Transitional Jobs program

Alan Phillips and Jackie Schwartz worked together as part of the Workforce Resource Transitional Jobs program to prepare Phillips to find self-sustaining employment. Rebecca Mariscal / Hudson Star-Observer

HUDSON — Transitional Jobs, a new program from nonprofit Workforce Resource, had been open for four days when Alan Phillips applied for it. 

His mother had heard about the program, designed to help unemployed participants progress from assisted employment into self-sufficient employment. It offers job coaching, employability planning, skill development, training and assistance with the job search. 

At that time Phillips was moving from one business to another, looking for a job and working with a temp agency with no long-lasting results. 

“There’s no one there to actually push me over the edge to get it set up,” Phillips said. 

Workforce Career Planner and Work Readiness specialist Jackie Schwartz worked one-on-one with Phillips as part of the program, practicing interviews, completing assignments and helping with the job search. 

Phillips ended up applying with a company where he’d already worked and been let go. When he first got a job with BOH Electronics, Phillips was fresh out of high school as a temp and didn’t have the best attitude. But BOH is all about second chances, Human Resources manager Jill McCorkel said. 

“We said let's just give him another chance and see if we can make it work this time,” she said. 

So they decided to hire him again, and McCorkel said it’s been a win-win-win situation for everyone. 

“He’s made incredible strides,” McCorkel said. “He’s become one of our best builders in back and in a very short period of time. Very reliable, very polite, participates in the little games that we play and stuff.” 

As part of the program Schwartz reached out to the company after the interview and served as an additional point person through the process. 

When he got the interview, and then later the job, Phillips said he was so, so happy. 

“Like the world is off my shoulders,” Phillips said. 

Phillips started part time and then after gradually getting into the swing of things moved to full-time employment. 

At his recent 90-day review, McCorkel said supervisors had nothing but good things to say about Phillips. She made sure to share the news with Schwartz so she could see the success story.

“He’s not the same person he was when he came here a couple years ago,” she said. “I’ve even reached out and said if you have more people that we’d be happy to take because he was just such a success with the program that he’s in.” 

McCorkel hadn’t heard about the new program until Phillips applied, but would love to continue to work with its clients.

“They do a lot of the follow-up and personal touch stuff that you don’t get from like a temp agency,” she said. “They put their heart and soul into making sure, you give them the foundation to be successful for the rest of your life.”

Phillips is among 21 total people currently enrolled in the program. Overall, Schwartz said it has been going really well. 

“All of our programs are great, but out of all of them, this was the one that we work side-by-side with them and we expect them to be accountable to the program. It’s their program, it’s not my program,” Schwartz said. “And they either want to work it and be successful or not.” 

The program is open to new participants and new employer partners as well. It operates in St. Croix, Pierce, Dunn, Chippewa, Baron and Polk counties. Those interested in taking part can contact Jackie Schwartz at jackie.schwartz@workforceresource.org.

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