Guidance Center Client Story

It’s a building block for a successful future.


The Guidance Center, in New Rochelle, New York, is a state-funded, not-for-profit center that offers counseling, resources, job placement, and advice to approximately 300 people each year, most of whom are recovering from drug or alcohol dependency. The center is designed to give people the tools to make a successful and sober transition back into life.

Guidance Center Clients Make Successful Transitions

The Guidance Center in New Rochelle, NY, is a state-funded, not-for-profit safety net for people coming out of drug and alcohol treatment. The center offers counseling, resources, job placement, and advice to residents of New York’s Westchester County. It is designed to help people make a successful and sober transition back into life outside of a treatment center.

Because of the range of clients, job placement services vary depending on the type of job or career the client is seeking. Some are looking for a fresh start in a new field, and some wish to re-enter a career. Often, the clients don’t know where to take those first critical steps. The challenge for Guidance Center counselors is knowing which direction to point their clients in for the best chance of success.

One critical tool the Guidance Center uses is the Wonderlic Basic Skills Test (WBST). “We assist people seeking to return to the workforce by helping them take a look at where they are academically,” says Project Coordinator Laura Siegel. “Where are they starting from? Should they go back to college? Do they need to get their GED? Do they need some refresher courses before they take that step? What about continuing education? The Wonderlic Basic Skills Test helps us determine where people should start.”

Siegel administers the Wonderlic Basic Skills Test to some 300 clients per year as a first step on the road back to successful living. The test evaluates basic math and English skills, giving counselors a baseline measure of their fundamental job skills. It also prevents poor decisions and helps clients succeed in their first action back in the world. “It’s a building block for a successful future,” says Siegel.

“It’s critical for us to know exactly where individuals are in terms of math and English skills because we don’t want to set any of our clients up to fail,” says Siegel. Failure in the life of a newly recovering addict could be an invitation back to old habits and ways.

The test also tells counselors whether their clients are able to proceed directly into the workplace, and it helps them steer clients into careers where they can maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses.

Just the act of taking the test can be a confidence booster for clients, Siegel says. They know it’s a positive step toward creating the life they want and that sets everyone on a path toward success.