When Samiha Sufyan began participating in the Livonia PATH program in February, 2016, she was facing several significant employability barriers. Samiha met with Career Development Facilitator (CDF), Dawn Mathis, and shared that she did not have a GED or diploma, a driver’s license, child care or work experience outside of the home. Additionally, her limited English language proficiency was a barrier, as was her housing situation. Samiha and her 3-month-old baby were living with relatives, and she was in the process of bringing her husband and other children to the United States. Despite all of these barriers, Samiha was determined to achieve success.
When St. Vincent de Paul, a charitable organization with several thrift stores in Southeastern Michigan, needed assistance with staffing their stores, they reached out to EDSI at the Michigan Works! Livonia Service Center. The employer was experiencing issues with high turnover and wanted referrals of interested individuals with great work ethics. It was also important that candidates be committed to the cause of helping others in times of need, because their organization takes pride in this value.
Kareem Hawkins began participating in the Livonia WIOA Youth Program on June 10, 2016, following his graduation from Redford Union High School. When Kareem met with the Youth Program’s Career Coach, he expressed a desire to pursue higher education and become employed.
Within the first few months of his participation with EDSI, Kareem prepared for employment through engaging in workshops as well as meeting one-on-one with staff. He worked to develop his resume and create cover letters as he searched for employment. In addition, he completed mock interviews with EDSI staff to learn how to best present himself to an employer. This preparation assisted Kareem as he attended job fairs hosted by EDSI at the Michigan Works! Livonia Service Center.
Ashley Wynn began participating with EDSI’s Livonia PATH Program on September 28, 2016. She was already enrolled in school at Schoolcraft College, working toward a degree in Nursing. She entered into her Application Eligibility Period (AEP) motivated to find employment that would lead her to self-sufficiency.
During her AEP, Ashley recognized her need to update and rework her resume. She met with EDSI’s Instructor, Pete Anthony, to complete this task and prepare herself for future interviews. During the meeting they discussed several options that might help her gain experience in the healthcare field. When Ashley learned of a job opening at a local healthcare company, Homestead Home Health Care, she jumped at the opportunity.
Lord-Xavier Taylor began participating with the Livonia WIOA Youth Program on August 25, 2016. Upon entering the program, he met with his Career Coach and shared his desire to pursue a career in hospitality.
As he engaged in the youth program, Lord-Xavier explored training programs that would equip him in restaurant management and culinary arts. After identifying a training facility, he completed assessment testing and discovered his need to improve his math and reading skills before acceptance into the program. In September, through one-on-one tutoring and educational workshops, Lord-Xavier began to work towards improving his math and reading skills.
On June 28, 2016, Monica Wingate began the Application Eligibility Period (AEP) for the PATH program at the Michigan Works! Livonia PATH Office. She came to Michigan from Texas, leaving her home and steady job to care for her ailing mother. After her mother’s passing, Monica was forced to move from the apartment they had shared because she was unable to have the lease put in her name due to her lack of employment. Her life circumstances had changed again and Monica found herself without a home.
Raqia Alrobayi began participating with the EDSI Livonia Michigan Works! PATH office on October 7, 2015 when she entered into the AEP (Application Eligibility Period) process. After successfully completing her AEP, Raqia became a PATH participant.
Upon her enrollment into the program, Raqia's job focus was to return to the travel industry. Her education included an Associate's of Travel and Tourism degree from Centennial College in Toronto, and she expressed an interest in becoming a travel agent. While meeting with her Career Development Facilitator (CDF), Raqia shared concerns regarding her gap in employment. She recognized her need to remain relevant in the workforce and also to build on her computer and administrative skills. On January 5, 2016, she began participating at EDSI's onsite internship program.
Cornelius Davis Sr. shared these kind words of gratitude in a recent letter to EDSI staff at NCWorks in Henderson, NC.
I would like to take some time out to thank the employees at NCWorks of Henderson, NC and in particular, Ms. Sheila Long.
I came to NCWorks unemployed and unsure if I would find employment. Ms. Long sat down with me and helped me carefully map out a plan for a good path to gainful employment.
After carefully gathering some pertinent information, i.e., my strengths/weaknesses and my capabilities, Ms. Long came up with a program that was offering a Commercial Driver’s License and possibly a career in truck driving. I didn’t know if I would be able to complete the training.
On January 20, 2015, Riona Hunter began participating with EDSI when enrolled in the Partnership, Accountability, Training, Hope (PATH) program. During her orientation appointment, Riona met with a Career Development Facilitator (CDF) and shared her career goals. She explained that she was interested in attending Medical Assistant training in order to build upon her current certification as a Nursing Assistant. Her CDF assisted her with researching training options, and Riona decided to pursue her education at Dorsey Schools.
