I did not hesitate to accept the opportunity to share the fact that Workforce Solutions North Texas is what I am most grateful for this year. I am living proof that the programs provided by Workforce Solutions North Texas are invaluable to our community. Without the dedicated board and hardworking staff, I would not be where I am today.
My journey with Workforce Solutions North Texas began in the summer of 2015. I had finally gotten up the courage to leave the domestic violence relationship that had held me back for so many years. I was now a homeless single mom of two young preteen children. I was desperate to find gainful employment to take care of my children on my own.
I remember how nervous I was to sit in Lisa McNamara’s office after she became my Choices Program case manager. She was tough and no-nonsense, but she also made it clear to me that I was capable of anything I put my mind to. I had no formal education beyond achieving Valedictorian of my GED class three years earlier. I was worried I would not be an asset to the public workforce. Lisa asked me what my dream job was. Without taking a breath, I told her it was working for someplace exactly like Workforce Solutions. Knowing my work history and my lack of education, she suggested I take the Job Readiness class, Interview Workshop, and Resume Writing classes. This intrigued me because I knew these were all things that could further my career and it wouldn’t cost anything to do so.
I soon met Ginger (Barnes) Hannah. She taught all three of the classes that would subsequently change my life. I had managed businesses since I was 17 years old, however, there were things she taught me in the Job Readiness class and in the Interview Workshop that I had never considered the importance of. I soaked up her wealth of knowledge and created a successful resume through her Resume Writing class. I eagerly attended her classes daily and looked forward to each of them as I knew I was learning skills that may one day get me closer to my dream job.
As the next six years unfolded, I took everything that I had learned from Ginger and applied it to anywhere I worked. Slowly, I was able to work my way up job to job, gaining more and more knowledge with each new position I accepted.
Through Lisa and Ginger’s knowledge and willingness to go above and beyond to set me on the right path, my life changed forever for the better. When I became aware that a position had become available at Workforce Solutions North Texas in May of this year, I knew that now was my chance to come full circle.
My dream job was available, and I knew that I had been set on course to be a successful asset to Workforce Solutions North Texas. I was once again that nervous lady from six years ago as I polished up my resume. I could still hear Lisa McNamara’s voice telling me I was capable of anything I set my mind to. While waiting for my interview, I checked my blouse to make sure there were no wrinkles or stains that may distract from what I had to say. I could hear Ginger reminding me of both of those things as well as the importance of having questions ready for my potential employer.
As I write this blog, I am so very grateful to announce that I landed that dream job! For a little over six months now, I have been part of the Business Services Team at Workforce Solutions North Texas. For this, I can honestly say that I am so very humbly grateful for those that make their life’s work helping others. I am living, breathing proof that when given resources and uplifting encouragement, you really can do anything you put your mind to. From the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you to all of those at Workforce Solutions North Texas for helping me reach my goals.
Blessed be and Happy Thanksgiving.