Customer Successes

WRI is proud of the individuals who have found success while engaging in our FSET program through education and employment!

Through July 31, 2020, 5,686 people have gained employment in our FSET program in Region 7 and Region 8!

Customer Success Stories

Missy Feeding an Animal

The Story of Melissa

Melissa initially enrolled in FSET and WIOA in September of 2016 with the initial goal of completing a Veterinary Technician program and obtaining full time employment working with animals. After completing a career assessment, Melissa was assigned a work experience site working through the city of Chippewa Falls at Irvine Park to gain work experience in the field.
Melissa met regularly to follow up on her worksite and explore educational opportunities. During this time, Melissa shared that there may be an opening at Irvine Park and that she was informed that she had a very good chance of getting the position due to the work experience and references she had obtained there. Melissa continued to follow up, attended online employability workshops, received resume and interview assistance, and was offered the full time Park Assistant position on May 4, 2017. Melissa was able to get two pairs of boots needed to start employment through the programs and reported that she loved the position there.
Melissa was re referred to FSET and enrolled 4/12/2018 after a seasonal lay off. Melissa reported that she was told there will be an upcoming Zoo Keeper position available with Irvine Park which is her ultimate dream job. Melissa began preparing by taking online Zoo keeping classes and maintaining regular contact with both Irvine Park and FSET staff.  On 6/7/18, Melissa was elated to report she had been offered the full time Zookeeper / Maintenance position with Irvine Park starting 5/28/18. Melissa stated there were 127 applicants and that she was chosen out of all due to her work experience as well as Zoo keeping classes she had taken. This is a 40 hour per week position starting at $19.22 per hour with benefits.  On 7/23/2018, Melissa reported she absolutely loves her job at Irvine Park, stating this is the “perfect” fit for her, loves working with the animals, and has received great reviews.  She stated never had a job she was excited to go to work the night before, and now she does.  Melissa had great reviews on the FSET program as well stating she has referred several individuals to the program to help “get on track”. She said she an amazing support structure and could call her Career Planner at any time to answer her questions and sharing her excitement on the new job. She can go to the grocery store now and pay for her own groceries.

Julie's Story


Tiffany’s Message and Story

“Hello, I’m a motivational person and very ambitious when it comes to setting my mind on a goal. I am a mom of 5 kids and the FSET program has helped me to succeed by having a passionate case worker that was there for me in support with my work search and even in my daily issues I was having. Helping me to push on even when I wanted to give up. I am a convicted felon and it’s hard to find employment in Hayward let alone being a felon. They kept on keeping on and pushing me. Now here I am full time employment in a area that I know I can succeed in with opportunities for growth within the company…even with me being a felon and a messed up ankle! THANK YOU FSET PROGRAM!” 

Tiffany had many barriers and did not know what she wanted to do with her life.  She enrolled in FSET program with a goal to find employment in an Office or Peer Specialist position.  The FSET Career Planner assisted Tiffany with obtaining a bond and attending employability skills workshops.  Tiffany started a full-time job at Sevenwinds Casino as a Full-time Administrative Assistant, earning $10.00/hour.  Today, Tiffany is still employed and hoping to advance and has been informed there is room to grow in this company. 


Lindreth’s Story

Lindreth enrolled in the FSET program in March of 2018.  His goal was to be a truck driver or work at Link Brothers in Minong.  Due to health reasons, he was unable to take the CDL classes.  FSET staff assisted Lindreth in applying for a job at Link Brothers,  talked to the HR department and arranged the interview on 4/17/2018.  Lindrith had stated to the HR Department, he wanted to work there because he had moved from another state and heard great things about the Link Brothers in Minong.  Lindreth was hired full time on 4/25/2018, working full time in manufacturing position, earning $13.25/hour.  He was very grateful for the position and enjoys his new job. 


