Q & A Session with WOW Case Manager, Courtney Gross

What is your role in the organization?   

To help clients remove barriers to employment through case management services as well as provide Job Readiness/Search and Soft Skills Training.

What are some of the most common barriers to employment WOW students face?

Housing, Childcare, and Background

How do you support individuals throughout the program?

I provide guidance through the creation of a case plan/resource referral, a safe place to process thoughts/emotions, and developing healthy coping skills when difficult situations arise in the workplace.

Generally what are your students’ biggest concerns when beginning the program?

They are most concerned with managing all of their stressful life situations around a full-time training program.

How do you provide support to a student who is thinking about quitting the program?

I discuss with them the reasons why they want to quit the program, help walk them through the results of their different options, and talk about how the program can help them work on whatever difficulties are leading to leaving.

What services do you offer through the Career Center?

Resume Building, Cover Letter Creation, Job Search, Mock Interviews, Interview Prep, Basic Computer/Internet Guidance, and Case Management via online programs

Where do most students search for employment? (Hospitals, restaurants, schools, etc.)

It depends on the student.  If a student does not have a background then large corporations, schools, retirement facilities, and hospitals are a great option.  If they do have a background- small “mom and pop”/local restaurants.

How often do you follow-up with students after they are employed?

Initially we try to follow up with them regularly, and then once a month.

What has been your proudest moment as a Case Manager at WOW?

Anytime a student overcomes their big obstacle: When Theresita landed housing; when Alexis reacted more appropriately to a conflict than she had several times before; when we were able to work with the TANF program to get a client into necessary trauma counseling; when every student finds a job; when Michelle remained sober for 90+ days and has held a job for over 4 months (and counting) after 15+ years of crack addiction and 30 days sober when entering the program.

What do you see as the biggest change an individual makes while completing the program?

Learning that they must change their lives to revolve around a job so they can successfully take care of themselves and their families, and then doing it.