Christine Washington, in need of fulltime sustainable employment, enrolled in the Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program, operated by KRA for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services.
Participation included KRA’s Job Readiness Program, an integral component of which is an unpaid Work Experience (WEX) Program Internship for customers with little, no, and/or outdated work-experience histories.
Ms. Washington, who was working two part-time jobs to support herself and two young sons, learned that KRA had an open WEX Housekeeping Internship, and asked to be considered for the position.
Shawnda Walker, Lead Job Developer/WEX Program Supervisor, stated, “All Internships, even those of a custodial nature, provide valuable opportunities to reinforce positive and consistent workplace behaviors—attendance, punctuality, following instructions, getting along with co-workers, etc. Furthermore, in Ms. Washington’s case, we were able to provide a flexible work schedule to accommodate her other two jobs.”
When her Housekeeping Internship ended, Ms. Washington was assigned a WEX File Clerk position, which did not turn out to be the best fit for her. Ms. Walker commented, “We were not at all disappointed with this turn of events. One of the fundamental purposes of the WEX Program is to identify jobseekers’ strengths and weaknesses, and capitalize on the positive aspects of their performance.
Recognizing Ms. Washington’s innate potential, we re-assigned her to a Front Desk Internship, in which she excelled—-acquiring new knowledge and learning new skills, including computer literacy, leading KRA to offer Ms. Washington a full-time position as Front Desk Program Assistant.”
Ms. Washington stated, “I am grateful for the opportunity to grow professionally and personally and to learn all I can. One day, I hope to become a Career Agent to make a difference in people’s lives the way KRA did for me.”
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