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BRENDA STEPHENSON: A TRA-BROCKTON COMPETITIVE INTEGRATED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES (CIES) PROGRAM SUCCESS STORY!

Hello my name is Brenda Stephenson. While being pregnant with my now seven month old daughter Angellee, I was struggling to maintain a living. I was working for Chipotle Mexican Grill as a Service Manager for three years. However, during my pregnancy I wasn’t able to perform the duties needed to continue employment. I was devastated when I lost the position. I then started seeking all areas of income from unemployment through the Department of Transitional Assistance. I was able to obtain a positive livelihood until my unemployment was exhausted and I was only receiving the bare minimum from DTA. I was job searching but I had no luck. DTA awarded me with a full time voucher for childcare in order for me to get back into the job world.

They explained that I could look for employment on my own for two months and if I was unsuccessful in finding a position within that time frame, they could refer me to Training Resources of America. I was thrilled to know employment assistance was available, I asked to start right away! I began my journey with TRA-Brockton in November 2015. What first attracted me to TRA was their assessment testing to help redirect your career path according to who you are as an individual. They tested me on my likes and dislikes, my budget needs and my previous experience. Amanda (TRA’s Employment Specialist) helped critique my resume, helped me prepare cover letters and complete a reference sheet. TRA also enlightened my view on my hard skills. I learned how to sell myself at an interview, execute my “elevator speech” and confidently interview with suitable employers all in my first week. I even attended a job fair with over seven employment opportunities!

I applied to over five jobs in my first two weeks at TRA. In the first week of December I received a referral for a Member Service Representative position for Blue Cross Blue Shield. I applied and was called in for an interview right away. Amanda immediately assisted me on preparing for my interview by performing mock interviews, introducing helpful techniques and printing all needed documents on resume paper. I was offered the position and began working January 19, 2016 making $34,000 a year! I am so grateful for this program; they were just what I needed to get my career back on track. I wished for a position that could fit my schedule, have available advancement opportunities, and is customer service based.

Thanks to TRA, I landed a job that has all that I wished for and more! The benefits are amazing and I am more than elated to start! TRA is an amazing resource. I advise everyone who is attending this training program, to really utilize what they have to offer. Their Employment Specialists are caring people who target others like you and me to become the best we can be and really apply ourselves while searching for work. What you put into life is what you get out of life!

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