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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Merced County Dept of Workforce Investment

Meet Irena

Workforce Challenge

Irena was in a “catch 22”. She received her Bachelor's Degree in insurance and finance from a university in Germany, yet moved to Merced, California where the unemployment rate was almost 20%. Employers who were hiring were seeking employees with work experience which was something Irena lacked. She also lacked transportation making her job search even more difficult. Upon a friend's advice, Irena went to Worknet for support.

Workforce Solution

Irena was skeptical at first, but discovered that the computer labs and Internet access in Worknet’s resource rooms were invaluable. She worked on her resume, accessed the printers and copiers and searched for job openings. Worknet supplied her with bus passes, enrolled her in driving lessons, and helped her purchase new work apparel. Worknet was able to secure a ten-week paid work experience program for 32 hours/week.

Outcomes & Benefits

Four weeks into the program, Irena received a job interview in Modesto, California. After only three months with Worknet, Irena started her new position as a Credit and Loans Manager at Wells Fargo Bank. She was grateful for the experience and the dedication of the Worknet staff in helping her get the support she needed.

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