Katrina worked at a local bank as a teller for nearly two years. She was devastated when she learned that her position would be eliminated. Katrina is a single mom of two children and lost her only income. As you can imagine, Katrina was very worried about how she was going to provide for her family. She had been applying for numerous jobs, but didn’t find anything. As she was in the process of applying for unemployment insurance, she attended a meeting at the Wisconsin Rapids Job Center. While there, she learned about the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act program and the services available to assist her in reentering the workforce. She specifically was interested in training services in order to pursue a new career.
She met with two different WIOA Career Planners to help her get started on that new career path in healthcare. As the WIOA Career Planners collaborated, they were able to determine how to best serve Katrina in helping her reach her employment goals. Katrina knew that finances would be tight and that going further into debt while unemployed was not an option, even if the end result was a degree. Assistance and career guidance from the WIOA programs was a huge factor in her education and employment success. WIOA provided assistance for her tuition and books, and also with transportation as her classes were nearly 40 miles one way.
Another challenge for Katrina was making sure her children were taken care of while she attended training. Thankfully, her son was in school full-time while her daughter was just starting 4K. With her hectic schedule of commuting and attending classes, plus making sure the children were cared for before and after school, Katrina learned the importance of balance. It wasn’t easy, but Katrina persevered by keeping her end goal in mind and knowing that she was carving a better future for her family.
When asked how her life has changed since becoming a dislocated worker and participating in WIOA, Katrina stated, “Being in the WIOA program has given me a chance to prove myself. I always knew that if given the chance, I would do well in school. It was always just a matter of money. Once that was no longer an issue, I was able to focus and flourish. I was even able to graduate with High Honors! This experience has boosted my confidence, helped me learn time management skills, and ultimately I will be able to provide for my family. There’s no better feeling than that!”
Katrina completed the Respiratory Therapy Program at Mid-State Technical College in May of this year. By summer, she obtained full-time employment. Katrina is now earning 197% of her bank teller wage.
In Katrina’s own words, “I could not be happier with WIOA. Without them, I may not have ever taken this step towards bettering myself and the life I can offer my children. My Career Planners have always been helpful, kind and encouraging. It was such a comfort to know that they were behind me rooting for me every step of the way. They were always willing to help in any way they could or help point me in the right direction if it wasn’t within their power to help. I will never forget what they have done for me.”