Michelle thanks CareerForce partner staff who believed in her

graphic of two people high-fiving with words "CareerForce Success Story"

Michelle came to the CareerForce location in downtown Bemidji because she was enrolled in the Minnesota Family Investment Program, or MFIP, the state's program for low-income families with children. Working with her MFIP navigator Cassie from CareerForce partner Beltrami County Workforce Impact and other CareerForce staff changed the course of Michelle’s life and the lives of her children. Here is Michelle’s story, in her own words:

“My name is Michelle, and not too long ago, I was relying on government assistance. I was a client on the MFIP Program, receiving cash and food assistance. Working in retail, I realized that the physical demands were taking a toll on my body, and I decided I can’t continue on this way. I became interested in transitioning to a new line of work such as administrative/office work. I admit that I was intimidated by the technology aspect of this type of work, and I felt as if I needed a fancy degree to land a new job with good pay. Little did I know that my determination paired with the support of dedicated professionals at Workforce Impact/CareerForce would change my life!

“My navigator through the MFIP Program played a pivotal role in my career journey. She encouraged me to aim higher and seek a job with better pay. I also connected with the CareerForce Center Services at this time for resume assistance. We updated my resume and made sure it included all my previous work experiences. We also highlighted my top skills that would be a great match to the jobs I was applying for, especially my customer service skills/experience. The staff became my allies, both mentally and physically. They provided great support and pushed me out of my comfort zone. I was equipped with the tools and confidence to tackle these new challenges head-on. I was shown how to use technology to apply for jobs, and I realized that it wasn’t so intimidating as they broke it down into an easy step-by-step process. I also learned that it is possible to gain employment in administrative work without a degree.

“Today, I work for Sanford Health Internal Medicine as a Patient Access Representative. I have been working here for eight months and I make $5 more per hour in comparison to my previous job. I am employed full-time, use a computer daily at work, and got through the training just fine. I no longer qualify for government assistance on the MFIP Program, so I don’t have to depend on the requirements of the program, but I am forever thankful for the help I received from it. My success has also had a ripple effect as my three children now have jobs too, and our family stress has significantly decreased. There are no more paperwork hassles or subsidized housing for us, I can actually pay our rent with a single paycheck! I will continue to show my appreciation to the Workforce Impact/CareerForce workers who believed in me and took the time to assess my situation and opportunities. A piece of advice that I would like to share with others is that degrees do not define you, determination is what you need! It feels so great to be able to share my story and happiness! THANK YOU!”