A Statement from Our CEO
It is our hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and strong during these critical times. Although the COVID-19 pandemic is posing new challenges every day, we cannot give up hope! Just like us, you’re having to make tough decisions and we wanted to share with you some ways that we can work through this together.
· You have more support than you realize. Know that Forward Service Corporation and our community partners are rooting for you and want to support you. Our office locations are open by appointment only and we are also equipped to meet with you over the phone and/or by video chat over the Internet.
· This too shall pass. It is important to keep this in perspective. Like Forward Service Corporation, you are strong and have weathered many storms in life. Your passion, drive and vision will get you where you are going. We are here to help you reach your dreams. This is only temporary.
· Be mindful and present. The situation is real and immediate. It requires us to be vigilant for ourselves and for others around us.
Let’s use this opportunity to make the world a better place.
Marcia Christiansen, CEO
Forward Service Corporation
Schools Offering Free Meals
Having good meals is crucial to keeping children healthy and ready to learn when schools reopen. Many Wisconsin schools are providing free meals to help families affected by school closures during the COVID-19 outbreak. Every area is doing this a bit differently, so please reach out to your school district to find out how they are providing meals in your area. You can find a full list of contacts here: WI SCHOOL MEAL CONTACTS.
The Future in Raphael’s Hands
“Your future is an open door,” says Raphael. “You just need to walk through. Figure out what you want to do, do it, and learn everything you can about that. Do your best, learn as much as you can, and you’ll have a good career. One you can be proud of.”
Before joining TrANS, Raphael was “working very hard for almost nothing.” He dedicated himself to learning the trades through TrANS, knowing that the harder he pushed himself, the better returns he’d get in the end. Now, he eagerly puts in overtime at a career he loves with Mega Concrete Construction. He’s already earning double his starting wage, which means the world to him.
“There’s a huge amount of pride for Raphael knowing that he can provide for his family,” says TrANS instructor Lorie, adding “and he LIKES what he is doing! Can anyone ask for more than that?”
Raphael says he knew he was a success when contractors started asking for him personally. “I no longer have to scramble around looking for employment,” he tells us. “I have built a good reputation – and my increases in pay show the respect I get from contractors… My future is in my hands. I can move up the ladder any direction I want.”
So, what direction does Raphael want to go? Well, he just welcomed a baby girl to his family, so Raphael’s focusing on being a great father and adjusting to the change. Then he has plans to continue learning, become a foreman, and make construction his lifelong career. Congratulations, Raphael!
Safeguarding Your Health
Hello to our valued clients. As you know, Governor Evers has put additional restrictions in place to safeguard everyone’s health. Forward Service Corporation is putting these into effect in our offices so we all emerge from this crisis healthy and happy.
We are practicing social distancing by limiting contact. This means no handshaking or hugs. We are also limiting the number of people in rooms and cancelling all events with 7 or more people. All job fairs and in-person employment interviews are cancelled for the time being.
Also, don’t be surprised if we are spacing you out from other clients when you come to our office.
These changes will remain in place until further notice and are put in place so we all stay healthy.
We are still here for you – if you have questions or needs, please don’t hesitate to contact your case manager directly or connect with us here.
A man was walking in the woods when he fell into a deep, dark hole. He shouted until a friend came by. Instead of tossing him a rope, though, the friend jumped in after him. “What did you do that for?” he demanded. “Now we’re both stuck down here!” “Yes,” said the friend, “but I’ve been here before, and I know the way out.”
Today, Angel is jumping into some of the deepest, darkest holes she’s been stuck in, because she also knows how to help others out. It all started when she lost custody of her daughters. She lost hope, spiraled into addiction, quit her job, and became homeless. When she discovered that she was pregnant, however, she called out for help as loud as she could.
Angel started treatment programs, applied to Transitional Housing through FSC, and learned about Wisconsin Works. Soon, she had a whole team of people pointing her in the right direction. They helped her find treatment resources and prepare for the steps head. After giving birth to a healthy baby boy, they refocused on moving forward.
W-2 helped her start volunteering with AmeriCorps as a Recovery Coach. Sober for over two years, Angel shines as a ray of hope to those she serves. She knows firsthand how to find resources like W-2, battle a rocky past, and regain control. Plus, the confidence she’s gained from helping her community inspired Angel to look for a career where she could continue to give back.
Now, Angel’s working part-time as a Medical Assistant at Milestone Senior Living. She’s saving for a home and continues to visit FSC in her journey forward. Recently, she was able to get her license back and purchased a vehicle with a WETAP loan. For her, this doesn’t just mean getting to work – it also means spending more time with her children than ever before.
Reilley’s Big Plans
Today we want to introduce Reilley, an Upward Bound student with big plans for her future.
Navigating high school and the journey into adulthood is challenging. As a first-generation college-bound student, Reilley tells us that Upward Bound provided the guidance that has made her college dreams a reality. Field trips to college campuses and events showed her what was possible, while the help in managing time, taking the ACT, and balancing her many extracurricular activities with her schoolwork kept her focused.
