Participant Gives Back to Community After Losing Job Due to COVID-19

A participant helps Jefferson Food Pantry grow numbers.

A participant poses by the Food Pantry entry sign.Sara enrolled in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Dislocated Worker Program after she lost her job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her WIOA Career Planner connected her with the COVID-19 Disaster Recovery Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG) for additional support in searching for a new job.

The COVID-19 DWG funds temporary work experiences at local nonprofits that are providing humanitarian services and focusing on recovery from the pandemic.

Sara entered a work experience through the grant at the Jefferson Food Pantry in May 2021 as a Pantry Helper. She assists the pantry with many tasks, including trading scrap metal for additional funds for the pantry.

A participant poses in front of shelves stacked with canned food at the food pantry.“She [made] amazing connections from being [at the pantry] and has had a huge involvement in increasing the numbers that they serve,” said Sara’s WIOA Career Planner. “She has already been asked to be a part of the Jefferson County Coalition as well.”

In October 2021, Sara was accepted into the Freight Broker/Agent training at the University of Wisconsin – River Fall. She’s still working at the Jefferson Food Pantry while attending the training, and has an anticipated completion date of April 2022.


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