Although motivated to attend training, Riona shared with her CDF that reliable transportation could be a barrier to her attendance. She did not have a valid driver’s license as she was working to pay tickets and fees. Fortunately, Riona’s school of choice was accessible via public transportation, and EDSI provided her with SMART and DDOT bus passes. On February 12, 2015, Riona attended orientation at Dorsey Schools and began training in the Medical Administration and Billing Program. Throughout the training course, Riona shared her progress with her CDF as she gained knowledge in both administrative and clinical skill areas. She continued to receive assistance from EDSI staff with ongoing transportation and documentation needs, and she remained motivated to accomplish her goals.
Micahh Scott began participating with EDSI on July 7, 2015, when she entered into the AEP (Application Eligibility Period). She entered the program with a year of administrative experience and a desire to return to work in the clerical field. Within her first weeks of participation with EDSI, Micahh took steps to enhance her job readiness. She met with staff to create a professional resume that highlighted her administrative abilities, and practiced her communication skills and business etiquette through mock interviewing. Micahh also applied for and received PATH supportive service funds to purchase professional clothing.
As she diligently searched for employment, Micahh recognized her need to remain relevant in the workforce by having current experience. She decided to participate at EDSI’s on-site internship in order to increase her skills. At the internship, Micahh improved her typing, increased her knowledge of Microsoft Office and acquired new skills while working in the scanning and business services departments. As she continued to seek ways to grow her skill level, she accepted the opportunity to job shadow EDSI’s administrative assistant. She learned how to manage front office duties, including tasks that made her resume more relevant and marketable.
“Rapport is the ability to enter someone else’s world, to make him feel that you understand him, that you have a strong common bond.” - Tony Robbins, Author and Motivational Speaker
Building relationships with another person is all about connecting with him or her and creating a sense of trust and understanding. According to some research, we have only 7 seconds to make a good first impression! It is absolutely essential for us to build solid connections with our clients, and this relationship building starts the first time we meet.
When I began my career as a Job Developer with EDSI, I would conduct an initial interview with clients. I would ask questions about clients’ living situation, their children and partners, the kinds of jobs they had in the past and what they wanted to accomplish. The interview gave me some important facts, but I realized something was missing. I wanted to go a bit deeper, I needed to better understand their passions, hopes and dreams when it came to finding, obtaining and keeping a job.
Nedal Alshaibany began participating with EDSI at the Michigan Works! Livonia PATH Office on May 5, 2015 when he entered into his AEP (Application Eligibility Period). During his initial meeting with a Career Development Facilitator (CDF), Nedal discussed his past employment experience. He expressed a desire to learn about computers or become trained as a truck driver. EDSI’s onsite internship program presented a perfect opportunity for Nedal to develop computer skills while meeting his PATH participation requirements in a work experience activity. After completing the AEP, Nedal enrolled in PATH and began in the internship’s Scanning Center. He quickly learned the processes and demonstrated his knowledge by training other interns.
Alexandra Favors enrolled in the Application Eligibility Period/Partnership, Accountability, Training, Hope (AEP/PATH) program at the Livonia Michigan Works! on October 10, 2015. She had recently relocated to Westland, Michigan from Florida, and along with learning how to navigate a new area, Alexandra had a transportation barrier that was affecting her ability to secure employment. At her PATH orientation, Alexandra met with EDSI’s staff to discuss her employment goals and develop a plan to achieve them. She needed to obtain a Michigan driver’s license, and she received PATH supportive services funds to get the license. Alexandra also utilized EDSI’s van shuttle service to travel to the PATH office for job readiness activities. Resolving her transportation barrier moved Alexandra closer to her goal of employment.
Abeer Wahdan began participating with EDSI at the Livonia Michigan Works! PATH Office in August 2015. Earlier in the year, Abeer had accepted a relocation assignment from her employer and moved from Illinois to Michigan. Shortly after arriving here, the company closed down Abeer’s new location, and she found herself unemployed. Abeer obtained part-time employment, however she was unable to support her family with the hours offered. She applied for cash assistance and entered into her Application Eligibility Period (AEP) motivated to find full-time employment that would lead her to self-sufficiency.
Ms. Nakigudde Lukwago began participating with EDSI on July 7, 2015 and entered her Application Eligibility Period prior to enrollment in the Livonia, MI PATH program. Nakigudde met with a Career Development Facilitator and explained that she had arrived to the United States from Uganda a few years ago, and was now residing in a shelter with her four-month-old baby after leaving an abusive marriage. She came to the program with the desire to secure permanent housing and reliable childcare, as well as to pursue her career goals in the healthcare field. Nakigudde shared with us her feelings upon entering the program: "When I was given an invitation letter from MDHHS (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services), I had lost everything. I was jobless. My car was not drivable at all. To make matters worse, I was homeless with nowhere to go. Yet, I had a baby who depended on me. When I went to EDSI for my orientation, the moment I entered I was greeted with a smile which made me feel comfortable and welcomed. Throughout the orientation day, the staff was ready to work with me through everything so that I could get back on the right track."
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