I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to intern here at Workforce One in the Work Experience Program, (W.E.P.). Melanie and all of the girls have given me the boost in confidence that I needed to get back on my feet. If I had chosen not to intern here I would not be starting a brand new job Monday.
The experience with W.E.P. has been so uplifting, that instead of dreading coming into work, I am excited to get here every day. I love the relationships I’ve formed with the girls, and with Melanie. I get to come to “work” everyday, and be with people who are in the same situation as I am. It’s been great knowing that I can count on everyone here to help me when I have a problem. We all have our own problems, but we are here for each other, and that means a lot to me.
When I first started, I didn’t want to come. Now, I don’t want to leave. I have learned so much in the little bit of time that I’ve been here. Mostly, I’ve learned how to balance home life and working life. I have 5 children. They range in age from 5 months to 15 years. Trying to make sure your children are all taken care of, and in school, and doing their homework, making sure they get to doctor appointments, et cetera, all while trying to get your hours in can be very overwhelming. Since I’ve been here I’ve learned to handle one situation at a time, as it arises. Or, as Melanie says; “Find out what the bottom line is, and go from there.”
Also, I’ve learned to trust others to help me with situations that normally, I couldn’t handle. I’ve come close to a breakdown or two since I’ve been here, but who hasn’t? Melanie always takes time out of her day to sit down and talk to me and help me through whatever is going on in my life. She always has time for “her girls”. At the same time, she isn’t going to baby anyone. She’s very quick to tell us to “suck it up” if we are just sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves.
The girls that I work with have been great too. I’ve become especially close to Amy and Chrissy. They are always so thoughtful and hardworking. They are right there to lend an ear if I need someone to talk to, but they are super-hard workers also. We are a very close group. The girls here all spend their own money to make sure that there is always coffee, sugar and creamer. Anytime there is a meeting or a party, the girls all pitch in to make sure there is food and drinks for everyone. I will really miss everyone when I go. I think most off all I have learned to always trust that everything will work out, as long as you work at it. I have come through this phase in my life to become a mother of five, with a new job/career, and a new outlook on life. I have overcome more than most people can handle in a lifetime, and I’m right where I want to be.
I worked through temporary agencies for years then another lay off at the company I was working at. My parole officer told me about the center, so I thought why not. I was off for three almost four months. Bill collectors, my P.O. , my parents, my wife all on me to get a job and start helping. I came to the center and the staff showed me how to build my skills, how to better my resume and make it look more professional and helped me put my resume on Monster. More time went by and I was giving up-applying for job after job. I went back to temporary work, then after 2 months of working-another layoff. I had lost all hope, my wife left me, I lost my friends and I was done. Then the phone rang it was a JOB! Full time, full benefits no temp stuff all because they saw my great resume on Monster-a resume built with the help of the center.
My name is Bob F. I had been out of work for about 6 months. I was stuck in a dead end job with no paid holidays, no paid overtime and no benefits and finally I just quit. I had told myself that I would find another job pretty quick but it didn’t happen that way.
Now my child support is not getting paid, I’m about to be evicted and I was losing hope. Then at one of my support hearings the judge ordered me to the COP program. That was where I met Yvonne my case manager and she gave me some suggestions and ideas on how to go about searching for employment. You see, they have a lot of resources to use such as the internet, news papers, telephones, fax machines and note books full of job opportunites. I’m a veteran and they have a Vet’s Rep there named Don Lutz. Thanks to Don I’m finally getting my G.E.D. and he has all kinds of information for Vets as far as benefits and/or jobs.
I had been in the COP program for maybe a week and Yvonne wrote a resume for me and made a bunch of copies. It was excellent, you see I’m a mechanic and never had one before or felt the need to have one. I handed out about 3 or 4 of them one day. Two days later I got a call from one of them for an interview. I went and was hired without even filling out an application. It’s a good job with a good company and I called Yvonne and thanked her because if not for the resume I might still be looking.
All I know is that if something should happen at this job, I would be back down there (knock on wood) asking for help again. You see I know how frustrating, depressing and how down you start to feel after you’ve been out of work that long. If I learned anything it’s that there are people and places you can turn to and ask for help. So no matter how discouraged you get you just can’t give up. You have to keep on digging and go see Yvonne over at the center. They can help.
To Whom It May Concern:
The center offered many career opportunities. They especially helped push me to obtain a full time position in which I became successful at, I am now being advanced to a manager position here shortly. The staff was very helpful and nice. I especially liked the benefit of having a resume for future advancement in a career I am seeking.
To Whom It May Concern:
Generally, I was in the COP Program to assist myself in a job search that had gone on for a while at that time. The time frame became the issue due to the accumulation of significant child support arrearage, and my inability to pay down much of it. Although I was in the program to comply with a court order, I never viewed being there as forced by the court but rather as an opportunity to get real assistance to help find employment. I felt reluctant to go at first but I did see that I was going to need help to find a new career path in a very tough job market.
During my time in the COP program everyone on the staff treated me with respect and an appropriate level of professionalism. The members of the staff that come to mind are people who gave assistance to me on a daily basis; Yvonne, Sharon, and Cherie. They, as a whole, and individually, helped me to a high degree with feeling welcome and important in whatever I would need their individual help with. Through the course of the program, these ladies were what I believe to be essential in my experience of the program. I appreciate how willing they each were to contribute their time and energy in order to help. Moreover, they lent support to my specific situation, and that truly helped me as a person, to work at my issues and not let the issues work me. I believe it is equally important as to what they did for me outwardly, as what they did for me that is easily overlooked and probably the largest obstacle; me. By the time I was sent to the COP Program I felt defeated, down, and kicked around due to circumstances by CSEA, and the courts, and my own inability to find employment. Dana, Yvonne, Cherie, and Sharon, both collectively and individually lent their help, support, and encouragement to allow me to feel more positive and to work toward solutions in an active way. Establishing self-esteem and a positive attitude in my opinion is the most important intangible attribute you can give those in the program. At the same time those attributes are what sells someone to an employer. If a person believes he/she can…. they will and conversely, if they think they can’t…. they never will…. no matter what the situation is!
Thank you Dana, Yvonne, Cherie, and Sharon for all of your efforts I appreciate your help!
I would definitely recommend others to this program if for no other reason, the support it can give. A sense of not feeling alone is as important as any job would be, if not more so. The center has different kinds of workshops to assist in establishing cover letters, résumé’s, etc. I was not aware of the SCOTI system at all before coming to the COP program. I would absolutely and without hesitation use the center in the future. Not sure how that would actually come to play out, but I think it is of value just knowing of it.