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South dakota

Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Department of Labor


Meet Tara

Workforce Challenge

Donna Nelson first encountered Tara Schily as an 18-year-old homeless high school student who still needed 3.5 credits to graduate. Tara's parents lived in Mobridge, but she was in Huron, living temporarily with a family that had little more to offer her than the kindness of a roof over her head.

Workforce Solution

Robin Schoultz enrolled her in the DSS Summer 2010 program and placed her as a teller at the Farmer's & Merchant's Bank making $9.00 an hour. To help her look and feel like a responsible worker, Robin also provided some appropriate office attire through supportive services. The bank work experience helped her gain basic computer skills and taught her banking and reception duties.

To keep herself solvent while attending school, Tara needed a job. She was enrolled in the WIA Youth program, where Tara began her assessments and her employment planning. She had heard of the Huron Area Center for Independence (HACFI), a facility working with developmentally disabled adults, and was very interested in this career.

Outcomes & Benefits

When the office followed up with the HACFI's hiring official to show how close Tara was to graduation, they worked out an agreement for a work experience contract for $10.10/hour. With this chance to obtain good training in her chosen field and a livable wage, Tara had the means to sustain her residency and complete schooling at Pride High.

In December, 2010, she graduated, completed her work experience and gained acceptance to Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown for the coming semester.


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