In 2018, Lutrenda was a stay at home mom who worked a part time security job to make ends meet. She was surfing the web looking for jobs and training opportunities when she stumbled across Westside Works. After registering and attending orientation, she decided the CNA track was the best fit for her. She enrolled in STRIVE, which is a prerequisite for the CNA class. "STRIVE taught me who I was and helped me to figure out where I was going. We had a large class of fourteen people and it was great to have so many different personalities meshing together. It helped everyone to learn something," she said. Lutrenda's personality and work ethic caught the attention of her instructors. They knew Westside Works had an open position as an Administrative Assistant/Intake Specialist and recommended Lutrenda for the job. She thought the office work schedule would be a good fit in her life and began working at Westside Works a few weeks later. "Westside Works has definitely improved my life financially. But it also helped me to have a more positive outlook on life," she said.
Lutrenda went from learning with the STRIVE program to working at Westside Works.
Theodore is part of the first group of plumber's apprentices and will begin work with Talon Plumbing as part of the Care and Conserve Plumbing Repair Program.
The new Care and Conserve Plumbing Repair Program is a partnership with the City of Atlanta's Watershed Management Department. The program aims to provide eligible low-income homeowners' assistance with water and sewer repairs, conduct water audits, conduct plumbing assessments, and provide water conservation education counseling. A component of the program is the plumber's apprenticeship program. The program provides Westside residents hands-on training to be qualified to assist plumbers with home repairs. The first group of plumber's apprentices graduated in August and Theodore King was one of these graduates. Prior to the program he was unemployed. He heard about the program through Gateway and was immediately interested. "I wanted to make a change in my life. Instead of all the negative I wanted to go positive," he said. Theodore credits the program and the people in it for helping him to make a change saying, "The people that I was in class with, if it wasn't for them I wouldn't have made it. They were my focal point. Everything I experienced we did together." Theodore is part of the first group of plumber's apprentices and will begin work with Talon Plumbing as part of the Care and Conserve Plumbing Repair Program.
"I'm a hustler. I always have a plan B," Sheridy says as she sets aside her stethoscope.
"I'm a hustler. I always have a plan B," Sheridy says as she sets aside her stethoscope. Sitting in her bright green nursing scrubs waiting for class to start she looks determined. Sheridy heard about Integrity through The Center for Working Families. She got her GED at the Dunbar Center and while discussing her future, she was referred to Integrity. First, Sheridy went through the STRIVE program to prepare herself for the job hunt. She says STRIVE helped her to learn how to communicate to get a job. "I learned how to work in a professional environment. Taking the class made me much calmer," she adds. After completing STRIVE, Sheridy decided to enroll in the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) class. She was certified seventeen years ago and was confident she could complete the coursework and get a job at a hospital. She highly recommends coming to Integrity for assistance saying, "In this community there are opportunities now. There are resources and jobs available but it's up to you to want it." She's committed to finding the right fit for a job no matter what it takes. As she shuffles her papers and prepares for the class to start she says, "I'm going to put up a fight. And I'm going to win."
Shawn graduated from the NET/BRIDGE program in summer 2018.
Shawn graduated from the NET/BRIDGE program in summer 2018. He learned about the program through Hope House. Hope House gave him a chance to "get off the street and start fresh." Shawn has learned a great deal from the program but he says the most important thing is, "You have to start somewhere. You need to be connected to some type of program in order to network and make connections." Before starting the NET/BRIDGE program Shawn worked at a tire shop. He hopes to be able to advance and find a better job as a result of the program. He already has interviews lined up with FedEx and Waffle House. Shawn says the program helped him to take little steps towards his goals. He adds, "People need to be comforted because it's hard to do it all by yourself. It can be very isolating. Everyone needs a helping hand and Integrity has provided that."
Demetrius values everything he's learned from the class but he says the best part about the program is, "The people. The teacher was so enthusiastic about helping us. Plus meeting fellow students has been really great."
