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:

Unique Job Opportunity at HIRED – MN Opportunity Corps Employment Navigator

MOC Web GraphicAre you interested in a career in the nonprofit field?
Do you enjoy working with people?
Do you want to make a difference in your community?

HIRED’s Young Adult Program (YAP) in St. Paul is hiring for a Minnesota Opportunity Corps Employment Navigator. This position will work directly with young parents, helping them to access the resources needed to find and retain employment. Minnesota Opportunity Corps provides an excellent opportunity for individuals to gain nonprofit work experience and contribute to their communities.

Employment Navigator primary responsibilities include:

1. Carry a caseload of approximately 30 working participants to help them remain employed and advancing in their careers. The navigator’s caseload will consist only of working participants, as his or her focus will be primarily on job retention. Employment counselors will continue addressing participant issues beyond job retention to ensure the employment navigator’s workload remains manageable.

2. Work individually with participants to develop educational goals in their employment plans. This includes a careful review of skills and interest assessments to determine the best fit, whether that be short- or long-term training, full- or part-time programs, and help locating tuition assistance.

3. Track participant progress as it relates to academic achievement and job retention. For example, the navigator will follow-up with school enrollment and completion of financial aid forms, as well as participants’ successful transition to the workplace. Progress will be case noted and used for data reporting purposes.

4. Connect participants with support services related to education and job training, transportation, child care and job retention assistance. This will be done through regular participant follow-ups and maintenance of an education resource center at our St. Paul Griggs-Midway office.

5. Act as a liaison between the participant and educational providers or community resources as needed.

6. Work collaboratively with employment counselors, workshop facilitators, business development coordinators and program managers to effectively deliver services. The navigator will also connect with HIRED’s employer partners when appropriate.

7. Complete GCDF training and other professional development opportunities as they arise throughout the year.

Additional marginal functions include:

1. Coordinate participant and community member volunteer opportunities as set forth by the MOC site guide. This includes outreach to HIRED’s business partners to present during group workshops and work one-to-one with participants with resume development, mock interviewing and mentoring once they become employed.

2. Attend HIRED-sponsored activities, such as staff meetings and career fairs, to represent Opportunity Corps and HIRED’s Young Parent Program.

HURRY! Applications are due no later than August 15, 2014.

Minnesota Opportunity Corps is a program of AmeriCorps. The Employment Navigator service dates run from October 6, 2014 – September 25, 2015. For more information about Minnesota Opportunity Corps or to apply for the position, please visit HIRED’s Career Page at

Construction Job Informational Meeting – August 12th

Are you or somebody you know looking for a job in the construction field?

Watson-Forsberg and its subcontractor, Tri-Construction, are seeking construction workers for Seward Community Co-op’s new store in south Minneapolis. Join us for an informational meeting to learn about employment opportunities and job requirements.

Date: Tuesday, August 12th

Time: 3:00PM-4:30PM

Location: Sabathani Community Center, 310 E 38th Street, Minneapolis MN 55409 (2nd Floor Gym)

If you cannot attend please visit for more information.

President Obama Pays a Special Visit to HIRED

On June 27th, 2014 President Obama paid a special visit to an unsuspecting group of HIRED participants during his recent trip to Minnesota. ProjectCARE, the focus of his visit, provides customer service training to young mothers on public assistance.

“I didn’t believe he was coming,” shares one participant. “All of a sudden, I look up and there’s the President of the United States right in front of me!”Strib Pic 2

President Obama spent a few minutes asking the young women what they’ve been learning in class before sharing his own story of growing up with a single mother. “We all start in different places,” he told the young women before encouraging them to continue with their customer service training and career goals.

At one point, the young women had an opportunity to quiz the President. One participant asked, “As President, if you could get one thing done by the end of today, what would it be?” The President responded with immigration reform to make it easier for people to come to the United States, early childhood education and affordable child care.

ProjectCARE is a collaborative effort funded by the State of Minnesota Department of Human Services and Greater Twin Cities United Way Women’s Giving. Additional partners include the Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency and Intermediate School District 287.

For additional photos from Obama’s visit, please visit HIRED’s Facebook page:

For a video of Obama’s visit, please visit

I’m Here, I Have the Skills, I’m Ready to Work – Esmeralda’s Story

Esmeralda & Andrea

Above: Andrea (HIRED) and Esmeralda

Esmeralda Reyes-Pliego ‘s childhood was riddled with loss and abuse. At only eight-years-old, she was left to care for her younger sisters in Mexico while her mother found work in the United States. Their guardian at the time was an abusive aunt who made life hard on the girls. “She was using the money my mother sent for other purposes. My sisters and I were abused, and on the nights she’d bring boyfriends home, my sister and I would lie in bed awake and scared.”

When Esmeralda’s mother learned of the abuse, she began working multiple jobs until she earned enough for Esmeralda and her sisters to move to Minnesota. Unfortunately, life was still challenging. “I ended up leaving school at 17 to get a job and help support my mom and my sisters,” said Esmeralda, “That’s when I realized that I couldn’t spend my whole life working for minimum wage or less.”

Esmeralda was a caretaker by nature, and went back to get her GED and soon enrolled in a Certified Nursing Assistant program at Hennepin Technical College (HTC). Through HTC’s partnership with HIRED, Esmeralda met Andrea, who became her career counselor. “Every week, Andrea came to our class,” shares Esmeralda, “She told us how to do a professional resume, how to have a successful interview, how to put our ideas together, and how to present them.”

To help Esmeralda quickly find a job once she graduated, Andrea recommended that she volunteer for a local health care clinic. Despite her busy schedule, Esmeralda took Andrea’s advice. “Being married with two young daughters, it was hard going to school while I was working 50 hours a week. I only slept four or five hours a night. But I was determined to make it work.”

Fortunately for Esmeralda, all of her hard work paid off. After graduating from the Certified Nursing Assistant program at HTC, Esmeralda went immediately to her volunteer supervisor at St. Gertrude’s and said “I’m here, I have all the skills, I’m ready to work!” Her resume was moved to the top of the pile, ensuring she got an interview. The day before her interview, Andrea and Esmeralda met to run through a list of interview questions. “In my real interview, they asked me like 20 questions. I could say that 70 percent of them I had prepared for with HIRED.”

That same day, Esmeralda got the job.

“I went from working for less than minimum wage at a restaurant to making $14.63 an hour plus benefits. I want my daughters to work hard in school and I want them to see their mother working a professional job. When they see what I’ve been through and how hard I’ve worked, they won’t have any excuses!”