Student in CCAC program receives award from Community Action Association of Pennsylvania

Article by: CCAC Public Relations

Mia ManeerPITTSBURGH-Maria (Mia) Maneer was working parttime as a security guard, making about $5,000 a year and receiving food, medical and transportation assistance, when she learned about the Modern Office Systems Training (MOST) program offered at CCAC Braddock Hills Center. The program provides free, up-to-date office technology training to unemployed and underemployed individuals for the purpose of developing employment skills that will lead to self-sufficiency and career advancement. When Maneer met with the director to sign up for the program, she said she was just looking for a job to help her get by.

Maneer has done much better than just get by-through the program she gained valuable employment skills and was quickly hired as a transportation specialist with Travelers Aid of Pittsburgh, a United Way agency that provides social service programs to individuals in need of transit assistance. She has since been promoted, and today she is making a good income with benefits, enabling her to pay her bills and save money. She has also moved into a better apartment and receives no subsidies for housing, medical, transportation or food. An artist, Maneer was recently able to afford membership in a manufacturing co-op where she has access to machinery she can use to create artwork that includes jewelry and silk screening.

To top it all off, Maneer is a Community Action Association of Pennsylvania (CAAP) Self-Sufficiency awardee. CAAP recently recognized 18 awardees from across the state who have overcome poverty and become self-sufficient at the CAAP Annual Collaborative Conference, held at State College on October 4. Maneer attended the reception with Cathy Hester, director of the MOST program, which is funded by a grant from the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. This is the second time in five years that a MOST nominee was the Allegheny County awardee. According to Hester, Maneer has a totally new outlook on life due to the self-confidence she has gained through participation in the program.

"Mia has gained very good skills, especially in the technology field," said Hester. "She will continue to thrive in her current position, and I believe she has a great opportunity ahead to do whatever she puts her mind to."

The MOST program, in its 47th year at CCAC, is open entry and many courses are individualized. In addition to a certificate of completion and job placement assistance, graduates of the program receive 10 credits toward an Administrative Computer Specialist certificate.

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