When 27-year-old Terrence Barrington was laid off from his job as an insurance coding specialist in 2009, he struggled to support his young family, including a wife who lost her job. As Terrence applied for other positions, his six years of experience was actually a roadblock. He was repeatedly told he was overqualified. Terrence felt stuck between skill levels.
Fortunately for Terrance, he participated in the counseling services at a One-Stop Career Center in order to receive his unemployment benefits. Through his counselor, Terrence learned that he met the requirements for the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and he could get assistance to go back to school to gain a new skill set.
The One-Stop staff of South Florida Workforce Investment Board in Miami helped him look for other fields where he could build on his skills and experience. With Terrence’s goal to become a medical transcriptionist, they helped him apply for an Individual Training Account (ITA).
Using the ITA money, Terrence enrolled at Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers to begin the medical transcriptionist certification program. Terrence did well in class, and after just a few months the insurance coding students began to tap him for tutoring help. When the pass-rate of students he was tutoring improved, school administrators noticed.
Sullivan and Cogliano hired Terrence as a paid tutor when he completed the program, and six months later, hired him as a full-time instructor.
“When I arrive at work in the morning, I have such a feeling of satisfaction,” Terrence says.
"Being laid off turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me. South Florida Workforce helped me find a new career. Sitting in classrooms, I never would have thought I would end up at the front — teaching other people and loving it!"-
- Terrence Barrington, Instructor, Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers, Miami
While Terrence faced a situation of being overqualified for positions in his field, other job seekers struggle to find positions due to their lack of experience. That’s one way One-Stop Career Centers are able to assist.
Elizabeth Matthews, 22, was a single mother struggling to support her family after being laid off from her part-time job as a retail sales associate. Through an On-the-Job Training Program she learned about at a One-Stop Center near her home in New Port Richey, Elizabeth got her career back on track.
The staff at the One-Stop assisted her in updating her resume, gaining interviewing skills and researching different occupations. She enrolled in a community service worksite program at Career Central and gained administrative skills.
She was a quick learner and a dedicated worker, and the staff noticed. They recommended her for the Employ Florida network’s On-the-Job Training Program at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point (RMCBP) in Hudson. The training program took three months to complete, and afterwards she was hired by the hospital as a full-time monitor technician and unit secretary. Hospital administrators say they are pleased with her performance and the skill set she brings to the staff.
"I like having a job where what I do makes me feel good about who I am. Being a single mom is not easy, but now I can support my family on my own. The Employ Florida network helped me find a direction and get back on my feet".
-- Elizabeth Matthews, Monitor Technician and Unit Secretary, RMCBP, Hudson