Hakim Proves Himself

Congratulations to Hakim, who’s started his first job in construction after graduating from our Highway Construction Skills Training (HCST) program! Hakim hadn’t considered construction when he met our team a few months ago. He was just hoping for a fresh start and joined the FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) program, through a third party program funded by the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation and Department of Health Services, to get the best start possible. But after a few twists and turns, he realized that this was one opportunity he shouldn’t pass up.

Hakim learned about FSET at his probation office, where Caitlin met him to explain how it could help. Thanks to funding from a different program, Hakim was staying at a motel while starting his first job search in over a decade. Nevertheless, he needed a job, transportation, stable housing, and clothing – all things that FSET could help with.

Once Hakim started working with FSET, he had the resources he needed to find a job and keep it. Caitlin continued working with him from day one. She got to know his unique situation and helped him get everything he needed to succeed – from clothing in the right size for a big-and-tall man to connections with healthcare and community support.

Before long, Hakim accepted a general labor position in a neighboring city. FSET paid for steel-toed boots, and he was excited for the chance to prove himself. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.

Hakim still didn’t have his driver’s license or a vehicle, and the transportation he did had was unreliable. Going back into a job search, Hakim felt more discouraged than ever. How could he explain this to prospective employers? How could he afford driver’s license fees? And would anyone accept someone with so little work history in the real world? He asked and received.

Caitlin introduced Hakim to Angie, our Job Developer, who encouraged him and showed him how to explain his work history. They planned for the “what-ifs,” put together a resume that displayed his potential, and restarted his job search. FSET paid his driver’s license fees, and a friend helped him get a vehicle. And then he found the training opportunity he needed to get a job with true lifetime earning potential.

Our HCST program is a six-week training course in construction. While that sounded like a long time to Hakim, Caitlin pointed out that he had already been looking for work for a while, and this was a gateway to career opportunities that he could retire from someday. Plus, if he took the class, he could be eligible for a weekly stipend for meeting class expectations. He applied, and after a conversation with the HCST instructor, Ranard, Hakim was truly excited for the opportunity. The Basic Needs Grant helped cover six weeks of his hotel stay while he completed the course. It also provided gas vouchers so Hakim could travel to Green Bay to attend class each day. Hakim worked hard and graduated mid-March.

By the time Hakim graduated, he had also attended a job fair and was offered a position with his first-choice company: MCC Inc. He is currently a machine operator and is excited to see how his career will grow within the company.

Do you want connections that can help you find the right career? Learn more about the FSET program.