Gabi connected with the WorkSmart Network to explore educational opportunities available to her through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The Network referred her to a CNA program and helped her strengthen her soft skills to prepare her for a career pathway in healthcare.
While in the program, Gabi had to quit her job to focus on and attend training. But she maintained a positive attitude and never lost her willingness to do well or her commitment to advancing her career. She continued to work with WorkSmart to update her applications and explore job openings.
The minute her final class ended in February, Gabi was ready to work so she scheduled her CNA Licensing Exam immediately. Before she reached her exam date, UW Health offered her a Nursing Assistant position with the condition of passing the exam within 30 days.
"I loved the part where there was a lot of communication going on [from WorkSmart] and after I finished the program they still contacted me and helped me file applications to start working at UW Health and helped me with my references," explained Gabi.
Because of her dedication, Gabi was able to return to work at a significantly higher wage with more stability and better benefits. Her long-term career pathway can lead to higher job satisfaction and a more productive career.
"When I started, I honestly was clueless about what exactly I was getting myself into. I love the customer service I get [from WorkSmart] and I just felt like they prepared me with enough [and] now I'm really happy and want to continue my education."
Gabi is working with WorkSmart to continue her training at Madison College in the Medical Assistant program.
"I just want to be better for myself. My mom was a single mother, raising 2 kids, so she never actually had the chance to graduate high school or college. All of it was just so my mom would be happy with myself and to accomplish something for both of us."