Building a Career, Not Just Having a Job

16 Sep

Until very recently, most of Pamela Overall’s employment had consisted of working hard only to see contracts inevitably end. She struggled to find consistent employment with the personal and professional benefits that allows. Pamela had had jobs, but not a career.

“I spent many years going in and out of jobs,” says Pamela. “I worked through multiple temp agencies, three months here, six months there. I probably would have continued to struggle with it until I was too old to work anymore.”

In 2007, Pamela finally was able to transition from a temporary to a permanent employee. Truly the exception, not the rule. Unfortunately, after only two and a half years of full-time employment, Pamela found out she would soon again be unemployed. Through no fault of her own, Pamela’s job was being relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah when the company she worked for lost the lease on their building. Pamela knew how to job search but her current situation qualified her for job training assistance.

“I knew my desirability as an older worker was diminishing,” says Pamela. “The first suggestions people made was to train to be a nurse but I didn’t feel like that was a job I was cut out for. It’s a lot easier to replace a hard drive than a heart.”

“I made my choice for technology because it is a growing field. You can take several different directions with it. Plus it was one job I didn’t have to worry about going overseas. If I knew how to repair computers, I’d always have a job. Computers are everywhere.”

Through the Trade Adjustment (TAA) program, Pamela was able to train for and complete a number of Information Technology (IT) certifications and find employment in the field. However, TAA did more than just help Pamela begin her career. It also helped Pamela’s family.

“The TAA program is not only for the individual,” says Pamela. “It can help an entire family. I was able to teach my daughter what I’d learned and it helped her find a job.”

“I wanted my daughter to have a solid base, something to fall back on and to learn the things I was never taught. The importance of finding and keeping a good job, paying bills on time, maintaining a checking account, etc.”

“My TAA rep Frank Perry was wonderful. Without this program and Frank, I don’t know what I would’ve done. Frank was always in my corner supporting, encouraging, and fighting for me every step of the way. He’s an excellent representative of the program and what counselors should be.”

About Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)

The Trade Adjustment Assistance Act helps workers who lost their jobs due to foreign imports or competition. To receive TAA benefits, an individual must have lost a job covered by a trade certification issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Workforce Solutions office staff can discuss the following benefits TAA recipients:

  • Job Search Assistance
  • Job Search Allowance
  • Relocation Allowance
  • Training (Vocational and Remedial)
  • Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA)
  • Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA)
  • Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC)
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