Link connects workers with needed life skills training
April 1, 2022
Garfield County’s Link to Success program offers training and assistance for people seeking to improve their job skills and increase competency with technology, helping them to earn employment. Previously offered only for clients utilizing the Colorado Works cash-assistance program, the Link course will soon be available for anyone taking part in a Garfield County Department of Human Services (DHS) program.
Clients of DHS can sign up for Link beginning in early May. Anyone utilizing Colorado Works is required by the state to participate in 22-33 activity hours a week to gain or further their skill set. Link is a four-week course that provides an opportunity to fulfill this requirement and much more.
Link classes take place in-person at the Garfield County Administration Building in Rifle and focus on basic computer skills, positive parenting, and other life skills.
One recent client, Randy, a single father who has struggled with homelessness and lost his construction job after many years in the trades, has found success with the program. He came to DHS seeking food, medical, and financial assistance for his family. He worked with a case manager, Jackee, to find a better path toward earning a job and gaining more stability in his life.
Link provided him with needed skills to re-enter the workforce with improved confidence in his ability to tackle new technologies.
“Things like email or online accessibility for social media of any kind was simply impossible for me,” Randy said. “But I thought, ‘If my eight-year-old can do it, I could learn it, too.’”
He said the class was intimidating at first and he put a lot of pressure on himself to do well, but the instructor, Jimmy, calmed his nerves and helped him to become more tech-savvy and to organize his personal information. Randy learned how to write and send emails and to update his resume and compose a cover letter, greatly improving his ability to apply for and land a job.
“His words and actions on my first day helped me to feel better and realize that I didn’t need to know it all at once,” he said. “We worked together until I understood. Jimmy’s patience and willingness to take the time to do things over and over until I could do them on my own, helped me to succeed.”
Toward the end of the course, Randy began submitting applications and was hired by a local business. He credits the Link program with helping him gain the skills and confidence needed to embark on his new career path.
“These last four weeks have been everything I personally needed to be confident again in the working field,” Randy said. “The class was a huge help. I can tell you it has not only given me confidence at work but also in my everyday life.”
More information on Link and other assistance programs can be found online at garfield-county.com/human-services/.