Tag Archives: SNAP

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.

Building a New Life

30 Apr

Prior to the fall of 2012, Carol Jackson had expected to live her entire life on the island of St. Croix U.S. Virgin Islands. After fourteen years of service as an Office Professional at a local oil refinery, she unexpectedly learned she was being laid off. With the closing of the refinery, Carol was among 2,500 Cruzans – roughly 5% of the overall population of the island – suddenly looking for work.

“The job market wasn’t as plentiful now that the major private employer [had] closed,” Carol says. “So I decided it was time to move on.”

With family already in the area, the Jackson family – Carol, her husband and their three children – relocated to Austin in an effort to build a new life for themselves. Upon moving to Austin, Carol was introduced to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and began working with Jennifer Dominguez, a Career Counselor with the Workforce Solutions Capital Area’s SNAP Employment & Training program.

The SNAP E&T program includes job search assistance, professional workshops and volunteering in the community. Initially, Carol wondered why she had to do all of these things. She had worked in a professional setting for a long time and was already searching and applying for jobs. What was the big deal?

However, as she progressed in the program, Carol realized the value of the components and was able to utilize the tricks and tips she learned.  In addition, volunteering at the Blood & Tissue Center of Central Texas provided Carol with a way to immediately give back to her new community AND to network.

“Volunteering is an essential key to job searching,” says Carol. “Other than contributing your valuable time to society and getting that ‘feel good’ buzz, it allowed me to meet people. I learned more about Austin, other places to volunteer and key employers, all through networking.”

Within four months of moving to Austin, Carol was hired as an Administrative Assistant with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.  However, her journey does not end there. After evaluating local employment needs and trends, Carol decided to continue her education and is currently taking classes in Grant Writing and Business for Social Media.

“For those of you that are newly unemployed, my advice is to get on the ball right away on your mission to find the next opportunity,” Carol says. “It may take a few interviews to get where you want to be but a ‘Yes’ is right around the corner and just a few interviews away!”

On working with Carol, Jennifer Dominguez adds “I am grateful for the opportunity I was afforded to provide support to a customer whose professional outlook on life is positive and inspiring.”

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.

 

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).