stethoscope and bookTammy is a woman in her late 30s with three young children under the age of five. She provides for her children and her husband, who is on disability and unable to work.

Tammy entered Community Action’s Skills Enhancement program to improve her job prospects. She had been working 25 hours a week at $7.25 an hour. Struggling to make ends meet, Tammy wanted to enter training for a career that would not only increase her wages, but allow continuous upward mobility. While she entered the program with a high level of motivation, she also understood the sacrifices she would have to make while attending classes, working and caring for her family.

Working with her case manager, Tammy decided to enroll at Blackhawk Technical College to train to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Her case manager guided her through course selection, purchasing textbooks and uniforms. Tammy’s commitment showed as she excelled in her classes. While taking her classes, she was offered a job as a dietary aide at a local hospital. Once she completed the initial CNA training, Tammy decided to enroll in the advanced course, which would ultimately allow her to become a CNA at a hospital.

The Skills Enhancement program again assisted Tammy with her tuition and books. Once she passed the advanced course, Tammy passed the competency exam. Shortly after passing the National Nurse Aide Assessment exam, Tammy was offered a position with a local hospital as a CNA in the surgical unit.

She gladly accepted the position, and is now earning $12.00 an hour, working about 35 hours a week. Since her entry into the Skills Enhancement program, she is now working in an in-demand field with a bright outlook on upward mobility. Her hourly wage increase and increase in working hours, translates to an annual increase of $11,460.

With help from Community Action’s Skills Enhancement program, Tammy has met her goals and continues to strive for success in both her personal and professional life.