For young residents of Austin/Travis County, resources for professional growth are available from Workforce Solutions Capital Area and Goodwill Central Texas through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program, such as job skills training and employment opportunities.
Brianna Guerrero is an Austin youth who has benefited from participating in the program. She first learned about the assistance available from Goodwill Central Texas at a job fair at her high school. Brianna became a parent when she entered high school, and with caring for her baby boy in front of mind, she enrolled in the WIOA Youth Program after graduating.
Brianna chose phlebotomy technician for her career path. “I decided to take the program to continue my education in a professional setting and learn professional skills,” she said.
Goodwill Central Texas offers a variety of job-readiness training, such as Career Advancement Training (CAT). CAT includes a five-day, immersive boot camp, utilizing hands-on activities that are designed to prepare job seekers to find and retain employment. CAT offers financial literacy training, resume and mock interview training, and more.
“My experience was awesome. They really push you to succeed and work hard, and help you build confidence,” said Brianna.
“Brianna very much wanted to complete a training, and while caring for a special needs child who requires specialized care. Brianna never complained or spoke a negative word about her responsibilities,” said Linda Kaufmann, a Career Case Manager at Goodwill Central Texas.
Brianna completed her training through the Goodwill Career & Technical Academy in June 2018, and next secured an internship at TruCare, a pregnancy care center.
“My internship was awesome! I met new friendly faces every day and being there knowing I was helping created a good atmosphere to work in,” Brianna said.
While interning at the clinic, one of her biggest challenges was caring for frustrated patients when she didn’t immediately find a vein to draw blood. However, staying calm in a stressful situation taught Brianna valuable problem solving and people skills. “Even the professionals may miss, so I kept in mind that practice makes perfect,” Brianna said.
She added, “Also, juggling school and work while going home and running errands was difficult, but dedication was key.”
“This speaks to Brianna’s character which is always positive, respectful, grateful and someone who never complains. Brianna knew she had to focus on her son’s needs first, and although she wanted to commit to occupational training, she had to work and care for her son,” said her case manager, Linda.
“Once Brianna knew she could balance her son’s care, her job and occupational training, Brianna was 110 percent committed to occupational training,” Linda added.
After completing her internship, Brianna began an aggressive job search. Within three weeks, she was employed as a phlebotomy technician at PPD, a drug research agency. “My job duties are to draw blood, collect urine, take vital signs and electrocardiogram tests,” she said.
Brianna’s next step is to complete her Phlebotomy Certification exam, part of her plan to further her education and knowledge in the medical field. She advises others to find success by defining their goals and pursuing them.
“My advice is to never give up on a goal that is to better yourself, especially if you have support right behind you. Take advantage of a great opportunity!” Brianna said.
About WIOA Youth
WIOA Youth is part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act program funded through Workforce Solutions Capital Area. WIOA is a no-cost employment program designed to give job seekers the support and/or skills training they need to find a job. WIOA offers financial assistance to eligible individuals for job search assistance, training, and other support services.
Visit our WIOA page to learn more.