Carlos, a father of three, was an inmate in the Rock County Jail’s RECAP program when Erick Williams gave a presentation on Community Action’s Fatherhood Initiative. Carlos promised Erick, the program manager, that he would enroll in the Fatherhood Initiative upon his release.

From the first day Carlos walked into group, he was serious about transforming his life. Carlos never missed a day of class, never made excuses for his behavior, and always remained determined, persistent and realistic about meeting his goals. Carlos worked with the Fatherhood program staff to examine his life through a curriculum called “How to Escape Your Prison” which takes a cognitive-behavioral treatment approach. Carlos also worked with other community partners to learn valuable parenting and nutrition skills.

Community Action staff saw the progress Carlos made and encouraged him to enroll in the Transitional Jobs program. With this program, Carlos was provided with 40 additional hours of employability skills training and the opportunity to enter into subsidized employment.

Because Carlos was not certain about his occupational track, he first selected a labor position but quickly realized that this did not align with his skills and interests. When an opportunity for a construction position with a prestigious local company, Corporate Contractors Inc, (CCI) arrived, Carlos interviewed with several administrative professionals and took the time to truly impress each interviewer. Due to his persistence and willing attitude, Carlos was given the position and was able continue another subsidized position through the Transitional Jobs program with CCI.

Carlos had perfect attendance during his placement with CCI, had outstanding reviews and after completing his 1,040 hours of subsidized employment, Carlos was offered unsubsidized employment with CCI. During his involvement with Transitional Jobs, Carlos received assistance with obtaining his driver’s license which he had unfortunately lost due to a citation. Through this program, he was able to complete the necessary assessments required to regain his driver’s license. Additionally, Carlos received transportation assistance to aid him in getting to and from his subsidized job, financial literacy to assist him with setting up a checking account and assisted him getting the work tools needed for his construction position with CCI.

Carlos contributes his current success to the assistance he received from Community Action, Inc., “For me Community Action, Inc. was a life changing program. It helped me develop myself in many areas such as how to give back to the community, public speaking, how to handle myself during interviews effectively and they gave me the tools I needed to be successful in life. All the classes and activities are effective in the program. As long as you dedicate yourself to the program, it will definitely work out for you.”