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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Upper Arkansas Workforce Centers


Meet Kelly

Workforce Challenge

Things weren’t going so well in Oklahoma. Kelly was a homeless Native American from the Cherokee tribe who had, more or less, been on the streets from the age of twelve. Going from agency to agency looking for assistance wasn’t providing any help. Kelly realized that if she were to survive, she needed to escape the area she lived in and start a new life. Kelly arrived in Salida around Christmas of 2016, homeless, jobless, very sick and penniless. She submitted many job applications without success.
Having been in prison two times effectively slammed all the employment doors in her face. Salida wasn’t looking much better than Oklahoma to Kelly.

Workforce Solution

Someone told her about the training and employment programs at the Salida Workforce Center, so Kelly decided to give it a try. She met Debbie and Dawn, two Salida Workforce Center team members who helped Kelly change her life. They created a very powerful resume that highlighted her skills and assisted her with online job searches and applications.
Kelly took her new resume and started applying anew. At one establishment Kelly stated that the manager did an obvious double-take while looking at the resume. Kelly remains convinced the resume got her the interview and, ultimately, was instrumental in her landing the job as a housekeeper with a major employer in the Salida area. Kelly was also enrolled in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act program where she received assistance in the form of work clothes, shoes and a phone card.

Outcomes & Benefits

Kelly tells the Salida Workforce Center that thanks to them, she has now finally found peace. She looks forward to her daughter and two grand-daughters coming to Salida where she can, for the first time in a long time, be a positive role model.


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