Remember Esmeralda?

You may remember Esmeralda from last year’s Jobs Summit fundraising event. She fled an abusive situation in Mexico and came to the United States with no high school diploma and no work experience. But her strong desire to build a better life kept her going, sometimes on less than five hours of sleep each night.

Esmeralda shared her story at HIRED’s 2014 Jobs Summit in front of nearly 300 guests. Many had tears in their eyes as Esmeralda expressed her gratitude for their generous donations. Without them, she might still be cleaning hotel rooms and earning minimum wage, hardly able to support her two daughters.

We’re happy to report that since last year’s Jobs Summit, Esmeralda continues on her path towards financial stability and inspires others to do the same.Esmeralda2

Last week, Esmeralda passed a Trained Medication Aide exam, earning her two college credits and a promotion at St. Gertrude’s. She’s well on her way to earning a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) certification, which she plans to have by the end of 2016. She’s even referred her two younger sisters to HIRED and both have completed Certified Nursing Assistant training, just as Esmeralda did, through HIRED’s health care training program at Hennepin Technical College.

But wait – there’s more.

Esmeralda’s incredible story caught the attention of the Star Tribune, which featured her in an article this past summer ( Shortly after the article ran, a caring couple reached out to Esmeralda because they were touched by her strength in the face of adversity. They offered to sponsor Esmeralda’s continuing education and sent a check to cover tuition and books for her first semester of LPN training.

We are so proud of Esmeralda and wish her continued success.

Thank You HIRED Donors

On behalf of the thousands of individuals and families we serve, we’d like to extend our sincerest appreciation to the following for their support in the last couple of months:


Greater Twin Cities United Way, $88,000
Ameriprise Financial, $15,000
Associated Bank/Greater Twin Cities United Way “Winning Wallets”, $10,000
Xcel Energy, $10,000
Carlson Family Foundation “2014 Community Giving Campaign”, $4,832
RBC Wealth Management Foundation, $3,000
Rasmussen College, $500

Individual Donors

Bryan Anderson Dawn Hall Belinda Peterson
Justin Bacon Andy Handler Donald F. Peterson
Shalanda Ballard Peter Heegaard Marilyn Peterson
Timothy Bethke Diane Henderson-Hinderlie Andrea Petrash
Chuck Bies Susan and Brad Hewitt Kelly Pizarro
Nancy Buysse Nancy James Carol Rangel
Wei Ming Chiang Sara Jelinek Allan Rife
George D. Clabon Megan Johansen Mary K. Rivard
Doug Cocklin Venkat Kavasseri Jill Rudnitski
John Coffey Panod Klongtruatroke Jane Samargia
Patricia Corbett Valorie A. Knudsen Renée Schissel
Nancy Corcoran Christopher D. Krusmark Orville Schneewind
Teresa Crowe Chuck Ledermann Annaka Sikkink
Jeremy Davis Steve Marino Peter Silbaugh
Joseph Dieltz Christopher Mba Sue Smith
Barbara Doyle Leah McNamee Paul Standal
Tanya Dyer Kristin M. Mishra Ryan Stauff
Andre Eggert Teresa Nelson Anthony Stavig
Brenda Eng Lorraine W. Neuger Tejpal Thatte
Kishorekumar Erriboyina Rod Nooner Jim Thibodeau
Kari Felegy Alan Olson Michael Trucano
Paul P. Felegy Gretchen K. Olson May Vang
Joseph Fleischman Vickie Parks Donald Walker
Michael F. Friedman Bette Peck Lesma Whalon
Kirsten Gulbro Steven Peters Bridget Word

United Way Selects Eleven HIRED Families for Holiday Wishes Program

*UPDATE* Ronald has secured full-time employment as a machine operator and is very grateful for donors of the Holiday Wishes program. He just wrapped up his second week of work and has already asked to take on more responsibility in his new job. Congratulations, Ronald!

The holidays can be stressful for many of us, but particularly for families with little financial wiggle room. Fortunately, the Greater Twin Cities United Way and Pioneer Press have teamed up once again for the Holiday Wishes giving program. Holiday Wishes provides struggling families with gifts during the holidays, helping to stretch limited budgets and bring holiday cheer.

Among the 42 families selected by United Way to receive gifts this holiday season, eleven were nominated by HIRED. One of those families, the Schintz family, had a particularly challenging 2014. Responsible for the care of his two young children, Ronald Schintz worked hard to transition off of public assistance. He spent months juggling the demands of job search, school and raising young children until finally, he found an opportunity with Northern Iron and Tool. The job was physically demanding, and especially for Ronald as he suffered from congenital hip dysplasia. But it paid enough for him to become financially stable, so Ronald showed up for work each morning with a smile on his face. After only seven short months on the job, however, the company restructured and Ronald was laid off.

Ronald has found himself back at HIRED and despite his health issues, continues looking for work as a production worker in the manufacturing industry. As a part of the Holiday Wishes program, Ronald requested pajamas and cold-weather clothing for his two children, as one of their favorite activities is going to the playground. He’s also requested a pair of steel-toed boots for himself, which is a requirement for any machine operator position. Ronald remains committed to his job search and when he’s not filling out applications or meeting with this employment counselor, he soaks up as much family time with his children as possible.

“Ronald is going through a hard time right now and will really benefit from the help of United Way’s Holiday Wishes program” shares his employment counselor. “He is highly motivated to find work, diligent, and one of the most resilient individuals I have ever met.”

