A client explains in their own words how Stark County Community Action Agency (SCCAA) helped them gain the skills needed to start a new career:

Before I came to SCCAA I was struggling. It was over two years since I had been employed and I was getting desperate. I had to change my lifelong profession because of health issues. I applied to a company in downtown Canton called VXI and I didn’t pass the entrance test. The lady at VXI suggested that I come to the computer classes at Stark County Community Action Agency and then when I had completed them to call her and come back and try again. They suggested I come to Stark County Community Action Agency because they had referred others with great results.

I basically had very little computer knowledge and I was ashamed because I had put off learning about computers for such a long time. I only had two choices. I could go to Stark State and pay a bunch of money or I could go to the free classes offered by the Stark County Community Action Agency. I obviously chose option #2 and it was a great choice. Once I completed the classes, I retested and I am now gainfully employed in the ATT division of VXI.

I graduated Computer classes on Friday and I already had retested and was scheduled to start my job at VXI on Monday morning. I was so excited and I owe it all to the training I received from Stark County Community Action Agency. I went from no prospects to fully employed in less than two months. I am working on paying off my back debts and I have a chance at a future.

It would be terrible if these classes were discontinued. I have so many friends who have tried classes at local community colleges like Stark State and Kent State and not only do the teachers there not know the material the way the teachers at Stark County Community Action Agency do, but even more importantly, most of it is done online and/or in classrooms where there is no teacher to explain the how and why of what you are doing. You are just told to read the book and many times that is just not enough. In addition to that, I could come out of classes owing a large debt and I can’t afford any more debt.

I have been working steady now and my life is much improved. I can start to pay my bills and rebuild my credit and most of all, I feel productive again. I had forgotten how good it felt to have a job to report to every day. Having people count on you to be there and do your job is a real self esteem booster.

I never experienced a group of people who were so caring and so professional as those I found at Stark County Community Action Agency. Everyday I learned new things that I can actually use on my job now. I am not surprised to run into other people at my work who have also been trained by the SCCAA program and they are always quick to praise the program and the people who work there.

For more information about Community Action programs in your area, visit www.oacaa.org. Note, not all Community Action Agencies offer these programs.

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