As a new mother, Ebonee was craving stability. With a child to support, she realized she lacked a clear direction and had no idea how to find a steady job to support herself and her child. A cousin told her about Towards Employment, and she attended an information session. Right away, she knew this was what she wanted. She was accepted into the StepUp To UH training and built a personal career plan with a focus on stability. She wanted a job with upward mobility that would allow her to make enough money to pay for secure housing and reliable transportation for her and for her daughter; and then she focused on learning everything she could about getting and keeping a job. “I was confident when I interviewed with UH and knew right away this was going to work – they talked about advancement from day one,” she said. She graduated from StepUp to UH in 2014 and was hired later that year as an Environmental Service Worker. Three years later, she is renting her own place, has reliable transportation and is looking forward to her next step. She has trained to be a phlebotomist and is applying at UH so she can keep advancing. “Right away, with TE I had a goal and a plan, and that’s why I talk about TE to everyone I know. And I started with my sister.”
Ebonee’s sister, Rayven, is two years younger and was sure she would never have anything but a dead end job, “I was too nervous to apply for anything I wanted – I felt I had no skills and no confidence.” Seeing her sister’s success in finding a job at University Hospitals, Rayven decided to give Towards Employment a try. “Towards Employment boosted my confidence and helped me gain skills I needed to land the job I wanted at University Hospitals – and my career coach is still right there in my corner to keep me focused on my long term goals. I am back in school working on my associate’s degree in business. I have big dreams but I have a plan. I learned that from my big sister and Towards Employment,” recalls Ebonee.
Step Up to University Hospitals (UH) is a workforce development initiative that connects community residents to jobs, and then to career ladders within the institution. UH partners with Towards Employment and Neighborhood Connections to build this pipeline to jobs. Read a case study by Democracy Collaborative here.
Support our work in changing people’s lives. The Laster sisters will be featured at Rock The Pathway – Towards Employment’s annual event on Friday October 27. Find more about the event here.