Since 1999, our Welfare to Career program has guided some 800 individuals off welfare and into meaningful, thriving careers. More than providing success and sustainability for employees, Welfare to Career has also increased engagement and retention, making the program a win-win that’s been recognized and replicated across the nation.
Fred Keller: Cascade Engineering started in 1973. It was a brand new startup at the time. I wanted to start a company that was, of course, very successful as a business, but also was important to me that it be a great place for people to want to work. [00:00:30] The state of Michigan had the great idea to place a social worker in our factory.
Joyce Gutierrez-Marsh: This gave me an opportunity really to get to know my clients and build that trust in relationships so we could start working on some of the barriers that they have. I want them to come to work and I want them to be able to concentrate on work and not all these other things that are going on at [00:01:00] home.
Amy Valderas: In the beginning, it was very hard for me to work here and be a mom at the same time. If Joyce had not worked here at Cascade, I think it would be extremely difficult, and getting to know her made me feel a little bit more comfortable and I opened up. She was very, very understanding and she immediately gave me the help I needed.
Joyce Gutierrez-Marsh: [00:01:30] I've known Amy since I came here in 1999, and she's doing really well. She's not on assistance anymore, which is a great thing. What happens is as you build that personal relationship with the client, they're more willing to share more about what's going on at home. They trust you.
Amy Valderas: She was able to have that [00:02:00] relationship with you where you felt comfortable, and you could tell her anything and she understood.
Fred Keller: The Department of Human Services has been great to partner with. They really are taking on some of the toughest stuff that we can't take on. They can even help us select the right kind of person that would be the next employee for us.
Joyce Gutierrez-Marsh: I think the Welfare to Career Program is working, has been working, and I love the program. I do.
Fred Keller: Being able to actually have someone in the state that was working offsite [00:02:30] in the place where the support's needed was a very good idea. It was one of those, "Why didn't I think of that before?"
Amy Valderas: I am very proud of myself from where I started to where I'm at right now. My family's proud of me, my kids, and I look forward to working here for Cascade for many, many more years.