On June of 2015, John Rice came to the Florence SC Works Center depressed. He had recently been released by his doctor to work, but had been on disability insurance for 12 years and wasn’t sure how to start. He initially did not want the assistance of a veteran representative because he had only served nine months in the U.S. Navy at age 17 before being honorably discharged. He felt he did not deserve the “veteran” title. Sheila Glenn, DVOP, introduced herself to John, explaining veteran services and why his military service did indeed deserve the veteran privileges offered by DEW, regardless of the amount of time in the Navy.
John was concerned because he only had experience in construction and could no longer do that type of work due to his medical conditions. He had to make a career change, but did not have a high school diploma or GED.
At first, his main focus was to find work immediately. The center helped him create a resume, and he was referred to employers that did not require a high school diploma and would accept his current skill set.
After a few months with no progress, he realized how important it was to have a high school diploma or GED. John was referred to Darlington County Adult Ed and was led through the process to set-up accounts for AZTEC, a GED practice test, and Career Ready 101, a practice WorkKeys® test. John started the GED program in September 2015 and received his GED certificate in December 2015. He took the WorkKeys® test and passed at the gold level.
That same month SC Works contacted Olsten Staffing regarding John’s test scores and inquired if there was any way to get him placed at Honda of SC. John reported to Olsten Staffing the same morning with the required paperwork and was called back before the holidays to start work the first part of January 2016.
John said he didn’t think he would have made the decision to go back to school if it wasn’t for Sheila Glenn’s encouragement and how he would not have been able to get the job without his GED. John is appreciative and feels indebted to Sheila for all that she has done to motivate and help him get back in the workforce after 12 years.