WIOA Participant Hired as Respiratory Therapist in Pandemic

Worker succeeds in college, career under WIOA program.

Amy, a 2020 Aspire Awardee, poses with her award.In 2017, Amy was admitted to the 2-year Respiratory Therapy Associate Program at Madison College. She also connected with the WorkSmart Network for career counseling and tuition assistance under the WIOA Adult Program.

In order to continue her education, Amy worked the nightshift and took three buses to get to campus. To better balance work and school, WorkSmart helped her find an on-campus job.

Amy was active on the college’s Respiratory Therapy Program Advisory Board and made the Dean’s List. While she excelled in class, anxiety affected her clinical performance and she had to repeat her final year.

Determined to succeed, she strategized with WorkSmart and obtained an internship at Froedert Hospital to help build confidence.

Amy graduated with honors and received top scores on her national boards exam. She was hired full-time at Froedert Hospital and remains busy as a Respiratory Therapist during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am so grateful for the guidance and assistance I received from the WorkSmart program,” said Amy. “It helped financially, of course, but emotionally as well. I felt as if I had a team on my side to assure me, even when I was asked to repeat my second year.”

Amy received the Aspire Award at the 2020 Annual Awards Celebration for her perseverance and accomplishments.