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Good paying jobs give family hope for holidays: A Job Connection Success Story


By Diane Nash

A mother and her adult daughter were watching television one evening.
During the commercial breaks, their discussion was focused on impending bills. Both women had been unemployed for a while and were continually overcome with stress. They both figured a waitressing job or seasonal, retail cashiering position would fulfill their monetary deficit for the moment. They both had been down this minimum wage road for most of their adult lives. It involved a life of nickel and dimes, money pressure, and daily bill anxieties. They could never get far enough ahead before the next wave of burden came. They decided to take two jobs each. After all, Christmas was coming. 

Then, they saw the television advertisement for Job Connection. 

The mother was determined to make a change in this minimum wage cycle. She remarked, “We have to go there.”

The daughter asked, “Where?”

The mother answered, “There.” She pointed at the television and stated, “It’s all the way across town, but we’re going.”

Although the daughter appreciated her mother’s determination, she asked, “How? We barely have enough gas to make it down the street.”

Maybe it was the pressure of Christmas gift giving or the electric bill that was overdue. The mother was resolute and stated, “We will find a way. We have to.”



The next day, the two women scraped together enough gas money to go across town on fumes. After all, the gas gauge was always a little off. Today the car would just have to make it. If they could just get across town, they’d focus all their effort towards a better job. Miraculously, the car made it to Job Connection. The job lab was packed with eager job seekers, lively with excitement. The two women were quickly shown around, handed two job lists, a call center list, and temporary services list. Loaded up with paperwork, they walked over to the job board. 

The daughter asked, “How long may we stay here?”

The staff responded, “We’re open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and through lunch.”  The lady paused to smile before continuing, “You have all day if you need it…” She found it odd that the two women seemed emotionally moved over this perfunctory fact of hours of operation, but she didn’t question it. 

The mother worked hard to contain her tears and asked, “How do we best use this job board in the time that we have?”

The staff person pointed out the retail lead links that were also on the job lab computers. She talked about the different call centers that were currently hiring, and the job lists sent by different companies that were displayed. The two women eagerly grabbed a clipboard and began to scribble down notes. Then, they sat down at two computers next to each other. The staff person assisted the two ladies with accessing call center websites, and pointed out that she was happy to answer any additional questions. The ladies made an afternoon of their job searches, not knowing what the end result would be. It had not occurred to either of them that there were so many call centers, most of which paid well above minimum wage. 

Mentally exhausted, the two ladies ended their hard work search at 4:00 p.m. If this didn’t lead to anything, at least they gave it their all. They hadn’t slept well in a long time, but both of them slumbered peacefully that night. They both knew they had tried, and that was all they could do.

Within two weeks from that first visit to Job Connection, they both had jobs. The mother was able to easily fill her gas tank, and make the trip across town. She had to tell that “Job Connection lady” how such a simple job search concept had changed her family’s dynamic.

Her daughter is now earning $12.50 per hour with a raise after 30 days, nearly double what she had made before. The mother is now earning $9.50. A difference of $2.25 an hour means a change in life.

The mother communicated the story back at Job Connection, carefully relaying all the details of her personal journey. She fought back tears while explaining the difference between minimum wage, and what she and her daughter earned now. She was grateful for the television ad, staff assistance, the job board, job lists, call center sheet, and computer access. 

She tearfully told the staff person, “My family will breathe easier now. We’re all employed, and it’s going to be a great Christmas.”

Diane Nash is a Goodwill Job Connection Specialist. Find out more about Job Connection’s services at 918-599-0067or .


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