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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Rural Consortium-Upper Arkansas

Meet Jeff

Workforce Challenge

In July, 2014, Jeff was starting a new life after nineteen years of marriage ended in divorce. He moved to Cañon City to be with his brother, John, and look for work. Within ten short months Jeff’s mother, step-father and brother passed away. John was killed in a head-on automobile accident right after leaving Jeff’s apartment.
Jeff’s inability to find work coupled with the tragic loss of his three family members in such a short time period hit him hard. Grief stricken, Jeff started drinking and was involved in an automobile accident, found guilty by the courts for driving while under the influence, and was sentenced to months in jail. When he was finally released on probation, Jeff continued unsuccessfully to look for work. Due to the DUI conviction, Jeff lost his driver's license and was forced to seek employment in a very short radius from his apartment. His personal finances were taking a big hit as he paid off his court costs, attorney fees, fines, and paid restitution. Jeff’s friends and remaining family helped as much as they could, but his financial situation was very tight.
He kept all of his appointments at Sobriety Court but continued to feel that his life was spiraling downwards; he had nothing positive to tell the judge when he reported for each session. His depression and frustration grew more with each passing day.
Jeff went from business to business trying to submit paper applications but was told repeatedly that he needed to submit an online application, something he did not know how to do. Jeff had no idea how to navigate the internet let alone apply for a job online.

Workforce Solution

Jeff arrived at the Cañon City Workforce Center unaware of the services available. He had a resume that he had written himself but was hoping to get some help with online applications. A team member at the Cañon City Workforce Center taught Jeff how to navigate the internet in his job searches, apply for jobs online, and re-tooled his resume to make it more professional looking and robust.
Jeff took his new resume out and immediately found a job at a large nationwide retailer as a product stocker on the graveyard shift. The hours were perfect for him because he is a night person.

Outcomes & Benefits

Things have turned around for Jeff now that he is employed. He purchased a gas-powered scooter that he uses to get to work, has paid off all court costs, fines, and has made complete restitution. Therapy has helped with the loss of his family members, and he is now mentoring others who have also lost loved ones and is helping them work their way through the grief that he knows so well.

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