Women In The Workforce Program Offers Second Chances


Are you unemployed? Are you looking to build your network? 

A Dress For Success program is helping women in that very situation. 

Women in the Workforce is a career development program that gives women the support they need to find a job. But many find a lot more than just employment. 

“I was homeless, I was in abusive situations, and jobless, I pretty much didn’t care about life,” Melibu Ross said. 

Ross lived that life for 20 years, to the point where she hit rock bottom. 

Now the recovering addict has found a second chance at Dress For Success. 

“Never really felt that I had confidence, because I was kind of a job hopper, but I’m learning so many new tools,” Ross said. 

She’s one of nine women who are part of this summer’s Women In The Workforce cohort, a Dress For Success program helping unemployed and underemployed women. 

Twice a week for five weeks she’s updated her resume and worked with mentors, like Erin Bosch. 

“That these gals will find an opportunity that they’re passionate about, and that they can start contributing back into the community. But mostly that they can become financially independent,” said Bosch, Executive Director of Dress For Success. 

Ross hopes to find a career in social services to help other women who also may need a second chance. 

That’s where Avera steps in. 

“Avera is a healthcare ministry and we want to help people grow and love the lives that they’ve put together for themselves and that’s completely consistent with Dress For Success and bringing people to the next step of their journeys,” Director of Workforce Planning At Avera Pam Hilber said.

The hospital is offering job shadows for these women in all lines of work. 

For Ross, it’s another step toward her new lease on life. 

“I’m taking charge of my life, and I’m doing it with a roar and nobody is stopping me now,” Ross said.

All nine women will graduate from the Women in the Workforce program on Sept. 13, just another accomplishment to add to their resumes. 

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