“She’s a real people person. She excels at customer service.”
This is how Kevin McKee, Store Manager of Rite Aid #4716 in Ithaca, describes his employee of four years, Kelly K.
This isn’t how she would have described herself four years ago.
Kelly was on public assistance and just recovering from a traumatic medical event when she came to Challenge Workforce Solutions as a job seeker. “I used to just mumble and not look people in the eye,” she recalled. “Challenge really helped me with my speaking abilities, and now I’m much more outgoing.”
Kelly participated in Job Club, an intensive daily program of career exploration, readiness training, and search assistance. Job Club is one of four different job placement programs at Challenge for individuals who receive public assistance or who have legal issues. Each program is highly personalized to best support participants in forging their own paths to self-sufficiency.
Says Trisha Wilson, Manager of Employment Services, “Kelly worked hard and communicated with Job Club staff throughout the process, practicing interviewing and presentation skills that she was able to take with her to Rite Aid. In fact, she finished Job Club early because she got the job.”
Kelly was hired as a cashier and worked in that role for a little over two years. She was then promoted to Shift Supervisor and ably took on numerous new responsibilities including managing deposits and overseeing frontline staff.
But her favorite part of the job is still working with customers. “A lot of our regulars will come in and ask for me by name, because they know that I will help them find products, or help them with their photos, or whatever they need. And I will always try to save them money when I can.”
One such regular is Trisha Wilson. “Kelly is a big reason that I frequent Rite Aid. She’s usually the face that cheerfully greets me when I walk in. And I’m so happy to see how much she’s grown in her confidence and capabilities and become a vital part of the team.”