Victoria Bradley was born and raised in Austin. She returned to her hometown in 2020 to take a mental health break from her studies at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. Victoria planned to continue her studies in the summer, but the pandemic put her plans in a lurch.

Seeking a stable path despite the uncertain times, Victoria searched for assistance and discovered Workforce Solutions Capital Area. She received assistance from Anthony Alexander, manager at Workforce Solutions Capital Area’s career center in East Austin.

Anthony recommended enrolling in the Work and Education Readiness Continuum (WERC), a City of Austin- and Travis County-funded network of community partners. Once enrolled, Victoria participated in a subsidized employment program for eligible job seekers.

“At first, I thought that Workforce Solutions was only for people that were seeking job opportunities,” Victoria said. “Once I learned more about all the various programs that are offered, I was impressed by the way Workforce Solutions impacts the community so positively.”

Victoria interned at the East Center for four months while in the program.

“I had a positive experience and learned valuable skills that I will take with me on my career path. I was given the opportunity to learn a little bit of everything—front desk duties, data entry, filing, as well as inbound and outbound calls,” Victoria said.

“The staff took me under their wing and made sure I was ready for my next phase and always encouraged me to keep pushing forward. For that I am very grateful,” said Victoria.

“Every day is a new opportunity to be better and learn something new that can be carried throughout your life.”

In August, Victoria began working for BakerRipley, a Houston-based charitable organization under contract to manage Workforce Solutions Capital Area’s childcare program. She works as an information resource specialist at Workforce Solutions Capital Area’s North Career Center.

“We provide families with childcare assistance and so much more. My team members are knowledgeable and allowed me space to explore a working style that best suits me,” Victoria said.

“I interact with people from all walks of life, which I appreciate. Management is awesome and very patient. This position will keep you busy, but I would not change it for anything. The East center prepared me well for this role!” she said.

Victoria is now taking online courses with Stephen F. Austin State University and plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology.

For Austinites struggling to achieve goals impacted by the pandemic, Victoria offers this advice: “Every day you go in, be mindful of the goals you set for yourself. Be willing to learn and step outside your comfort zone,” she said.

“Every day is a new opportunity to be better and learn something new that can be carried throughout your life. My dad says if you take 90 days and buckle down, results will come. Things don’t come to you, so take the initiative to make your personal goals a reality!”

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