Unemployed, low-income adults and dislocated workers can obtain assistance with getting back into the workforce through a program offered at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills.

The free, federally-funded work readiness program is provided through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), known as Career Connections. Participants receive job placement and educational assistance, and supportive services that include bus passes, gas gift cards, assistance with child care, books and lab fees, and more. Participants also may be eligible to receive up to $8,000 in tuition assistance that can be applied toward college classes and certificate and degree programs offered by hundreds of approved training providers in Cook County.

“We provide career pathway guidance, a dedicated career coach, and job search and readiness workshops,” said Darice Wright, Career Connections Adult Program manager at Moraine Valley. “We also help with job referrals and financial assistance. WIOA is potentially a life-changing opportunity. With the support, assistance and guidance of our staff, one’s life can be transformed.”

Desaray Navarro, of Hickory Hills, participated in the program and was successfully transitioned back into the workforce.

“The assessment testing is one of the key elements that helped me excel. I scored high in what my heart wanted—health care. That’s where my passion is,” she said.

Navarro, influenced by superior medical care a family member received, is now working in the health care industry.

“This program gives you the tools you need—the classes, the training, mock interviews, help with writing resumes—everything. There’s no way you finish this program and not be prepared for a job,” she said.

To learn more about eligibility for the program and services, contact Wright at (708) 974-5677 or visit morainevalley.edu/careerconnections.