Former Stay-At-Home Mom Reenters Workforce

Participant gains skills in COVID-19 work experience.

Kelly connected with the WorkSmart Network in 2018 while she was enrolled in the Court Reporting Program at Madison College. She had been a stay-at-home mom for nearly 20 years and wanted support continuing her education from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I program.

But halfway through her classes, Madison College set a date to discontinue the program and Kelly didn’t have enough time to complete it.

Kelly put school on hold and reevaluated her career and training plans. She worked with her WIOA Career Planner to update her resume and apply for jobs that allowed her to help others.

With a long unemployment gap on her resume and education in an unrelated industry, and the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kelly had troubles stepping into a new career.

In the summer of 2020, she learned about the COVID-19 Disaster Recovery Dislocated Worker Grant’s Work Experience (WEX) Program.

The WEX Program allows job seekers to work and learn at local nonprofits that are providing humanitarian services and focusing on recovery from the pandemic.

Kelly interviewed at United Way and was selected to participate in a WEX as an Information & Referral Specialist. During the work experience, she provided up-to-date information to individuals calling the United Way 2-1-1 COVID-19 helpline, including updates on state and county emergency orders, CDC and Department of Health Services guidelines, COVID-19 testing sites, and vaccine distribution plans. She also connected callers with additional needs to United Way’s 2-1-1 general information service to receive the assistance and resources they need.

During her 27 weeks with United Way, Kelly continuously exceeded expectations and was offered a full-time, permanent position when the work experience came to an end.

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