Individuals are becoming employed through various programs at our RochesterWorks! Saint Paul office, here are some of the things being said when asked the question, how has becoming employed changed your life?
Lavonia Dunbar (Assistant Teacher) The Rite Care Child Development Center:
“Having a job has changed my life. It is helping a lot with my Kids because I now work with kids. Also, I now can do things with my kids as well.”
Danielle Downs (Office Manager) Native American Cultural Center:
“Getting employed has helped my life out a lot. It’s a big change working but the outcome is very good. I am now off Social Services!”
Lonnie Watkins (Welder) Mossman Tebbs LLC.
“Having a job has given me a chance to look forward to getting up and going to works instead of just sitting around or just doing Work Experience; It gets food on the table! As for the overall experience with the program I give it a 10- it has been an excellent experience. I appreciate you (the team) so much and all the help you gave me! Thank you!”
Corey Kusse (Advisor) RochesterWorks!
“With resume in hand and my renewed confidence from the job readiness training and despite all the anxiety and fear in the beginning, I had changed because of this program. On May 1, 2017 after interviewing I started my dream job at Rochester Works! I am able to help build confidence and help others on their way to their success. Becoming employed changed my life in millions of ways.”
Gregg Walker (Racker) QoS:
“Becoming employed has affected me I a good way. I enjoy being independent and having a place to go in the mornings. It’s great to be a productive member of society!”
Hilda came to the Work Experience Program with substantial experience and success in her entire adult life. Having no prior experience with social services she was uncomfortable and sometimes frustrated to be a part of the process.
“Applying for benefits was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I had to use the system the way it was designed. Many people think that people on benefits are lazy and take advantage
of the system. I am here to say that perceptions are not always accurate. I did what I had to do and I succeeded. I no longer need the system but it worked for me.”
“You have to get the most out of the Program,which is developed to help people by placing them at sites that may become job opportunities, as it did for me. You can at least get a good reference
or recommendation. But you cannot be successful unless you are willing to be responsible, reliable, and work hard for a job opportunity. With perseverance,it can be done.” Hilda now works full-time at RochesterWorks! “The feeling of earning a living cannot be compared to anything. I am in a much
Initially LeeAnn didn’t want any part of the Work Experience Program, but after going, she realized it was not what she expected. “I couldn’t believe how pleasant the
advisor was. When I saw her smile at me, a burden was lifted off of my chest. She made my day when she offered me an assignment working in the office right there at
RochesterWorks! It was a dream of mine. I was so excited. I was in an office, making copies, filing, and answering the phone. I could not have asked for a better assignment.
I learned to put my pride aside and smile even when I didn’t feel like it. I learned to work hard at everything I do, even volunteer work, because you never know who is watching.”
And people were watching. LeeAnn excelled in her assignment with a fantastic attitude. After the program ended she was offered part–time, then full–time employment at
“This has changed my life. This is the best job I’ve ever had. I love my job. I love getting all this new experience. I can pay my own rent and all my own bills. I have so much
room to grow and I am so thankful for being given a chance.
Leslie began her relationship with RochesterWorks! by participating in the job readiness
training for individuals with families. Following that she immediately participated in the
Work Experience Program.
“The (job readiness) program was very beneficial because it educated everyone in all
topics, not just a few,” said Leslie. “RochesterWorks! covered every aspect and issue a
single parent like myself could face and it really helped me see the benefit of this type of
program. We discussed the importance of having good credit, having a good foundation,
activities that we can do with our children as a family unit, and many job readiness
topics. This helped me transition to the work experience program because I felt I had all
the tools I needed to perform my hours while looking for paid employment. “
To others in similar situations, Leslie advises, “For me personally, I needed to find
employment. I have the skills, I have the support, and I am the one that needs to provide
the support for my family. These programs are not as bad as people think when you are
required to go to them, you are guaranteed to learn many things and RochesterWorks!
is a great supporter. RochesterWorks! (staff) go beyond their job titles; this entire
office comes together to help and it is like you become a lean, mean, fighting machine.
RochesterWorks! helped me do a complete 180-degree change in my life, not because
they had to but because they wanted to. I felt the sincerity of each person I worked with;
they made me feel as though they wanted to work with me, not because they had to but
because they wanted to.”
Leslie participated in the Work Experience Program for a month after completing the
job readiness training. She worked with a RochesterWorks! Career Services Advisor and
the St. Paul Placements team and is happy to say, “I am no longer on public assistance, I
am very happy to be off of the system and taking care of my own family.”
RochesterWorks! and Monroe County Department of Human Services have partnered
with the Young Adults Manufacturing Training Employment Program (YAMTEP) to
provide another benefit to individuals involved in the Work Experience Program.
In just 90 days, YAMTEP bridges basic skill gaps for entry level employment in
manufacturing that many individuals receiving benefits from the Department of
Human Services face.
“Students are taught basic manufacturing skills, attendance, punctuality and soft
skills,“ says training founder Tyrone Reaves. “This allows them to enter into the
workforce and become valuable and productive employees.”
If an individual is not hired by the program’s end, RochesterWorks! sponsors a job fair
exclusively for those completing this program.
YAMTEP partners with several community agencies and strategic partners to obtain
higher success rates. To date, YAMTEP has completed three series of trainings and
has successfully graduated more than 25 people from the Work Experience Program.
This type of training is very practical for a population requiring marketable skills and a
quick turnaround time to employment opportunities for lucrative futures.