We want to take the time to celebrate our participants’ successes, whether big or small, in the hopes of encouraging you on your job search journey.
“For the first time ever, in my whole adult life, I paid my own rent,” Sheryl made this comment while speaking to one of OFE’s Employment Coaches. She was in the last week of training and was getting ready to move onto the production floor. At 51, Sheryl was working for the first time. She’d been receiving government supports for as long as she could remember, and now she’s a full-time employee at a big manufacturing company. She couldn’t hide the wonder on her face and nervous giggles punctuated every sentence as she spoke.
Sheryl has been trying to look for work for years, even coming to OFE for some of them, but each time something held her back from committing to the job search process. Last September, her EIA Counsellor encouraged her to go back to OFE. She described that experience as “going through all these steps before meeting Superman”. She means, of course, one of our staff members who happen to share the name of the original Superman actor (if you’re a millennial like me, you had to Google this). It was during that meeting that Sheryl discovered she had the potential to become an Upholsterer, despite not having any kind of work experience, and that gave her the confidence to sign up for our demand-led training and see this opportunity through.
Though Sheryl wanted to give her all to this process, she was having a tough time meeting expectations because she was dealing with some health concerns. The stress of not knowing what or how serious was taking its toll on her, and she shared as much with her Employment Consultant, who in turn connected her with other supports and resources. Meanwhile, her perseverance during training paid off, because she was given the good news that our Employer Partner wanted her to be part of their team. In her own words, “They chose me to come here and I did!” She was excited to finally be given this chance.
We’re proud to work with employers who choose to look past the resume and are willing to invest in people like Sheryl, who despite her lack of skills and experience, had the building blocks of a successful employee. These building blocks coupled with OFE’s essential skills training, which prepares you for working in the specific role a company is hiring for, are some of the key ingredients in Sheryl’s success. “That took a long time,” Sheryl said, ending her story, “I’m 51 and I got my first job ever, in my whole life!”
Head over to this post to read Anthony’s #myOFEstory!
Author: Nelsa Uson, Employer Liaison