GREEN RIVER– Climb Wyoming gave an update at the Green River City Council meeting Tuesday night, in which the council heard from a resident who successfully went through Climb’s CDL program.
“Climb works with low-income single women and helps train and place them in jobs to help them reach self-sufficiency in their careers,” Sweetwater County Program Director Brittany Gray said.
Climb offers Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training and office career training. Gray said they are currently in the middle of CDL training, and the women will be taking their tests in the next couple weeks.
Gray added it is an exciting time because once the women take the tests, they can start getting placed into jobs.
Working to Stay in Wyoming
Green River resident Cheryl James is one of the women who graduated from Climb’s CDL program and was successfully placed in a job. She shared her story with the council to show them the Climb program does help women.
James is originally from New Mexico and moved to Wyoming to live with her husband who worked in the mines in Sweetwater County. When she moved to Green River, they soon started moving from state to state for her husband’s work.
It became time for her daughter to start school, and she said she refused to move her from school to school. When James and her husband divorced, she wanted to stay in Wyoming for the “excellent school system” that her kids may not have gotten in New Mexico.
James told the council that she said she would clean toilets if she had to if that meant she could stay in Wyoming give her kids a good education. After getting a job as a janitor cleaning banks, cleaning toilets was exactly what she was doing.
Moving Towards Self-Sufficiency
At about the time James started doing custodial work, Gray called James about the CDL program.
While going through the program, Climb also offered counseling, money management, and other resources to help the women become self-sufficient.
James graduated from the CDL program last spring and was quickly placed into a truck driving job that allows her to support herself and her children.
Before going through the Climb program, she was on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and her kids were getting Medicaid through the state. Now, James can afford food for her family and can afford insurance not only for her kids but also for herself.
“I love what I do,” James said. “I truly enjoy getting up every day to go to work and I’m really thankful I got chosen for the program.”
Even though James is graduated from the Climb program, she said the program is still there for her and her family, offering help and resources of any kind.
James said that of all the states she’s lived in, Climb Wyoming is the only program she’s seen that offers self-help for women.
“I’m glad I’m still here in Wyoming. I could have just given up and went back to New Mexico, but I’m here to stay and I’m here to work,” James said.