The coronavirus pandemic has impacted millions of Americans financially. South Floridian Ceclia Melman-Estrumsa was one of them.
"Sometimes we don’t think that we need help, but sometimes you need to accept help," said Cecilia.
Ceclia lost her job during the pandemic and managed to get by with other temporary jobs, such as waiting tables.
"I said ok I will wait tables only on the weekends and then during the week I can be with my daughter. But then that can sometimes get you out of the workforce and then you feel like you don’t know how to get back," she said.
That’s when CareerSource Broward stepped in to help.
The agency provides funding of up to $12,000 per eligible Broward County resident to help job seekers acquire the education and skills they need to succeed in occupations like healthcare, IT, and project management.
"The WIOA program, the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act, is a federal grant that we have and the purpose of that grant is to help those who have been laid off or they have a household income that is below or at the poverty line," said Reynold Hicks with CareerSource Broward.
Broward County Public Schools is one of the several providers.
"We have Atlantic Technical College, McFatter Technical College and Sherdian Technical College. They have rapid credential programs. Through the state that is a desire to get people retrained quickly within six months to a year, to get either up-skill or new skills to get new employment or increase their employment income," said James Payne with BCPS.
Cecilia recommends these training programs. She said the scholarship helped her complete a social media marketing course. Seven months later she got an internship at the Chamber of Commerce. Then she landed a full-time job at the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, where she's now working as a social media coordinator.
"It’s a program that really supports you and you can feel it [from the people] like my career coach. My career coach [is always there]. They were not too pushy but they were there to support me and direct me where to go," she said.
You can find the requirements, training courses that are supported by this scholarship program and how to apply at careersourcebroward.com/approved-training-programs