National Disability Awareness: Woman shares journey from unemployable to happily working

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 6:32 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2021 at 6:38 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Texas Workforce Vocational Rehabilitation Services works in partnership with local businesses to provide jobs to people with disabilities. We learned the heartwarming story of one woman who felt hopeless finding a job, and through these resources, found a light at the end of the tunnel.

For about a year, Judy Stokes was unable to work due to an injury that led to more complications. When she was ready to start working again, she found herself hitting dead ends.

“That’s how I felt like, this old 60-year-old woman all broke down, no one is going to want her. I’m never going to work again,” Stokes said.

Due to the challenges, Stokes reached out to Love Inc. Nacogdoches for financial assistance. Love Inc. listened to her story and referred her to Texas Workforce’s Vocational Rehab program. That partnership led stokes to Christian Women’s Job Corps.

“And I was really excited, I was emotional then too! Because I had been praying and looking for work for a very long time and I had never been without work like that before I had never been in a situation where I couldn’t work, and it was hard,” Stokes said.

Lila Clay, Executive Director for Christian Women’s Job Corps, worked with Stokes to develop office skills that would help her gain both knowledge and confidence.

“I wish I could share with every employer out there the benefits of this type of program. The main benefit is you get an employee who is so eager to learn and really wants to work,” Clay said.

Due to the partnership with Texas Workforce Vocational Rehab and Christian Women’s Job Corps, Stokes is now employed.

“I’m loving my job and I’ve got new confidence and new purpose and I thank God for opening that journey and helping me to complete it,” Stokes said.

Clay says she will continue to work with Texas Workforce Vocational Rehab to provide more people like Stokes a place to learn, grow, and thrive.

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