September 2011, Volume 15, Number 4

Features

Work Solutions Puts People Back in Workforce

Illustration of workers

Always seeking new ways to prepare people for the changing demands of today’s job market, Miami Dade College’s Working Solutions Program takes a proactive approach to job training.

Spearheaded by MDC and the State of Florida’s Agency for Workforce Innovation, the program assists homemakers 35 years old and older who need practical training to transition to a job after having been supported by a spouse or
family member.

“People come in, and they’re scared and nervous,” said Dr. Linda Scharf, Working Solutions
Program director. 

Major Life Transitions

Scharf explained that program participants are homemakers who now find themselves having to support themselves
for a variety of reasons, be it divorce, separation, death or disability.

“They feel like they don’t have options,” she said. “Here they get the support to reach their goals. They become empowered.”

The yearlong program offers noncredit community education courses free of charge to participants and free of fees to potential employers. Working Solutions’ self-paced, computer-based training and its career counseling and job placement services enable busy homemakers
to develop the skills they need to find
rewarding employment. 

Becoming Self-Reliant

The program also helps individuals who want to become self-sufficient after having been on government assistance, such as unemployment compensation and food stamps.

Meeting the community’s needs, Working Solutions offers its services in English, Spanish
and Creole.

“We help people take the small steps that are really big steps,” Scharf said. “I’m inspired every day by their courage of those in the program.”

— HP


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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or genetic information. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for information.