A.J. Farrow was not new to the Minneapolis Urban League (MUL) when he suggested that Jacqueline enroll in the MUL’s Big Step program. A.J. graduated from Big Step (a MUL program) in 2013, having completed specialized training at the Laborer’s Training Center in Lino Lakes, MN. As a result of his hard work and determination, A.J. has continued to maintain successful employment as a construction laborer.
Jacqueline Reed was just as determined to succeed like A.J. when she chose to enter the construction trades. Immediately after graduating from a certified construction training program, Jacqueline began her job search. She was interested in applying to the City of Minneapolis for a Service Worker position with the Department of Public Works, but the interview process made Jacqueline nervous. She had the determination, but her self-confidence was lacking. Also, the interview would include a challenging and physically rigorous testing of her ability to climb, lift and withstand sustained physical exertion. Jacqueline didn’t have the right equipment (work boots) she needed to undergo that testing. That’s when A.J. referred Jacqueline to Big Step and introduced her to Jan Williams, a former MUL Program Manager.
Jan conducts his soft skills orientations with genuine care and understanding. He knows that many of his clients face difficult challenges on the path to entering or re-entering the workforce. Jacqueline thrived under his nurturing guidance, and after completing basic skills testing and soft-skills training, she was issued a pair of steel-toed work boots. Jacqueline left the program prepared and confident for an interview with the City. In September 2014 Jacqueline was interviewed, tested and hired by the City of Minneapolis as a Service Worker 1.
As a result of their determination to take advantage of opportunity, Jacqueline and A.J. are earning wages that can sustain their dream for a prosperous future.
Every day the Minneapolis Urban League is empowering people like A.J. Farrow and Jacqueline Reed to realize their full potential and prosper. Learn more about our Employment and Training Program.