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Workforce System Success Stories - Workforce Development and Adult Learning

Michael at American Job Center with Staff MemberMEET MICHAEL...
Frederick County American Job Center helps dislocated worker Michael stay happily engaged in the workforce.

The word “retirement” is not a word in Michael’s vocabulary. So when he found himself at 75 years young laid off from a truck driving job he had held for 11 years, he turned to his local AJC in Frederick County to remedy the situation. The AJC staff who worked with Michael learned that he had never before filed for unemployment, nor had he used the internet to search for work. He needed help to make the leap from his experiences with paper applications and face-to-face interviews to the unfamiliar world of video conferencing and the online application process.

Staff set to work assisting Michael with filing his initial Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim through the state’s website, and in dealing with a fraud investigation related to identity theft during the pandemic. They educated him on the UI filing process and helped him complete his job search log in the Maryland Workforce Exchange website. They also worked with him to develop his digital literacy skills so that he could search for and apply to jobs online.

Michael is proud of the progress he has made. “As a truck driver, I really hadn’t needed to use computers. The people at the AJC who worked with me did a fantastic job of taking all the time I needed. They brought things down to my level so I could actually learn to do it myself.” Michael’s initial plan was to work part-time at a local golf course during the warmer months, but he was concerned about what he could do for work once the colder weather came. With support from AJC staff, Michael could set that worry aside. He put together a résumé and applied for a variety of openings. He was ultimately hired by a local automotive parts dealer who was happy to have someone with his experience. Reflecting on the services he received from AJC staff, Michael said, “Their help really made all the difference. Without them, I might not have been able to return to work.”

We hope Michael stays engaged in the workforce for as long as he wants to be!