If you are a BankWork$® or CareerWork$ Medical® Instructor, Career Navigator, employer partner, training partner, or even a Seattle-area BankWork$ student, chances are you’ve worked with CareerWork$ Program Manager Ruby Sloan.
Since she joined the team in 2017 as CareerWork$’s second program employee, Ruby has been instrumental in launching new programs, expanding to new markets, and supporting thousands of graduates as they enter new careers. She is a key support liaison to new and existing training partners, building relationships with Instructors and Career Navigators. She also provides curriculum and instructional support, and represents the program across the country to constituents while supporting the team in achieving its national expansion.
Part of Ruby’s success is her deep knowledge of this work from multiple angles— at a time when she was ready for a new career and needed some support to make a move, she participated in the BankWork$ program. “I didn’t have much work history, just a high school diploma,” Ruby recalls. “One thing I love about the CareerWork$ programs is that you don’t need a college degree to be successful.” For Ruby and thousands of participants, the CareerWork$ program help participants take that big step into a new career.
Ruby was hired shortly after completing the program, and began her career with an employer partner bank as a Teller. With the training she received, she stood out as a top performer and worked her way up to a Sr. Relationship Banker position in commercial banking. “CareerWork$ helped open a door to a better future for myself and for my family.”
In 2016, she jumped at the opportunity to become a Career Navigator with our BankWork$ training partner in Seattle, YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish, and rejoined the Y as a staff member. “I absolutely fell in love with the role of Career Navigator. Having been in the students’ shoes, I understood the barriers they were up against, how that felt and how impossible it seemed. Now standing on the other side, I was proof that it could be done and that others could do it too. That sparked inspiration and encouragement for students when the odds were stacked against them.”
Ruby has found that what sets CareerWork$ graduates apart, in addition to gaining comprehensive training and education about a specific industry, our program also helps “transform students from the inside out. We help them to grow not just as a professional, but as a person – from discovering their communication style, learning how to make a positive first impression, public speaking with poise to acquiring problem solving skills. Our Instructors and Career Navigators meet our students where they are now, and help overcome barriers like lack of childcare, housing, transportation, food, and clothing by connecting them to community resources. Students also learn how to build relationships with their classmates and instructors, which helps them create an ongoing network and support system. All of this contributes to their growth and increased confidence and self-worth, enabling them to create deeper connections with their existing and potential clients, their coworkers, and their community. The transformation that happens throughout the program and the ripple effect it has is remarkable.”
In 2017, CareerWork$ was expanding rapidly, and Program Director Ranko Fukuda found herself repeatedly saying, “What we need is someone like Ruby to help us grow.” When she learned Ruby was moving to a new state and ready for her next opportunity, Ranko immediately reached out—and Ruby was eager to join CareerWork$ in this new role, bringing her experience to help the organization grow and build more relationships.
“What’s most impressive about Ruby is that not only does she know our programs and our markets backwards and forwards, having been a student and a Career Navigator, but she also has the ability to zoom into the smallest details and out to see the big picture. With so many moving pieces and wildly different programs and markets, that’s a rare skill,” says Sherry Cromett, President of CareerWork$. “Ruby brings a combination of experience, background, and drive to our work. In this last year and a half, as our partners have navigated rapidly changing circumstances around the pandemic, Ruby has been a voice of reason and calm, helping our entire organization approach challenges thoughtfully and with kindness, with our focus where it should be—on how we can serve our participants and partners most effectively.”
For Ruby, that’s all in a day’s work.
“With the challenges of the pandemic, we’ve pivoted our curriculum to continue to meet our students where they are and better equip them to launch their new career. It’s a blessing and an honor to be a part of the CareerWork$ team in driving our mission forward.”
Ruby sums up her work with CareerWork$ as “meaningful and impactful” – now more than ever.
To partner with CareerWork$, BankWork$, CareerWork$ Medical, or our three-week industry agnostic career readiness program, CareerWork$ Ready, please reach out to our program team at ProgramTeam@careerworksready.org.