Susan’s Story

Susan enrolled in the FSET program to gain work experience and needed the assistance with the many barriers she had to employment.  She had no work experience, no driver’s license and health issues.  FSET staff placed Susan at the LCO Boys and Girls Club to gain work skills, references and experience to become employed.  They really loved the dedication and perseverance of Susan and decided to hire her.  She is working 20 hours a week, cleaning, earning $8.50/hour at the LCO Boys and Girls Club.  Susan enjoys her job and LCO Boys and Girls Club is willing to accommodate Susan with her barriers to employment. 

Rebecca with HSED certificate

Rebecca’s Story

Rebecca enrolled in the FSET program as a volunteer on 1/2/2020.  She started the GED bootcamp the first week on 1/13 and completed on 1/20/20.  She received her HSED, which was a huge success for her as she is single, homeless and pregnant all while earing her HSED.  She was referred to the housing authority and has a rental set up to move into in February.  While attending GED classes, she continued to job search one hour a week.  She found a job in February at Boot Barn, working 32 hours a week, $12.00/hour! 

Joe and Jessie’s Story

Joe and Jessie enrolled in the FSET program in January 2020.   They owed their own restaurant.  Due to financial hardship, they had to close their business, apply for FoodShare benefits and were referred to the FSET program.  During the initial assessment, Joe and his wife Jessie both expressed interest in finishing their degrees.  They were co-enrolled in the WIOA program and received assistance with long term educational goals.  They participated in job search, attending workshops and are back in school, enrolled in the technical college to complete their Associate and Bachelor’s degree.

Josh’s Story

Josh enrolled in the FSET program in September 2020 after being released from prison.  He was very active in the program, participating in job search weekly online at the library.  He was unfamiliar with the resources and opportunities in the area as he was in prison for twenty-two years.  He had numerous barriers, work history gaps, legal issues and was staying with family and friends. Josh stated at enrollment he has  his HSED, as well as a welding certificate as a production welder.  Josh was open to possibly getting a refresher course in welding, but main focus was to find a job. After a month of applying for numerous jobs, Josh was hired at Midwest Staffing working forty hours a week, earning $20.00/hour as a welder.  The FSET Career Planner assisted Josh in enrolling in a welding program at the Anoka Tech college, a 40-hour welding course, classes held on Wednesday and Saturday,  with a completion date of 2/15/21.    He started the fall course on 10/31/2020, continuing to work full time and attend classes part time. FSET program purchased the training safety supplies: welding brushes, jacket and gloves to enable Josh to attend training.   FSET Career Planner  assisted him with gas cards, cost of the training and job retention supportive services.  Josh is still employed today and doing very well on the job and has a few classes to complete to achieve his welding certificate.   He was very appreciative of the help he received from the WRI staff in Polk County and the FSET program.

Kellie’s Story

Kellie enrolled in the FSET program in February 2021. Her goals were to complete HSED and enroll in the Office Assistant Program at CVTC in the fall and obtain a full time job working as an office assistant by the end of June 2022. The FSET Career Planner offered extra support and continuous encouragement to Kellie. She was referred to WIOA and W2. The FSET Career Planner serves as “point person” for the team to ensure all WRI programs as well as DVR are all on the same page. Kellie achieved her goal of obtaining her HSED at CVTC on 5/17/2021. She is registered for the fall semester at CVTC in the Office Assistant Program. She has completed her work study at CVTC’s bookstore and hoping to find a part time job while attending school in the fall.

Walter’s Story

Walter enrolled in the FSET program in November 2020. He was provided supportive services while job searching and obtained full time job in January 2021 at Radix Lab, $12.00/hour and is still employed. He received bus passes, phone and phone cards and Goodwill Vouchers while participating in the FSET program. Housing was a barrier for Walter and FSET Career Planner worked closely with DVR to best utilize resources available to client. Because Walter was employed, Walter was able to secure housing with assistance from the WERA program at Western Dairyland and sign his very first lease in July 2021. The Eau Claire office team pulled together to gather donated items that client could use moving into his very first place of his own. Walter is still employed but hoping to find better paying employment in the near future. Walter is very appreciative of the support from FSET staff and regularly sends “Good Morning” and “thank you for all you do” texts to his FSET Career Planner.