Tag Archives: resume

Navigating the Sea of Unemployment

2 Feb

The Watters - PhotoIn 2014, Natalie and Jason “J.J.” Watters found themselves in the same boat: they were both unemployed at the same time. The couple was determined to keep their heads above water even though they faced significant challenges such as debt and taking care of their two young children, so they dove head first into the CHOICES Program at Workforce Solutions Capital Area.

According to their CHOICES case manager LaShaila Mitchum, the Watters went to the Workforce Solutions North Center at 7:45 a.m. every day for four weeks, where they participated in job readiness classes and searched for jobs. The Watters were “beacons of positivity,” said Ms. Mitchum, and they offered support and words of encouragement to other CHOICES participants.

Mrs. Watters said the family appreciated the classes that taught them how to interview for jobs, fill out job applications and write their resumes.

Mrs. Watters said the most challenging aspect of the couple’s job search was that many employers were slow to respond to online job applications. “There was no face-to-face contact. You have to be persistent. It’s as if you are one fish in a big sea,” she said. “You want the companies to see what you bring to the table, but without personally meeting recruiters, you’re just a piece of paper, just a resume.”

Mrs. Watters also said the on-site hiring events at Workforce Solutions’ career centers were invaluable. Mr. Watters received a notification through his WorkInTexas.com account about a UPS job fair, and he spoke face-to-face with a recruiter at the hiring event. That day, Mr. Watters filled out his application on a computer at the career center. He interviewed for a temporary truck loader position at UPS the next day, and he received a job offer on the spot. “The recruiter at the hiring event went through the whole hiring process,” Mrs. Watters said. “She left nothing uncertain.” Mr. Watters was a temporary worker until January 15, when he accepted a full-time truck loader position at UPS.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Watters, who has worked in the childcare industry for more than a decade, accepted a job offer as a curriculum coordinator and after-school and summer camp director at a children’s learning center. Her new schedule is conducive to her family; her daughter attends day care at the children’s learning center, and her son’s school is nearby.

“The Watters have truly set the standard for clients who are facing many obstacles and still manage to exceed program requirements,” said Ms. Mitchum. “Mr. Watters worked from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. and would still come to the center and is constantly praised for his work ethic. Mrs. Watters is the epitome of a family’s backbone. I have seen her in so many instances encourage other CHOICES clients to keep up the fight in efforts to provide a good-quality of life for their families as well as provide them with community resources.”

About the Choices Program

For individuals receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Workforce Solutions Capital Area offers one-on-one job search assistance and support services through the Choices program.  Choices is a no-cost employment program designed to give TANF recipients the assistance and support they need to find a job. Specifically, Choices can provide:

  • Job search assistance
  • Child care
  • Transportation assistance
  • Work-related expenses
  • Referrals to other community services

Eligibility for the Choices program and TANF is determined by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). For more information about eligibility requirements, please visit http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/Help/Financial/temporary-assistance.shtml.

Overwhelmed But Hopeful

27 Feb

Harry Johnson - PhotoWhat do you do when it truly feels the odds are stacked against you? If you are like Harry Johnson III, you’ll find a way to level the playing field.

After stepping up to help his family deal with financial woes, health concerns and the passing of his father, Harry was hit with a tough reality. He had been so focused on fixing ‘things” that he hadn’t been able to focus on putting the pieces back together for himself. His primary goal was to find employment.

“I found I had little to no resources of my own left,” says Harry. “Consequently, I had to go on food stamps, but in the end the end I’m glad I did, because it helped me in achieving my main goal of being employed once again.”

After enrolling in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Harry joined the SNAP Employment and Training program with Workforce Solutions Capital Area. As a part of SNAP E&T, he was able to take advantage of workshops, intensive job search assistance and other support services.

“The first time I came into a center, I was overwhelmed but hopeful,” says Harry. “But the services offered [at Workforce Solutions] are absolutely top-notch. I say with all sincerity that I have never met another group of people who were as helpful with my case as your staff.”

Harry continues, “My program director, Amy Howard, did a superlative job of ensuring that I had the necessary resources at hand to accomplish my goal of reemployment. Her work definitely made my effort much more efficient.”

“Harry did a phenomenal job of utilizing all of the resources available to him,” says Amy Howard. “Up until his employment, Harry was at the Workforce Center nearly every day perfecting his resume, improving his job search strategies and developing his interview skills.”

Within three months of participation in the SNAP E&T program, Harry found full-time employment and is well on his way of redefining success.

“I know Harry will go far in his career,” says Amy. “In his first two months on the job he far exceeded his established sales goal making him a highly valued asset to his company. In addition, Harry has great interpersonal skills. He is a friendly person with a bright future.”

Harry’s advice for people in similar situations: “Don’t be intimidated. Get your resume out there. Applying got me my interview.”

About the SNAP E&T Program

SNAP E&T is a no-cost employment program designed to give SNAP (food stamp) recipients the assistance and support they need to find a job. Based on available funding, SNAP E&T can provide:

  • Job search assistance including job referrals
  • Support services such as transportation assistance, crisis and work-related expenses
  • Job skills assessment
  • Career counseling and planning
  • Training in basic and occupational skills
  • Work experience
  • Referrals to other community services

The SNAP E&T program is only available to SNAP (food stamp) recipients. Eligibility for SNAP is determined by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).  For more information about the SNAP (food stamp) program including eligibility requirements and how you can apply, please visit http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/help/Food/snap.shtml.

