The day after Dakota was released from incarceration, he enrolled in the FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET), a third party program funded in partnership with the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. Being justice-involved, he had some different needs and a short timeline to become self-sustaining. Luckily, he was immediately referred from his probation agent to Caitlin Ginnery, our FSET Case Manager who handles Probation and Parole needs in Winnebago County.
When Dakota came in, he was motivated to establish himself quickly. His immediate needs were clothing and transportation—the basics in order to establish fundamental stability and begin to build confidence in himself and his abilities.
Having had a long time to think about it, Dakota dreamed of achieving financial stability and personal independence. Obtaining a high-paying job close to home, obtaining a drivers license, and buying a reliable vehicle were all steps on the journey toward his dream.
Through FSET, Caitlin initially connected him with vouchers to pay for gas and new work clothes, like steel toed boots and gloves. Dakota even got his driving permit and lessons covered.
To start his employment journey, Dakota expressed an interest in learning computer skills and that he would like some job search assistance. He had never applied to or interviewed for a job before and realized he had a long way to go but a short time to get there. So, he and Caitlin got to work creating a resume and a targeted job search for positions he was interested in. He even learned how to complete online applications.
Caitlin says, “[Dakota] inspired me with his determination and work ethic.”
The hard work paid off. Dakota found that he was comfortable in interviews, and his confidence quickly developed. Soon, he was offered a high-wage manufacturing job near his new home, successfully completing the goals he had set out for himself. Now, he would like to work his way up in the company and make it a long-term career.
People like Dakota can also use the FSET program to map a path toward their goals and receive the assistance they need to achieve them. Ask about enrollment >>