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Arkansas Workforce Center - El Dorado

Meet Marla

Workforce Challenge

Marla was laid off from her job at a tire manufacturing company El Dorado, Arkansas, when the plant where she worked was closed in order to realign several facilities and improve company productivity. This closure caused 400 employees to lose their jobs and led them to either search for other employment or enter college for training in another field. Marla had worked at this location for over 20 years, and at the time of the layoff, she was the primary provider for her household because her husband was disabled.

Workforce Solution

In 1982, when she began working, Marla had dropped out of college during her first semester, believing she did not need a college degree. She worked her way up from floor worker to a shipping supervisor without a degree, but by having only a high school diploma when the plant closed, Marla found it limited her opportunities for new employment. She enrolled in South Arkansas Community College in 2007 as a full time student with a plan to obtain a degree in business. Marla attended classes while receiving assistance from Unemployment Insurance, Trade Adjustment Assistance and eventually a Trade Readjustment Allowance to help her pay for her classes and provide for her living expenses.

Outcomes & Benefits

Marla didn’t let the closure of the plant stop her from setting and achieving goals she set for herself. Marla graduated on August 4, 2009 with an Associates of Applied Science Degree in General Business Administration. She is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, and was awarded the 2010 Outstanding Graduate in Accounting, the 2010 Outstanding Graduate in Speech, the 2009 Outstanding Student Worker, and a 2009-2010 James Family Academic Scholarship. Congratulations, Marla!

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