Tax-funded program helping individuals find new career paths during COVID-19 pandemic

Taxpayers supported program changing lives after COVID-19

Area families are getting help transitioning to new roles amid the COVID-19 pandemic through a tax-funded program that pays them to gain new skills.
Area families are getting help transitioning to new roles amid the COVID-19 pandemic through a tax-funded program that pays them to gain new skills.

SAN ANTONIO – A taxpayer-funded program is helping San Antonio residents find new career paths as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease. One woman says the program has changed her life and her mother’s life, and they are now both certified medical administrative assistants.

JessaLynn Adams says she was depressed last fall while being unemployed, homeless, and sick from COVID-19. She knew she needed to do something to improve her life, but she wasn’t sure what. She was then told about the City of San Antonio’s Workforce Recovery, which pays a stipend to students who qualify.

“Going from, like, just high school to work to nothing. It was, like, crazy to even think, like, I had a shot at school,” Adams said.

Adams was encouraged by her mom to go to Restore Education to start a medical administrative assistant program with her, and she did. She admits she thought she was going to fail, but Adams got a lot of support, which she says made her feel better each step of the way.

After three months, Adams was certified, and the month after that, she had a job in her new career.

“I used to never want to go to work. And I go to work every day ... like, what are we doing today? Like, how many people we got? It’s amazing,” she said.

Adams’ mother works alongside her now too. She says the program has improved their lives.

“Going to school was the best thing that we ever did,” Adams said. “And then, like for my mom, it was, like, for the family, just to be out and not feel like ‘I have no goals or ambitions.’”

Adams says her next goal is to go back to school to become a licensed vocational nurse. She said she now has a career and bright future she thanks to taxpayers.

“Thank you for real, because I didn’t know that I had the opportunity to do that, and [taxpayers] gave me the opportunity to do that. And, as a taxpayer, I would love to give it back to somebody else,” Adams said.

Restore Education says more than 400 people have signed up for the program since the fall, and 85% of them have completed the program. Restore Education offers 15 training programs and will the end of the program in September. New programs offered include CNA, customer service, financial representatives, bookkeeping, logistics, and medical front office.

San Antonio city leaders poured in $75 million to the workforce recovery program, which ends in September, hoping to help 10,000 residents recover after the pandemic. Bexar County has a similar program, as well. 

ALSO ON KSAT.COM:

‘A slap in the face’: Unemployed San Antonians weigh in after Gov. Abbott opts out of extra $300 per week


About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.