Charlotte Works congratulates the following clients on recently landing new jobs!
Montoya Adams landed a position as a business systems analyst with AIG. Her first day was August 25.
She was a client of both Charlotte Works and the Division of Workforce Solutions (DWS) back in 2012. Michael Martin, DWS employment consultant, served as her Workforce Investment Act (WIA) advisor at that time, and she connected with him when she came to Charlotte Works in May after losing her contract position at Duke Energy.
“This time, I did a lot of career development on my own,” she says. “I used the resource center several times a week on a weekly basis. … [Mr. Martin] gave me insight on effective job search tips, how to use the [NCWorks] site to search for jobs and gave me updates on different events being held at Charlotte Works that he felt would benefit me, including the AIG Event [held on May 29].”
From that event, she learned about and gained her new position.
“I think people need to get to know the staff at Charlotte Work that will guide them on what wonderful resources and networking opportunities Charlotte Works can offer them if only they do their part. It’s important that people sign up and go through the necessary avenues as encouraged by Charlotte Works staff; by doing so, the possibilities are endless,” says Adams. “The most important thing that I would advise people to know about Charlotte Works is the abundance of assistance it provides. Get involved and stay involved! Take control of your career/job search and be persistent. Do what’s necessary to get to where or what you want.”
Denise Brown had been unemployed since 2010 after losing her job in the financial industry. When her unemployment benefits ended two years later, she says “my life was turned upside down and I was unsure how to recover.”
A friend referred Brown to Charlotte Works in May 2013. She attended orientation at the Employer Engagement Center (EEC) and was then referred to the South Boulevard JobLink, where she met with career counselor Marlene Bishop.
“She is a wonderful counselor who genuinely cares about people,” she says of Bishop. “She worked with me to update my resume and spruce up my math skills.”
Brown says her confidence was also bolstered when she was referred to Dress for Success. “That helped me go out and feel good about the way I looked while interviewing for a job,” she notes.
Her four years of unemployment ended August 4 when she started as a home preservation specialist at Wells Fargo.
“Charlotte Works helped me through a very difficult time in my life,” says Brown. “My experience was positive and uplifting.
She’d been unemployed for nearly a year when she first came to Charlotte Works in the summer of 2012.
After attending several workshops, she decided to put her professional experience in learning and development to use as a volunteer.
“You’re helping people get somewhere they need to go,” Craig says of her experience leading workshops on resume development and drafting cover letters. “When I walk out the door of a coaching session or a class, I feel pride in myself. I’ve done something worth doing.”
Following orientation, she attended information sessions on WIA Classroom and On-The-Job Training and participated in resume and career coaching, where she worked closely with Senior Career Coach Daena Spencer.
Dear landed a position as an information technology support specialist at The Steritech Group in August.
“Charlotte Works has so much to offer when one is searching for a new opportunity. Everyone that works there is so willing to assist,” she says. “Take seminars and find out what is available for you, such as grants and benefits. Last but not least, network, exercise and relax a little.”
A native of Bolivia, Jorge Espinoza had already begun applying for jobs before he moved to the United States in January. A civil engineer with a master’s degree in complex transport infrastructure systems, he quickly became frustrated at not being able to find a job in his field and began applying for retail positions, finally landing one at a Lowe’s Home Improvement store in March.
Espinoza came to Charlotte Works in April, taking advantage of resume and career coaching and joining Howard Ross’s job-search team. “Howard Ross is the person who supported me, who gave me hope and gave me some hints on how to change my resume, the way it looks and add some keywords,” he says.
His frustration stretched across the summer, even as he continued to apply for positions in his field. He was planning to return to Bolivia at the end of August when he was called for an interview as a transportation planner associate with Michael Gallis and Associates.
Espinoza started on August 22.
“I think the most important thing about Charlotte Works is that you are committed to our success and people should entirely trust every single advice you give us, because it is to our benefit,” he says. “I always recommend my foreign friends who are looking for a job to look up on your website and attend the courses. And I will continue to do so, not just because it helped me, but because I believe it’s one of the most important resources in the Metro area to guide you in the process of getting to know what to do, how to do it and when to do it when job-hunting.”
Amber May also came to Charlotte Works in June, two months into her unemployment. “I immediately realized the benefits of the services offered,” she says. “I signed up for a career coach. … Deana [Spencer] helped me develop an action plan and was very responsive to questions and follow-up. I also joined [Howard] Ross’s job team, which was of immense help to me!”
May additionally participated in a one-on-one resume review and took a class on job-search preparedness and resume development, and frequently used the Resource Center.
She landed as as a customer service representative with Aon Hewitt.
“Thanks to Charlotte Works I had a place to go that didn’t remind me that I was unemployed,” says May. “I love Charlotte Works and I hope to be able to volunteer one day. And when I meet someone who’s unemployed, I refer them to Charlotte Works!”
Porsche McDuffie’s dream was to work for Mecklenburg County, and after nearly five years, 147 applications and three interviews, she landed as a senior social worker with the Department of Social Services on July 23.
She was unemployed from June 2011 through February 2012; during that time, she met Lavonne Bell, DWS employment consultant, at the office on North Tryon Street, and “followed” her to the office on Executive Center Drive and then to Charlotte Works.
Here, McDuffie used the Resource Center and worked with a career coach. But she credits Bell with her success: “With unemployment [benefits] running out, I took on jobs that I was over-qualified and underpaid. I continued to receive referrals from her about job leads. She is excellent job coach, a well-rounded person, knowledgeable, and goes above and beyond to meet the needs of the clients.”
Her message to other job-seekers is “to keep pressing, because among all the nos you have heard, there is a yes waiting on you out there!”
Janet Victor had been unemployed for three months when she came to Charlotte Works in July 2012. She used the resource center and took workshops, but was frustrated because “there was a list of requirements that I had to complete before I could see someone. I did not agree with how the process was run, because I needed help right away.”
Eventually, she connected with Spencer and began working with her. “It is very frustrating and defeating when you don’t have a job, no money coming in and depression becomes your best friend. When you come into a place like this, you need to feel like part of the family and that is how Daena makes me feel when I see her,” Victor says.
She landed a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a food inspector on June 1.
Victor also has advice for fellow job-seekers: “Don’t give up. Like anywhere else, it will take time to see some form of improvement. This is a great place to start. Find that person that will mentor you and guide you to stay focused. It’s not going to be easy, but it will work out in the end.”
Marcus White also began volunteering shortly after attending orientation in September 2013. A self-described introvert, he used his time helping clients with computers in the resource center as a networking opportunity.
“(Volunteering) increased my ability to reach out, because what I’ve learned is that you never know how one conversation might lead you to another conversation that might lead you somewhere,” White says.
Building on his professional background in supply chain management, he also obtained Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funding to obtain his Six Sigma black belt certification from Central Piedmont Community College.
White’s 17 months of unemployment came to an end July 28 as he started as a global supply chain product planner at Corning Optical Communications.
“Charlotte Works is a great place to obtain new skills and enhance your current skills,” he says. “Their staff helps you build confidence and gives you encouragement if you’re going through a rough period. They also offer opportunities to give back. Just when you think you have it bad or don’t have anything to give, there’s always someone who going through worse and could use a little encouragement to see them through to the next job!”