HIRE Education Employment Initatives

Success Stories

By the Numbers

In 2017, the HIRE Initiative had


people entered the HIRE Initiative program.


people participated in the HIRE Initiative in 2016 and continued in 2017.


people completed their employment training.


people got a new job.


people recieved a promotion.


people who gained employment at $15 per hour or more.


achieved a knowledge goals toward earning a diploma.


received a GED.


“When we come together as a community we can be very powerful!”


Watch this video to learn more about the

commitment from our partner agencies…


“A high school diploma is not an option for long-term career stability. It’s a requirement.”

Gretchen Lowe, Community Labor Leader and Chair of United Way’s Safe Communities, Strong Neighborhoods Community Solutions Team

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YWCA, TASC Collaboration Leads to Jobs

Adrienne Smolinski, Resource Manager at TASC, sent a letter of praise to the YWCA commending them for collaborating with TASC to develop and deliver their Driving Customer Service training program.

“The YWCA and TASC joined forces on each point of the process of putting this program into place from planning, marketing, selection, curriculum development, instruction, assessment, mentoring, interviewing, transportation, program and student evaluation, and graduation.” says Smolinski.

The training program is part of the HIRE Initiative and resulted in 12 individuals successfully securing employment with TASC, which hopes to utilize YWCA’s Driving Customer Service curriculum again in the fall of 2016.


Meet Troy, a Zimbrick Employee

Making the Most of a Second Chance


From Liberia to Dane County; Literacy Network Puts Student on the Path to Major Achievements

Edith is a learner in our Community Literacy program, originally from Liberia. She says she first “heard about the Literacy Network from a friend from Africa.” She now has been at the Literacy Network for nearly a year. Edith is an extremely bright and eager student, always willing to try new things and see her own progress. Her bubbly personality is contagious, always maintaining a positive attitude or cracking a joke, despite how long her week has been or how tired she is, delighting her tutor Kristin and interns alike.

During the last day of class this semester, students were encouraged to bring food. Edith sat at her usual table in the classroom, munching on a macaroon, “Mm. Coconut!” Someone in the class asked her if she enjoyed coconut water. She said, “hereno!” and presumed to tell us how she misses the “natural sweet” of fresh coconuts they would slice up and drink out of, right off of the trees in her home village in Liberia.

Hearing Edith voluntarily tell a story in English, outside of a lesson plan, spoke volumes to her willingness to communicate and utilize English in her daily life. Edith finds that what she likes most about the Literacy Network is that “it is helping me to learn English so I can communicate better!”

This semester in particular has been extremely rewarding for Edith. The thing she is most proud of is that she “got her driver’s license.” She exclaims, “I had to study a lot to get it!” She has been studying over the summer and into the semester with her tutors in order to obtain her driver’s license. Edith has worked on reading and answering questions on the driver’s test (straight out of the DMV guidebook!), practiced filling out a form, studied receiving and giving directions, learned around-the-town vocabulary, and memorized the countless signs one sees while driving. Halfway through the semester, she passed the written and driving portions of the driver’s test, in English! Previously, she was relying heavily on a long system of bus routes to reach places. Achieving the milestone of gaining her license has opened many doors for her.

In addition to this accomplishment, she has recently been promoted. She previously was searching for employment, but this semester found a job working part-time at a saw mill. However, this foot-in-the-door position was not paid. She has improved drastically in day-to-day communication on topics such as likes, dislikes, holidays, giving opinions, travel, work, food, and asking for clarification. Later this past semester, she was officially hired for pay and given many more hours, as a machine operator! She also received a second job in time for the holiday season.

Edith is also proud of her growing ability to write. Through her own diligence and patient guidance of her tutors, she is beginning to see her dreams and goals come true in measurable ways by learning English. She plans to study for her GRE, once she has improved more of her skills. After much progress seen in this semester, I believe she is well on her way of achieving that goal.

– Jeff Burkhart, Literacy Network


ladder lean leftIf you have a HIRE-related success story to tell

…a quote to share

…a suggestion for a video

…or a new idea for this page

please let us know at: HIREInitiative@uwdc.org




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