Briana was working in home care to provide for her four young children. It wasn’t a job with room to grow, and she wanted to move forward into a career. She hoped to find it in the construction industry.
“She came to the program in pretty good need,” said David Daniels, Workforce Development Manager for Building Value.
Her journey began in the spring of 2020, at the height of the pandemic. She found success in Easterseal’s FastTrac program, and was hired on as a Building Value trainee shortly after. She quickly impressed David Rich, Director of Building Value, with her attentive work.
“Then, she just went AWOL,” David Rich remembers.
Like many single working mothers before, during, and after the pandemic, Briana was struggling to find appropriate care for her children.
“Understandably, she put her children first,” said David Rich. “Her absenteeism was out of control with her childcare scenario.”
But Briana refused to have her story end here. She was able to arrange childcare with support from her family, only to suddenly be saddled with chronic transportation issues. Briana did her best to make it work.
“She duct-taped and coat-hangered that thing together,” David Rich recalled. “True to her word, as soon as she got her car going, she came back and finished it up and did well.”
Sometimes she would be late for work because the transmission was out, the engine would turn, or the door wouldn’t open.
“Even to this day, I’m not sure how I was able to do it,” Briana reveals. “All the obstacles I had to overcome, I still stayed focused. I still had my mindset.”
Briana’s focus and drive finally started to pay off when she received a job offer from Messer. Just when she was set to start her career, when one final obstacle revealed itself.
Her car died for good. Suddenly, Briana was in danger of losing the job she worked so hard to earn.
Briana had planned for this, working for months with Project Lift to secure a new car for herself to no avail. Her case manager knew she had just been hired, and Briana had been diligent in providing all of her information and financial planning required by the program. With no time to spare, she finally got the green light from Project Lift.
Although she could purchase the vehicle with a match from Project Lift outright, Briana wanted to take out a car loan to boost her credit. She didn’t expect to be approved for the loan, but she had hopes to purchase her own home one day. She applied, and quickly got a response.
As David Rich recollects, “she got the car and the car loan that Friday, and she started her new job Monday.”