If you are a current SNAP (food stamp) recipient and want to learn more about SNAP E&T, please visit www.wfscapitalarea.com.

Finding a Job Can Be a Full-Time Job

13 Dec

Iris KremerIris Kremer started working at age 13.  When she became unemployed 30 years later, she thought it was no big deal. In the past finding a new job had not been a big deal. Unfortunately, times had changed and Iris found she was unable to find employment.

“At first, it was no big deal (so I thought) because finding a job is no big deal,” says Iris. “I was wrong, very wrong. After not being able to regain employment as quickly as I had believed something inside of me changed. I started to realize how much of my self-worth was connected to my job. When I got to the point where I had to apply for public assistance because I could no longer afford to feed myself, I felt I had reached rock bottom. Little did I know that it was the beginning of an upward journey!”

Iris began to see things turn around after joining the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training program with Workforce Solutions Capital Area.  Once she starting attending job readiness workshops and working with her Career Counselor Raquel Carbary, Iris began to understand that job search methods and techniques have changed – and that she was not alone in this search.

Within a few weeks, Iris began to get calls for interviews. She began to feel more knowledgeable and empowered. She says this experience has taught her humility, patience, and self-acceptance.

“When Iris first came in to the SNAP program, she almost looked lost, and without hope,” says Raquel Carbary. ” But once Iris started taking control of her job search and the options available to her, she picked herself up, applied to more jobs, interviewed, and got hired!”

Iris has inspired her Career Counselor and the Workforce Solutions team in the resource room. Her bright disposition always brightened the day, regardless of her circumstances.

Raquel continues, “Iris is a great example of how someone who feels like they have lost it all and don’t know what else to do, who then followed the steps that were put in front of her. She is extremely happy at her job and so happy to be back on track in life!”

Iris has returned to the medical field, working for ‘Specially for Children in a customer service senior position.

“I am very excited about this position because it will give me many opportunities to excel and grow,” says Iris. “We are an outpatient clinical service where children follow up with specialty physicians such as rheumatology, endocrine and so on. The clinic is expanding and growing and I am looking forward to being a part of that.”

About the SNAP E&T Program

SNAP E&T is a no-cost employment program designed to give SNAP (food stamp) recipients the assistance and support they need to find a job. Based on available funding, SNAP E&T can provide:

  • Job search assistance including job referrals
  • Support services such as transportation assistance, crisis and work-related expenses
  • Job skills assessment
  • Career counseling and planning
  • Training in basic and occupational skills
  • Work experience
  • Referrals to other community services

The SNAP E&T program is only available to SNAP (food stamp) recipients. Eligibility for SNAP is determined by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).  For more information about the SNAP (food stamp) program including eligibility requirements and how you can apply, please visit http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/help/Food/snap.shtml.

If you are a current SNAP (food stamp) recipient and want to learn more about SNAP E&T, please visit www.wfscapitalarea.com.

Short-term Needs and Long-term Goals

28 Feb

Denitrea Crittenden - PhotoDenitrea Crittenden was a 27-year-old, single mother of two, receiving public assistance to care for her young family when she first came to Workforce Solutions Capital Area to explore the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program.  Unfortunately, while she qualified, WIA funds had already been exhausted for that time period.

Not easily deterred, Denitrea worked toward her long-term goals and self-funded the prerequisite courses for a Radiology degree. However, pressing family obligations did not allow for a fast-tracked, rigorous academic load.

Two years later, after having completed the necessary prerequisites, Denitrea again inquired about the WIA program.  At that time, she was enrolled in the Austin Community College Radiology program and had a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)! The stress and cost of caring for her family had made it hard to continue to paying for her education all alone. Fortunately, the stars aligned and Denitrea was able to successfully enroll in the WIA program.

“Walk into Workforce Solutions and just ask,” said Denitrea Crittenden. “Let someone know your situation. No one can help unless you let them know what you’re going through. Don’t just wait and see. Discuss your short-term needs and long-term goals.”

Despite additional hurdles along her twenty month path, Denitrea graduated with an Associates of Applied Science and earned a 3.4 GPA and a place in the honor society.  While in school, the WIA program assisted Denitrea and her family with tuition, textbooks, uniforms, exam fees and crisis assistance.

Upon graduation, Denitrea worked with her Career Counselor JoAnn Rogerio and Career Facilitator James Helton to maximize her job search efforts and polish her resume.  Three months after graduation, Denitrea found employment as a Radiologic Technologist for one of the region’s leading hospital systems.

“One of the most helpful parts of the WIA program for me was knowing someone actually cared about my family and my success,” Denitrea said. “JoAnn taking the time to pick up the phone was comforting.”

This, however, was not the end goal for Denitrea.  She is continuing her education by pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Radiologic Sciences.

“Single mothers need to understand your life doesn’t need to stop with another outside life,” she offers.  “If you can take care of children, you can do anything!”

About the WIA Program

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program is a no-cost employment program designed to give job seekers the support and/or skills training they need to find a job. Specifically, WIA can provide:

  • Job search assistance
  • Child care assistance while in training
  • Transportation assistance
  • Interview clothing and uniforms
  • Tools needed for your new job
  • Funding for basic skills and occupational training

For more information about the program and eligibility, please visit www.wfscapitalarea.com.

 

Workforce Solutions Capital Area is an equal opportunity employer. Auxiliary aids and services are available, upon request, to persons with disabilities. Relay Texas: 800.735.2989 (TDD) / 711 (Voice).