Reilley says, “I am forever grateful for this program and everything it has done for me,” adding that Upward Bound “helped me make college a realistic and achievable goal.”
So, what’s next for Reilley? She graduates from high school this year and is going to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville to major in forensic investigation with a laboratory emphasis.
But her plans don’t stop there. After that she wants to work for a police department as blood stain analyst and go to graduate school at the prestigious University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility.
Keep reaching higher Reilley and drop us a line to tell us how college is going.
Going Beyond Survival
Ebonie moved to Wisconsin a few years ago, after her children’s father was shot and killed, looking for a safe place to raise her family. Penniless and alone, all she had was the dream of becoming stable again. She came to Wisconsin Works for help. Fast forward to today, though, and you’ll see Ebonie coming to us to celebrate.
“They were my support to keep pushing,” says Ebonie of her W-2 team. They gave her the guidance and resources she needed at the most difficult point in her life. Her team helped her find a home, transportation, clothing, and even food. “My goal was to become stable and learn how to survive on my own” she tells us. Then she went beyond survival mode.
For the first time, Ebonie saw an exciting future ahead. She started looking for a career, took several FSC training classes, and joined WIOA to earn her driver’s license. “She was so proud when she passed,” says Sandi, who was her advocate throughout everything. You could see Ebony’s determination increase with each success.
Before long, Ebonie accepted a position with Marathon Residential and Counseling Services, Inc.. She’s been a full-time caregiver with them for two years. “It is so great to see how successful she is now,” says Sandi. “She started from the beginning, and her hard work paid off.”
We love seeing Ebonie check in with us. In fact, the last time she stopped by, Ebonie was grinning ear-to-ear when she said, “Guess what I just bought? A car!” Congratulations!
MATC Recognizes FSC Training Graduates
Exciting news for people enrolled in Forward Service Corporation’s programs! Through an agreement with Madison College, 7 graduates from our Office Professionals and Call Center Professionals classes have earned digital badges from the college.
These badges are not only a recognition of skills gained; graduates can also claim up to 4 college credits when enrolling in an approved program.
Marcia Christiansen, our CEO, said that “this collaboration will open the doors to lifelong learning so our program participants can continue building on the skills learned in our short-term courses. It’s really a win for everyone because it results in more skilled employees for local companies and increased earning power for our clients.”
Bryan Woodhouse, associate vice president for Madison College’s Strategic Partnerships and Innovation added that the college “looks forward to partnering with Forward Service Corporation in developing new avenues for deployment of micro-credentials – in this case as a recognition of credit for prior learning.”
Congratulations to these graduates on your new digital badges – we can’t wait to hear where you go next!
Carmen has been following a long and winding road these last few years.
She moved to Wisconsin after a hurricane wiped out her community down south and left her with few options. Although she didn’t know anyone in the state, she decided to relocate to Wisconsin to provide a good life for her daughter and herself. Even when facing some serious health issues, she has kept her hope and determination to focus on what she can do, not what she can’t.
In fact, Carmen will quickly tell you that “can’t” isn’t a word in her vocabulary. Sometimes life doesn’t happen the way you think it will, but she remains convinced that you can get to your dreams by a different route if you put your mind to it.
It’s this relentlessly positive attitude that has made her such a hit when working our office front desk and in the classes she has taken with Forward Service Corporation. With her cheerful attitude and steely determination, she has inspired others to work harder and see that you never really fail – you just figure out ways that don’t work and get back to work with this knowledge.
This has all paid off as Carmen recently started a job washing dishes with a local restaurant. When asked about her new position, she grins from ear to ear, telling us that “this job means the world to me. I love my coworkers and my hours, and I have been getting to work early, just to drink coffee and get prepared for my workday.”
Congratulations Carmen – keep dreaming and drop us a line to let us know about your continuing success.
Say hello to Whitney, a single mom who’s proving that lifelong learning and a great attitude are key to overcoming anything – even the concern about hiring someone with a baby bump. With three other children to provide for, Whitney wasn’t about to postpone her job search until birth. Instead, she joined Wisconsin Works, started training, and earned her first job in management!
Whitney was excited to explore careers with us, especially those with a good schedule for her growing family. She started with FSC’s Office Professionals course. Most of her experience so far was on the farm and in retail, so working regularly with computers was new. Plus, she discovered how much she liked the environment while volunteering at the front desk.
Then Whitney decided to stretch her wings with our Logistics Professionals course, where she learned all about the complex operations involved in getting goods to customers.
She saw every training opportunity as means of proving herself in a different field. “It showed employers that she had enough motivation to commit,” says her case manager, Nikki, adding that “our training really showed her what life could be like working in that environment and got her excited for the possibilities.”
In fact, when Security Finance saw Whitney’s motivation, they decided to offer her a full-time position as Assistant Manager! She’s excited to get this opportunity and says it’s more than she’d even hoped for. She intends to keep learning on the job and even hopes to save up for college. Congratulations, Whitney!