congratulations job, Amanda!

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Laci’s Triumph

To get through her nursing program, Laci learned how to do her homework with babies snuggling on her lap. With a baby, a toddler, and a disabled husband, Laci was a full-time caretaker, but she knew the only way they could get off assistance was if she finished her nursing degree. “Adding more to my plate seemed a bit risky,” Laci says, but it was a risk she was determined to take.

“You won’t know what’s available, if you don’t express a need,” Laci explains. Wisconsin Works provided the financial support that kept her family stable during this time and helped her navigate to key resources to get a great job, including the WIOA program, which helped fund her education. “The programs and services that are offered are amazing and a true blessing to families such as mine,” Laci says, adding that “The staff, especially Jamie and Kristin, were instrumental in me being successful and getting over the hurdles I faced while pursuing my degree.”

These hurdles popped up throughout her education. Her husband went through multiple surgeries and hospital stays while she was in school, and he moved out of state just before finalizing a divorce. Laci’s family also lived in Texas, so she leaned on her FSC support team to triumph over both the heartache and the continued financial distress. She was able to find a part-time job working at the daycare her boys attended, and she stuck with her FSC support team whenever trouble loomed on the horizon. “They honestly cared about me being successful and checked in frequently to see my progress and if I needed any help and or offered advice.”

Laci passed with a 3.73 GPA and was offered a full-time position as a registered nurse at Marshfield Clinic! She plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing, which would help her advance to a managerial or educational level. “I want to continue to be a lifelong learner and expand on my base as much as possible, sharing along the way” she beams.

Laci was just awarded the WIOA Award of Excellence for going above and beyond expectations, and we could not be happier for her! Great job, Laci!


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Target Acquired

One quick tumble changed everything for Melissa. Her doctor told her she couldn’t go back to work for a while, and she wasn’t entirely sure she could keep up when she did return. A serving job requires a fast pivot. She wasn’t about to let a bum leg keep her down, though. She called 1-855-733-1311 to enroll in Wisconsin Works, and she found her new job in just one week!

Melissa is as resilient as she is charming. She selects her goals quickly and as soon as she “sets her sights on them,” says her case manager, there’s no looking back. In this case, as soon as her career assessments showed that she would be a great fit for customer service, Melissa decided to switch careers. There was a job fair just around the corner. Melissa’s team buckled down to help her upgrade her resume and learn about the employers who were going to be at the fair.

Once again, she locked in on a great target: Ameriprise Financial. Her account representative, Craig, showed her what kind of candidate they were looking for, and she worked one-on-one with Tina in the computer lab for over an hour to ensure every detail on her resume was perfect. She knew she would be a great fit, and after meeting her, Ameriprise couldn’t agree more.

Melissa starts her new full-time job in November. Until then, you might meet her at the FSC front desk, where she’s staying sharp by volunteering. Her next goal: a major in Human Services from Rasmussen College.

Congratulations, Melissa!

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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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Thomas Earns His Dream Job

Today, Thomas is more driven than ever before, not just because of his motivated personality, but because he’s earned his dream job at YRC Freight after just 2 months with the FSET program!

If you ask Thomas what was holding him back before, he would say it was fear of asking for help. He had always been independent and motivated, until a series of personal and work-related setbacks made him reach out to FSET this February. He had earned his CDL with help from FSET before, and he knew they could help him chart a path to success.

That’s exactly what they did. Together, they drafted a plan to get him the job he always wanted – one with a good schedule, great crew, and benefits. He got weekly help with his job search at the Job Club, transportation assistance, and vouchers for interview apparel. To keep gaps off his resume and get a great reference, he even participated in work experience at Riverview Gardens.

Thomas was offered a full-time job at YRC Freight, where he gets great wages and 100% employer-paid benefits!

Great job, Thomas!

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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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