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How Skills Helped Me Get My Life Back on Track

Juwana speaking at event with Mayor Rahm Emanuel

By Juwana Dorsey

In December 2014, after living in Minnesota for a few years, I decided it was time to move back home to Chicago with my young daughter.

The next 11 months after I moved back was a very hard and stressful time in my life.

I immediately dove into my job search, sending out application after application, but never hearing a response.

I had to move in with my parents while I looked for a new job and took care of my three-year-old daughter. I thought I had great experience in hospital environmental services, but even though I used every job search website that I could find, no one was responding to any of my applications. My unemployment insurance soon ran out and I had to rely on SNAP to buy food, and the bills started piling up. It was clear I had to try something new.

 In November, I saw a job posting for an environmental services technician at Rush University Medical Center. I applied, and was contacted very soon afterwards by a Skills for Chicagoland’s Future (Skills) recruiter.

After months of searching on my own, it was such a relief to have my Skills recruiter, Mayra, there to support me through the hiring process from start to finish.

Skills didn’t just pass along my resume to Rush. Mayra took the time to get to know me, and then prepared me to give an interview at Rush that would show my strengths.

I couldn’t believe how fast everything happened! Rush offered me the job just two days after I interviewed with them.

Working at the hospital has been a great experience. Everyone is very warm and professional, and they did a great job getting me started.

I’m currently a part-time employee, and I hope to one day move to full-time. For now, Rush offers me plenty of extra hours, which I am happy to take!

After being unemployed for so long, I still feel excited to be working again, and thanks to Rush, I’ve been able to move into my own apartment and support my daughter. Skills for Chicagoland’s Future and Rush University Medical Center helped me get my life back on track.

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