From Bistro Server to Assistant Director
Latonya first visited the Michigan Works! Southwest Service Center in Kalamazoo in October of 2018. She had just relocated from the East coast to Michigan to assist in taking care of a family member who was terminally ill. She was unemployed, did not have a driver’s license, and was struggling to keep the heat on where she was staying.
With support from Michigan Works! Southwest staff, Latonya developed a plan to address her barriers. She received assistance in resume building, developing additional work history through community service, and obtaining her driver’s license and Social Security card. Through accessing additional resources, she was also able to address her unpaid heating bills.
In December she began work at the Courtyard by Marriott as a Bistro Server and was making $9.75 an hour. Due to the limited service hours of the available public transportation, Latonya chose to walk to work on most days. Based on her background in Information Security Subject Matter, Information Risk Assessment, and Security and Threat Analysis from working with the Marine Corps while enlisted in the United States Navy, Latonya also began training to become a Certified Information Systems Auditor. With the help of Michigan Works! Southwest, she was able to participate in an additional 4-day, instructor-led, intensive training in March 2019.
After completing training in April, Latonya was offered and accepted the position of Assistant Director of Recruitment Strategy at Virtual Resources Employment Agency with a starting salary of $102,000 a year.