Climb graduates are often motivated to begin the Climb program in order to seek a brighter future for themselves and their children. photo: Climb Wyoming

(Gillette, Wyo.) It’s simple statistics, when moms are successful, their success is transferred to their children, says Stacie McDonald, program director of Climb Wyoming.

What McDonald is referring to is the results seen time and time again. Whenever a mom figures out what stands in her way and starts becoming successful, so do their children.

McDonald gave an example seen recently at Twin Spruce Jr. High, where the office staff had become used to seeing a boy who was repeatedly getting into trouble and “bouncing in and out of the office.”

One day, the boy stopped showing up in the office, raising questions among school administrators, some of whom inquired if the boy had dropped out. But he had not.

The boy’s mom had begun the Climb Wyoming program, which started her on her path to success.

“The mom had gotten serious about changing her outlook on her career,” said McDonald. “About being on time, about being prepared for work. It had translated to her son who was now on time for school, getting his work done.”

But how does Climb take a single mom, who could be struggling to make ends meet, and transform her into a successful professional asset?

Climb Wyoming advocates that while it is important to provide these mothers with professional training, what’s truly important is the way the program helps these women become “self-aware.”

“Which is what we think is the magic that helps moms be so successful at work. We can train women to do any job. Women are smart cookies,” said McDonald. “But if we haven’t really helped them become self-aware of what’s getting in their way of being as successful as they want to be, it won’t necessarily pass that.”

Climb Wyoming has been in business for 30 years.

“Right now state wide we have about a 92% graduation rate. And so that’s significant,” McDonald expressed. Once Climb Wyoming participants graduate, the program continues to track their progress for two years. What that tracking has done is nothing short of phenomenal.

“In the state and in our individual places, our success rate for our moms in two years…is usually in the 80th percentile.” McDonald said. “It ranges because every program is a little bit different. There’s not really any other job training programs that have an 80 percent success rate.”

What sets Climb Wyoming apart from other job training programs is their relationship with local businesses.

“One of the way we work with employers in the community is we reimburse their wages for the first six weeks.” McDonald informed. “So it helps cement our partnership with that employer because we know that when things are tough when you’re an employee is usually in the first six weeks.”

In those first six weeks, the program will “hang out” with the employer and the mom as needed, to help the employers feel better about potentially taking chance on a new mom who is most likely entering that particular market for the first time.

“Whenever they need us, we come and hang out,” said McDonald.

In Gillette, the Climb Wyoming program offers assistance in field such as: CDL truck driver, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and administrative assistant fields.

“We also teach them a lot of executive functioning skills, like decision making, goal setting, self-regulation, that’s what we attribute to long term success.”

The program doesn’t cost anything. Single moms who are interested in the program can reach out to Climb Wyoming by checking out their website, by calling, or dropping by their office at 405 West Boxelder Road here in Gillette.

“We’re helping moms become self-sufficient in their families and taking care of their kiddos.” McDonald expressed. “From getting them job skills and professional training and some other life skills to go along with that so they can head in to work and be really successful.”

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