Demetrius Streeter graduated from the NET/BRIDGE program in summer of 2018. Prior to enrolling in the program Demetrius worked the night shift at Wal-Mart. He notes the tough schedule as a major factor in his decision to attend the NET/BRIDGE program saying, "I needed more sleep. I'd love to find a job where I can work the day shift." He hopes that the skills he's developed in the program will help him as he searches for and acquires a new position. He attributes knowing how to present himself in job interviews to the class saying, "I now know the responsibilities it takes in order to get and keep a job." Demetrius has already been spreading the word about NET/BRIDGE and encouraging people to enroll. "I've told people about it and I hope they decide to come," he says smiling. Demetrius values everything he's learned from the class but he says the best part about the program is, "The people. The teacher was so enthusiastic about helping us. Plus meeting fellow students has been really great." Demetrius already has interviews lined up with FedEx and Waffle House and hopes that one of those opportunities pans out.
Nancy relocated to Atlanta from Benton Harbor, Mi in January 1993, looking for a better life.
I relocated to Atlanta from Benton Harbor, MI in January 1993, looking for a better life. My journey has been filled with difficulties as well as good times. I didn't finish high school but I did receive my GED. I have worked many jobs in the years that I have been in Atlanta, mostly in the sales and the food industry. I have not been happy with my jobs, and as I got closer to 60 years old, I became less and less satisfied with myself. I thought about my life and realized that I had stopped my own personal growth. My son told me about New Hope Enterprises and I called to set up an appointment in order to change my life and occupation. I was not prepared for the STRIVE program and its "Boot Camp" format, but I found out that I needed that in my life. The program teaches you skills that you can use in the work place and everyday life, and provides the tools to help you achieve your goals. I gained both soft skills and hard skills, and achieved my goal of completing STRIVE and the Microsoft Office Operations program. My next step is to complete the IT Program and begin my new career.
Synethia Howard's success provides a perfect example of how a Westside Works training program can lead to a career.
Synethia Howard's success provides a perfect example of how a Westside Works training program can lead to a career. Childcare has been her passion and she originally pursued a degree in child development at Clark Atlanta University. Synethia enjoys helping children to learn and recognizes that each child learns differently. The Child Development Associate program of the YMCA and Westside Works has taught her about state rules and regulations, the different approaches for teaching various age groups, and mostly to have patience with children and the learning process. The Microsoft Office program was where Synethia began her involvement with Westside Works but she learned that work experience was necessary to get a job once she graduated. The Child Development Associate program provides automatic job training and employment with the YMCA, which has assisted her with taking care of her family. Synethia's goal is to eventually own her own daycare facility so this program has provided her with the first step toward realizing her dream.
Join Synethia and hundreds of others taking the first steps towards starting their own businesses. Speak to an Integrity Case Manager today!
Tangela Taylor graduated from the Levy Culinary Arts program in spring of 2017. She networks with other single mothers and encourages them to consider the culinary program at Westside Works as a viable career option.
Tangela Taylor graduated from the Levy Culinary Arts program in spring of 2017. She is an enthusiastic young woman who plans to enhance her life and her family's life, via the jobs she received after graduation. Currently, Tangela provides food preparation at Georgia State's dining hall as a result of the skillset she learned in the culinary program. Once the Falcons' season begins, she will cook and serve at The Nest restaurant in the Mercedes Benz Stadium. Chef Juliette Peters of Levy Restaurants describes Tangela Taylor as "having the best attitude, pleasant personality and appreciation for having an opportunity to receive Culinary Arts training." Tangela networks with other single mothers and encourages them to consider the culinary program at Westside Works as a viable career option.
You can take your first step toward a career in culinary service by clicking here and registering for the next class at Westside Works.
My name is Tony Hill and I am a Westside NET and Westside BRIDGE graduate. My case manager recommended me to the program because I have a learning disability. This job readiness class has helped me to grow professionally......
My case manager recommended me to the NET and BRIDGE program because I have a learning disability. This job readiness class has helped me to grow professionally because I have always been scared to speak in front of people. I now have the courage to walk in a room and not be scared to talk. We were taught soft skills that made me realize all the things I did wrong on previous jobs. Also, I did not know how to use a computer, create a resume or answer questions at a job interview, so my abilities have all been increased. I can now use the computer, I know what to put on my resume, and I'm more comfortable on job interviews. I would tell anyone that the NET and BRIDGE program really works. Before I took this class I did not have money, confidence, food or a job, but now I have all of these things. I work on the Beautification team and love my job! The Integrity staff believes in me, has given me a chance to show how hard I work and I'm so grateful!