Kathy’s Story: Mock Interview Led to Real Job

Kathy came to Employment First in the summer of 2012. She was a single mom with a little four year old son that had relocated to NE Colorado because she was working in Wyoming at a Lowes store and couldn’t be promoted because she didn’t have a degree.

She drove the 54 miles round trip from Wray to Yuma every Tuesday to attend the “Get To Work Program.”  She never missed a class during the six weeks time. On the sixth week of the workshop, an employment panel for  mock interviews was made up of three community employers. After every mock interview the panel would critique each participant and provide immediate feedback.  The case manager also did a debrief with each participant after their interview in order to offer suggestions for improving their skills.

Kathy did an amazing job in her mock interview. It turned out that a member of the interview panel had a professional position open and wanted to have Kathy interview “for real” for that position.  She interviewed well and was offered a flexible position with an opportunity to be considered for a future full time supervisor’s position.

Joseph’s Story: Making a Commitment to Success

Joe came to Weld County’s Employment First office in 2008. He was working a part time job and attending Aims Community College part time. At first, he didn’t understand why he had to participate as was working and attending school. Joe’s case manager arranged desk-side meetings to accommodate his schedule. He always attended his appointments and kept in communication with his case manager when he wasn’t able to attend. While participating in EF, he graduated from Aims with an Associate’s Degree and transferred to the University of Northern Colorado. He graduated in the fall of 2012 from UNC with a degree in accounting. His next activity was work experience through workfare.

Joe started his workfare experience at Sunrise Community Health Center. By the end of December 2012, he told his case manager that he was going to open his own accounting practice and while he was working towards that goal, he found full-time employment with a tax firm in January 2013 and left EF. Because of Weld County Employment First’s on-going commitment and support, Joe was able to achieve his educational and job placement goals.

Juan’s Story: Getting a GED

Juan began his involvement in the Yuma County EF Program’s Job Club where he shared that for a variety of reasons he was unable to complete high school or get a GED. Feeling that he was beyond the age to get a GED and keep up with instruction, he at first resisted his case manager’s urging for him to get into classes. The case manager continued to encourage him and finally convinced Juan to join a GED course the case manager had located.  To his surprise he did well in classes and obtained his GED degree quickly, and then realized he wanted to continue into higher education so signed up to attend more classes at the Community College. His confidence grew.  During the EF’s job skills building course to practice interviewing skills, the mock interview he participated in caught the eye of the agency’s director. Impressed with Juan’s confidence and progress in moving toward education goals, the director hired him and supported his education to complete a degree at the Community College.