Workforce Development - Success Stories
What Impact Looks Like. People and families are helped every day thanks to your support and donations.
United Way funding helps our organization afford job skills and job readiness workshops, which allows our clients to become self-sufficient.
Our client KJ entered the shelter last year due to domestic violence. She and her two children had been living from place to place because she lost their home due to being out of being from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shortly after, she entered the shelter and began receiving services that would help with workforce development. KJ turned her focus on securing employment and housing in order to provide a safe place for her and her children to live as she gained autonomy. During KJ’s stay in our program, she was able to obtain a job at a local hotel and began work immediately.
Staff assisted KJ in locating an affordable apartment and provided financial assistance with utilities. During Ms. KJ’s departure, staff was able to obtain a wish list of essential items needed to start a new home and was afforded the items along with groceries. During her stay at the shelter, she was informed of trainings she could take to help advance her skill set. She was able to complete an application for a Pharmacy Tech class and will receive a certificate when she completes the 16-week training.
24 Hour Crisis Intervention
United Way funds help us provide support and training to veterans through our Employment Program.
Bridging gaps and ensuring access to resources to improve the lives of veterans in our community is the heart of our Transition & Reintegration Advocacy Program.
With Thomas Gaskins, 68-year old Veteran of the Vietnam War, our Advocates have been able to do just that. After completing a program at the VA in 2016, Thomas Gaskins was referred to ForcesUnited for housing assistance. At the time we were able to successfully find him a place to live along with support to become independent within 6 months.
This past February he contacted ForcesUnited again inquiring about employment assistance. Thomas was looking for something part-time to supplement his SSI. He did not have a resume and wanted assistance in finding and applying for jobs, explaining that he was not computer literate at all. He didn’t have a computer and did not understand how to get online and apply through websites, so he wanted to sit down face to face with an employment advocate for assistance.
The next week, Thomas came into the office. He worked with ForcesUnited Director of Employment, Kimberly Norville, to create a resume and identify job opportunities that would match his abilities and wishes. Taking his time, Thomas verbally detailed his work history as Kimberly typed a resume outline for him. Thomas then expressed interest in security positions, but it was clear that he would not be able to apply online on his own.
To make sure his application got submitted, Kimberly walked him through the steps on the Sizemore Security website. Thomas was able to verbally describe answers to the questions, and Kimberly systematically applied for positions as a security guard, crossing guard, and parking lot attendant. Within 2 weeks, Thomas was pleased to have been offered a position as a parking lot security attendant. Thomas loves working his morning shift of 4:30-8:30 a.m. and excitedly puts on his uniform each morning. He says, “Life is good; I’m a happy man. ForcesUnited straightened me up.” Thomas went from protecting our nation in the military to protecting citizens right here in Augusta, thanks to ForcesUnited bridging several gaps.
Transition & Reintegration Advocacy Program (T&R)
Funding from United Way allows the Job Skills Training Program to invest in highly trained and professional facilitators which are able to connect with our participants and pour into them the knowledge and information necessary to be successful in their career search.
A. Smith found out about our Job Skills Training Program through the Augusta Housing Authority. A. Smith's life took a turn when she met the father of her children, who at the time was already heavily using drugs. Throughout their time of dating, they would have 3 beautiful daughters.
Shortly after, she would succumb to a life of using drugs as well. She would be further impacted when she lost custody of her children. At this time, she was also pregnant with the third daughter. Through the Augusta Housing Authority, A. Smith was introduced to support groups to assist in recovery from her then, current state of drug use.
She started taking the parenting, relationship, and crisis in pregnancy classes and would be on her way to being drug free. A. Smith has been drug free since 2017 and moved to the next phase of her life including calling to interview for the Job Skills Training Program. Since having joined the job skills training program, she has worked hard to develop the skills needed to accomplish her goals set to better her life.
On the second week of job skills, her attorney called to follow up on her progress because they would shortly be returning to court to speak on her behalf about regaining custody of her children. The next day, while meeting with A. Smith, she let me know that through being in the job skills program and the progress review I provided her attorney, the courts made the decision to release her children back to her custody. A. Smith has successfully completed the Job Skills Training Program and soon after, the courts made the decision to release her children back to her custody. She has a full-time job and says she is developing and repairing her relationship with her 3 beautiful daughters.