Reducing Barriers to Employment: Henry
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United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

Reducing Barriers to Employment: Henry

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Henry loves his family and loves working with his hands.   

Though JobsWork MKE, a United Way-funded partner through the Reducing Barriers to Employment & Advancement initiative, Henry received support on his journey to finding a job he loves. 

"JobsWork MKE was such a resource to me," said Henry. "They showed me I had potential."

In a previous life, Henry struggled to stay connected to his family. “I was involved in drug selling,” said Henry. “That was part of my journey. But I was in and out of jail so much I was missing my kids’ lives. I knew I needed to do better.”  

At JobsWork MKE, Henry was matched with Job Coach Jose, who not only helped Henry find a job he would enjoy but pushed Henry to strive for advancement. In a short time, Henry went from a crew member making $11.50 an hour to a team supervisor, making almost $30 per hour. 

Henry and Jose still talk on a weekly basis, and Henry knows he can turn to JobsWork MKE whenever he encounters a challenge in work or in life.   

“What makes JobsWork MKE different from other employment programs is that we stay with our members longer and go a lot deeper with them in helping navigate any issues they experience,” said Michael Adams, director of employee development at JobsWork MKE. “Everyone experiences ups and downs in life, and our members know we are here to help them every step of the way.”  

United Way’s Reducing Barriers to Employment and Advancement initiative supports local programs at organizations like JobsWork MKE that help individuals overcome barriers to find and maintain family-sustaining employment and access opportunities for advancement. Your donations make this possible. 

Today, life is good for Henry. He has a job he enjoys and, most importantly, gets to spend plenty of time with his family. Henry’s goals include buying a home in the next year and opening his own construction company within five years.  

“I know my worth and my value,” said Henry. “I’m responsible, I lead by example, I just strive to go on and on.”  

For Henry, the sky’s the limit.  

When you give to United Way, you’re not just making a donation. You’re changing a life. Henry and JobsWork MKE show us that, to live better, we must Live United.