SkillUP Success Stories

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February 24, 2022

SkillUP Success Stories

Cassidy Buchanon

Cassidy Buchanan: Dream of a Lifetime

Single mother, Cassidy Buchannan was laid off during the pandemic, and despite having had jobs in different industries over the years including healthcare, customer service, and administrative support, she was having a difficult time finding employment.  A SNAP (Food Stamps) recipient since August 2018, Cassidy discovered she was eligible for the SkillUP program, administered through ResCare in Southwest Missouri. 
In July of 2020, with the assistance of her case manager, Kim Page, Cassidy reviewed and completed several job applications. They also worked together to research daycare facilities in the Joplin area as Cassidy’s daycare had closed due to the pandemic.

Cassidy obtained employment at the Independent Living Center on September 1, 2020. The job paid an hourly rate of $10.65 an hour. Michelle Loyd, Workforce Specialist, assisted Cassidy by purchasing scrubs and non-skid shoes for her new position through the SkillUP program.

On October 30th, 2020, Cassidy obtained a new job as a Youth Services Counselor at the Joplin Job Center. Not only was this job considered a significant “Skill Up” over her previous employment, it offers full benefits and pays $14.25 an hour, an increase of $3.60 an hour! Cassidy’s new job required her dress attire to be business casual as opposed to scrubs, so Lisa Colbert, Administrative Assistant, assisted her through the SkillUP program.

Cassidy expressed that she always wanted a job where she can help people, her new job is the “dream of a lifetime”. Now that the, “huge stress has been lifted with a better job and better work schedule, I have more time to spend with my daughter, establish a better routine, and decide what’s next to better my life.” Since starting her employment at the Job Center, Cassidy says she’s so much happier.

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She would like everyone to know, “The program is great. I love that it helped me find my way when I felt like there was no other way, or other help out there. I truly appreciate all of the help that Kim gave me. I feel like I have the job I’ve always wanted. Not only will I receive health insurance, I will have earned paid time off. This will help me a lot if my daughter gets sick or something happens at the daycare. The help that I received, and the new job that I have, has made me realize that I eventually want to go back to school and obtain a degree in Social Work."

Cassidy attributes her success to her 2-year-old daughter. She is, “the apple of my eye – everything I do is for her."

The SkillUP program is Missouri’s employment and training program for Food Stamp (SNAP) recipients. The program is funded through the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. The program is also funded through the Administration for Children and Families, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant.

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