Albany, NY (December 24, 2010) -
Kathryn Tillery bounced among little jobs here and there but never had stable employment. She received public assistance and lived in and out of shelters with her 3-year old son. Desperate to provide stability for her child, she enrolled in a training program called Career Pathways.
Career Pathways offers training to prepare low-income workers for careers in high-demand fields. These include green technology and construction, and health care. The New York State Department of Labor and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance administer the funds.
Kathryn decided she wanted to go into the healthcare industry and trained as a certified nursing assistant through the Albany Community Action Partnership. Now she works as a CNA at the Teresian House in Albany, New York.
Kathryn said her son motivated her to make something of her life. “Just the thought of my son not having a warm bed to sleep in or food in his stomach made me want to do better. So, I got out there and did what I had to for the two of us. It was hard, but I was happy to have the help of this program,” said Kathryn.
State Labor Commissioner Colleen C. Gardner says, “Kathryn Tillery is a perfect example of how self determination and programs like Career Pathways can train low-income job seekers for successful careers. This program lifted Kathryn out of poverty, taught her how to be self-sufficient and economically independent.”
Kathryn says her message to other job seekers out there who feel discouraged is simple. “You’ve got to want it. If you don’t have that drive, you’re never going to get where you want to go.”
OTDA Executive Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Berlin said: “Career Pathways and other similar programs are not only helping people develop the tools they need to get a foot-hold in the workforce, but giving them an opportunity to advance to better jobs and improving their chances of achieving economic security. Kathryn’s inspiring story highlights that with the right approach there are paths out of poverty, even in these challenging economic times.”
People who qualify for this program include public assistance recipients, low-wage workers. It also covers people who receive unemployment insurance in households with incomes of less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
Career Pathways links basic education to occupational training. When combined with integrated support services, it enables participants to advance over time to higher-wage jobs in targeted industry sectors. This approach leads to higher wages and benefits.
For questions about Labor Department programs, call 1-888-4-NYSDOL. To learn more about the Career Pathways programs, contact your local department of social services. See the list at http://otda.ny.gov/main/workingfamilies/dss.asp