A Reputation for the Best
Amy Jump-Starts 2021
Shannon Switches Gears
This time last year, Shannon never would have expected to see herself enjoying a job in manufacturing. She’d always been in health care, so she never even considered manufacturing a possibility. When Covid forced her to reconsider her options, however, Shannon came to FSC and learned how valuable her talents were across the board.
“She really enjoys the various aspects of her new position,” says her FSET Case Manager Chasong. He helped Shannon realize that manufacturing could be a great career for her. Shannon had initially come to FSET and Wisconsin Works (W-2) to support her family while searching for an opening in health care. Once Covid hit, it shut down so many options in her field, however, and she was struggling to get her daughter into daycare and keep a roof over their heads. After learning more about her interests and the various local openings in manufacturing, Shannon realized that it was exactly what her family needed right now.
Shannon got the resources she needed to switch careers quickly. Our partners at Lakeshore CAP and WHEAP helped her pay rent. Shannon started our Essentials Courses to build a resume geared toward manufacturing. She worked with Wisconsin Works to find a good childcare that was accepting new children during Covid. Then she worked with her FSC team to find family-friendly openings nearby. After she was hired, FSET even helped her get gas vouchers for her commute.
Shannon recently started a full-time job with Locate Staffing at Subco Foods. She’s been impressed by a flexible schedule, so her daughter can attend daycare. They’re just as impressed with her — last we heard, she was even considering training as a Machine Operator.
Always Ready for a Challenge
Sometimes the success that comes from working with TrANS can take a while to set in. Take Rashaun for example. He came to the program with a criminal background, so he’s used to getting pushed out of hiring queues. “Now, when I apply to road construction jobs and I tell them I’m a TrANS graduate, they take me serious,” he says, adding that “I’m still realizing I’m a success.” His career success isn’t just because he graduated, however, but because he committed himself to starting a better life.
“I chose the class because I wanted better, and I knew construction could give me a future,” says Rashaun. He was determined not just to learn the trade but “to be a better person than when I came into the program.”
Despite legal issues and pandemic shutdowns, Rashaun pushed himself to earn his certificates and prove his value to contractors. He attended every interview at the SW TrANS Virtual Job Fair event and quickly received two job offers. He was hired by Mega Rentals, has earned his Class B CDL, and is using the off-season to pursue further training.
“This is a great opportunity to have a career, not just a job,” Rashaun says. He wants others to know that if they want more from life, construction is a great way to get started.
“Always challenge yourself,” Rashaun advises. “Try to outdo yourself, and never let where you came from define or determine where you’re going.”
Sarah’s Dreams Are Coming True
Computer grants provide relief to job-seekers during pandemic
Vakia moved to Wisconsin to make a better life for her daughters — when she learned about FSC, she realized there was no better time to change her stars, too. She’d spent years working her way up in fast food to become a manager. When she came home each day, though, Vakia was always humming a beat or reviewing new lyrics running through her head. She just didn’t have much time to put them on paper. That’s all changed after launching a new career with the help of our Essentials courses.
“She always had a bubbly personality and was open to anything we referred her to,” says Brooke, her FSET Employment Specialist. Vakia was away from family for the first time, so she joined FSET and Wisconsin Works to help support her children while looking for work. Vakia was blown away by our training options, and she decided to take advantage of every course in our Essentials series, from Financial Wellness to Job Searching.
Although the pandemic has changed job searches across the country, Vakia felt prepared to tackle anything. She planned her career path with Brooke, crafted a stellar resume with our Computer Lab Instructor Tina, and honed her soft skills with our Essentials Instructor Vincent. Meanwhile, Account Representative Craig hooked her up with virtual job fairs and helped her network with employers.
Before she knew it, Vakia was accepting a full-time position with Robert Half! She is working from home, which means less time on a commute and more time with her daughters every evening— and more time to write songs for her first hit album.
Amanda’s New Horizons
When Amanda’s employer went under, she decided to turn unemployment into an opportunity to retool her career. She’d often hoped for an office position, so she could spend more time with her children. Without any recent experience, however, Amanda thought it would be a long shot. That is, until she learned more about the opportunities she had with FSC.
Amanda was starting to feel discouraged before she joined FSET and Wisconsin Works. She quickly discovered that they worked together like a well-oiled machine, designed to bring her goals to fruition. Amanda learned the skills she needed to thrive in the office environment, through our Office Professionals training. Then she volunteered as a receptionist at the 9th Street Wellness Center, thanks to a great connection from her case manager. Meanwhile, Amanda prepped for interviews with Kevin, her Job Developer, and took every job lead he passed her way.
Soon, Amanda landed the position she’d been looking for. She started working full-time with Cherry Optical and is excited for the opportunities she sees on the horizon. Congratulations, Amanda!
Congratulations to Kimberly, a recent graduate of Respiratory Therapy at NWTC! After three years in the program, we’re proud to announce that she graduated debt-free with high honors. Plus, she’s starting her career at St.Vincent’s Hospital! “Going into a health field program is very time consuming,” she warns, but thanks to WIOA, she was able to focus on her studies and race past the finish line.
On top of classes, Kimberly had 12 hours of clinicals at hospitals across Northeastern Wisconsin every week. She decided to quit her part-time job to focus on school, but she still had bills to pay. Kimberly says the support of her parents and WIOA made all the difference.
“My parents were a huge help if I needed extra money once in a while,” she says, adding that WIOA’s budgeting counsel helped her make that money last. She adds that “WIOA also helped pay for books and classes, which allowed me to use the money I did have on rent, gas, and food.”
“She made understanding and going through this program very easy for me,” says Kimberly, referring to her Career Planner, Tracy. Kimberly worked with Tracy to get through college and focus on starting a career afterward. “Her encouragement and support helped keep me going and gave me faith that I could succeed,” she says. Kimberly wants to encourage other students to learn more about WIOA, “College is expensive and having programs out there like this one that help students succeed is a life saver… It is truly such a big support and helps tremendously!”
Kimberly currently works part-time at St. Vincent Hospital. She hopes to earn a full-time position “in the near future and get good critical care experience there over the next few years.”
Great job, Kimberly!