For more information about the Greater Twin Cities United Way Holiday Wishes program, please visit their website:



HIRED Awarded Two New Dislocated Worker Contracts

HIRED was selected to provide re-employment and job training resources to more than 350 laid off workers from Cargill and MakeMusic. “The circumstances are unfortunate – many of these people had been working at Cargill and MakeMusic for years before losing their jobs. But they have a great deal of talent and experience. Combined with the improving job market, we’re confident they’ll be able to get back to work,” shares Matt Derosier, Associate Director of Dislocated Worker Services.

HIRED was awarded a special grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to serve each group of employees. To qualify for the award, HIRED was selected by an employee committee from each company after a competitive bidding process. Shares one former MakeMusic employee as to why HIRED was selected: “We like that HIRED personalizes its services. More than sixty people are losing their jobs at MakeMusic and we each have different plans for our future. Some want to start their own businesses while others want to go back to school.” She continues, “Choosing HIRED was a no-brainer for me. They have experience working with people in the IT field and really seemed to get our group.”

If you or somebody you know lost their job at Cargill or MakeMusic, please contact Ken Roberts, Project Manager, at 952-303-8310 or

Comcast Newsmakers Interviews Jane Samargia

Kevyn Burger of Comcast Newsmakers recently interviewed HIRED’s executive director, Jane Samargia. Jane discussed how HIRED’s employment and job training programs are addressing the needs of today’s changing economy.



Women at Wells Fargo Give Back

A group of civic-minded, compassionate women at Wells Fargo invited Jane Samargia to speak last week about the challenges facing young women in today’s labor market. After the presentation, the Wells Fargo group surprised us with a $500 donation. Thanks to all for your generous support!

Wells Fargo awards HIRED with $500 check

Attention Employers: Join us for a “Ban the Box” Training on September 16th

Please see below for complete details:

Ban the Box Training – September 16

Meet the Newest Members of our Leadership Team

We’re pleased to announce the addition of two new directors to HIRED’s leadership team, Connie Ginsbach and Dinah Dale.

Connie Ginsbach, Director of Human Resources, has more than 15 years of experience in human resources management with privately held companies.  Connie has an MBA from the University of St. Thomas with a human resources concentration as well as a BS in Human Resources Management, and a Certificate from the University of MN in Organizational Development.  She holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) Certification from the Human Resource Certification Institute and currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer for MN Society for Human Resource Management.

Dinah Dale, Director of Development & Communications, brings more than 17 years of nonprofit and political fundraising experience to HIRED, working on both local and national campaigns. In addition to her development experience, Dinah practiced law in Arkansas for seven years. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Washington University School of Law and holds a BA from William Woods University.

Pictured are Connie Ginsbach (left) and Dinah Dale (right)

Connie and Dinah


HIRED Staff Wins Big at Minnesota Conference

HIRED’s staff walked away with two prestigious awards at the 2014 Joint Counselors Training hosted by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Lenore Rockler won “Dislocated Worker Counselor of the Year” for her dedication to assisting laid-off workers find new employment. Among her many accomplishments, Lenore served 232 participants last year. Of those, 130 found jobs, while others were assisted to enroll in skills training activities with job search activities. Lenore was nominated by her coworker, Nancy Olson, who had the following to say:

Very few employment counselors bring the insight, honesty and passion to make a difference in people’s lives more than Lenore Rockler. One only has to look through her case notes, LinkedIn profile and Outlook calendar to realize that Lenore is all about service and results. Whether her participant is new to a career, ready to switch careers, or is new to Minnesota, they benefit from the expertise and career guidance that Lenore offers as a trainer, coach, subject matter expert and employment counselor.

Pictured are Lenore Rockler (right) and Nancy Olson (left).

Lenore Award June2014








The FAST (Families Achieving Success Today) collaborative won “Exceptional Performance by a Team” for its outstanding success in helping low-income families become financially stable. FAST includes five partnering agencies (HIRED, Goodwill-Easter Seals, Open Cities Health Center, People Incorporated and Ramsey County Workforce Solutions) that provide a variety of services, from employment counseling to mental health services. Among its many accomplishments, the FAST collaborative was selected for the award based on its effective communication, innovative methods and continuous improvement throughout their multifaceted team structure. Additionally, families receiving services through FAST were found to increase their annual earnings by 75% – an outstanding achievement for families transitioning from poverty to self-sufficiency.

Pictured Left to right: John Klem (HIRED), Kati Neher ( Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota), Lisa Guetzkow (Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota), Sara Jelinek (HIRED), Amanda Kaiser (People Incorporated), Thomas R. Jaeger (Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota), Kristen Gonzalez (Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota)

Not pictured: Amelia Walicke (HIRED), Jessica McIntosh (HIRED), Joan Anderson (HIRED), Bradley M. Dreis (Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota), Dugan Magraw (Open Cities Health Care Center)

FAST Award June2014


HIRED in the Star Tribune

HIRED’s Sector-Based Employment Program participant, Esmeralda Reyes-Pliego, was recently featured in the Star Tribune for her success making a career in the health care field. Esmeralda participated in a statewide initiative, FastTRAC, designed to connect individuals with job training and employment services in growing career areas.

Esmeralda also spoke during HIRED’s Jobs Summit event where she shared her story with nearly 300 guests.

For the full article, please visit the following link:

To read more about Esmeralda, please visit the following link: