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Navigating the labor market when you struggle with a mental illness, disability or behavioral issue can be a daunting task. For career coaches Jennifer Marx, of the Racine Friendship Clubhouse, and Joshua Battles, of Career Coaches of Wisconsin, the journey to helping people become more employable doesn’t start with skills, it starts with a person’s sense of self-worth.

Battles helps 15- to 20-year-old at-risk youth from area high schools help become career-ready by teaching them how to program computers. Marx helps people with serious mental illness to become less isolated by being part of a larger community. Both have success stories, but they focus more on the person’s relationship to work before they start teaching them skills. That’s the foundation for success, meeting people where they are and helping them navigate the world of work.

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Here’s our first episode:

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.