2019 Success Story: Employment Training & IDA Programs

When Catherine came to Lifeline, Inc. in 2018 with the desire to open her own bakery she found an online program that would give her the classes and trainings she needed to make her dream happen. Catherine was struggling financially and was unable to pay for these courses, however with the help of Lifeline, Inc. and their Employment/Training Program Catherine was able to enroll in classes with Escoffier Pastry Arts to start working towards opening her own bakery.

The Employment Training Program helps those who are under and unemployed to assess the fields in which they are best suited to work, learn new skills that will help make them more employable and then help with job seeking. Lifeline will pay for non-credit classes toward a certificate/non-degree program. Flexible funding is also available to help pay for school-related supplies, books, uniforms and tools for those who participate in the program.

Catherine has completed numerous online classes and is now working hands on to complete her certification.

While working on her certification, Catherine also applied for the IDA Program with Micro Business Capitalization as her asset. As part of the IDA program, Catherine also completed the Financial Empowerment program to help gain an understanding of her personal financial picture and to learn new skills to help her refine her financial habits. Of the financial empowerment program, Catherine said “you think that you know [finances] and then you learn that you don’t.”

In the IDA program Catherine completed asset specific education with the Small Business Development Center at Lakeland Community College, where she focused on writing a business plan for her business, Sweetwater Bakery.

Recently Catherine purchased a larger oven for her kitchen with some of the funds she received through the IDA program. This will increase her capacity to create her baked goods. Currently Catherine is looking to establish a niche in the cottage baking industry.

The IDA program is offered by Lifeline, Inc. in partnership with the Ohio CDC Association. The IDA participant saves to a predetermined goal and completes financial and asset training while saving. At completion they receive a match amount of 8:1 for their asset purchase. There are three assets that a participant can choose to work towards, including a down payment for home ownership, education or capitalization for a micro business.

About her experience with the Lifeline programs, Catherine said “Wow!… The IDA program literally changed my life. Between the people I met and worked with at Lifeline. Learning more about finances and business through Lifeline and in connection with Lakeland [Community} College, along with the support of the Lifeline staff gave me the empowerment that I needed to go through with my journey despite facing some personal tragedies.  I will forever be grateful for the opportunity and support of this wonderful community!”