Mark’s New Career

Mark was a medical professional in Pakistan for many years, but when his family needed to flee, he had to move fast. His medical credentials weren’t recognized in the U.S. and he was unfamiliar with American employers’ expectations. Starting over wasn’t easy, but it landed him in a new career that he loves.

“Further education would be nice, but I truly enjoy my job,” Mark tells us. “If I am able to go back to school, it would be around the job I already have.” Instead of battling his way around more language barriers in the medical field, Mark came to FSC to find a new path. Through the Wisconsin Works and Road to Livelihood programs, he soon found a full-time job with Plexus doing assembly work.

Mark’s willingness to learn set him up for success right away. His FSC team helped him with vouchers for gas and clothes, made sure he had a knockout resume, and got him to the right resources, but Mark’s dedication made all the difference. He started taking English classes at FVTC, joined a Job Club for English language learners, and was always willing to teach others about his culture so they could understand his needs, too.

Mark says that the best thing about his new career is the freedom to spend time with his family. He has a stable schedule and loves being a useful member of a team again. Great job, Mark!



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The Means to Nikita’s Dreams

After eleven years as a caregiver, Nikita has a lot of experience helping people overcome health barriers. When an injury forced her to find a new career, she challenged herself to follow her own advice and find a way to make life great for her family again. With a little help from FSC, she’s starting the career she hopes will become the means to her dreams.

The instant Nikita walked through our doors, we could tell she was one of the most caring people you could ever meet. “It’s obvious from the moment you meet her,” her case manager says. Just as obvious is her determination to be independent. That’s why she enrolled in both Wisconsin Works and FSET. She wanted to make her transition to a new career as smooth as possible for her family.

Nikita was relieved that she could work toward her goals by training for a new career, even if her health stopped her from starting one yet. Through online training, Nikita discovered that she had a knack for customer service and computer work.

By the time her doctor said she was okay to rejoin the workforce, Nikita was already applying for jobs in customer service with her team. They also ensured she had steady transportation through gas vouchers and clothing vouchers for interview attire. This is helping her make a great impression today at her new full-time job with Spectrum!

Nikita has big dreams for the future. “This job means everything,” she says. Now that she has a steady income, she hopes to save up and send her to college one day. She even hopes to own her own business.

Well done!

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Robert’s Over the Moon

Robert likes working with his hands, but after a work injury put him out of commission for two years, he knew it was going to take more than a release note from his doctor to get back into the workforce. Eager to prove that he could be a useful teammate again, Robert joined Wisconsin Works to get the start he needed. Within just one week, he’s already been hired full-time!

It’s easy to see how Getchell Builders and Home Maintenance saw Robert’s potential so quickly. Before he got a medical release, Robert was already volunteering at his church for several hours a week, picking up whatever small jobs he could to help out. On the advice of his Account Representative, Robert also started volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul. Together, this packed some helpful references into a short period of time – but Robert had no idea that things would turn around for him so quickly.

Luckily, Robert’s W-2 team was on top of ensuring he had everything he needed to start work as soon as the doctor gave him the go-ahead – a strong resume, work clothes, reliable transportation, and assurance that his family had everything they needed to make a smooth transition. When Robert got a call back offering him a position as a carpenter’s helper, he was over the moon with relief. “Robert was ecstatic about his new job,” says his case manager. “He was most excited about the financial freedom and the ability to take care of his family.”

Robert plans to save a good portion of his earnings for his children and the rest for a new vehicle. Great job!

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Lesley Learns the Business

As an expecting mother, Lesley was eager to find work to support her growing family. She knew that the best way to do that was by gaining experience — but with a few complications during pregnancy, she needed a chance to show that she still has what it takes to succeed. FSC was just the place to do it.

“Lesley is a fast learner,” says her case manager. “She made everyone feel so welcome when they came into our building.” Lesley started volunteering at the front desk shortly after discussing her career goals with her team. Since she was co-enrolled in both Wisconsin Works and FSET, she knew exactly how to direct people who were coming in for help. She didn’t stop there, though. She took extra time to study all of FSC’s programs as soon as she started volunteering. In short, she treated it like a job, and it didn’t take long to pay off.

Employers regularly visit FSC to network and look for job-seekers. A recruiter from Cabela’s noticed how helpful and professional Lesley was while they were conducting interviews on-site. Before she knew it, they asked her over for an interview and offered her a job on the spot!

As the new switchboard operator at Cabela’s, Lesley is thrilled to have a job that she can do during the last few months of her pregnancy. As always, though, she isn’t ready to stop there. She’s already studying the business to see how she can turn it into a long-term career. Congratulations, Lesley!

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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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