When Doug Makey was laid off from his job as a welder last year, the navy veteran had officially had enough. Despite years of – very physically demanding – experience, welding work lacked the stability and professional track Doug desired. He decided it was time for a change.
“I would work for a while and get laid off,” says Doug. “I got tired of losing my job.”
While receiving unemployment insurance benefits, Doug enrolled in the Rapid Employment Model (REM) training program with Workforce Solutions Capital Area. With an unstable work history and two misdemeanor convictions, Doug had additional barriers to employment but no less potential and drive to succeed.
Understanding there is a high demand for truck drivers, Doug enrolled in the Austin Community College’s Continuing Education Commercial Vehicle Operator Training Program. He obtained his Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in August 2012 and found employment within one month.
Unfortunately, that position was not a good fit and Doug returned to his job search. Rather than get discouraged, he kept a level head and positive attitude. Doug met with his career counselor Leah Campbell weekly to discuss his job search and applied for several jobs.
“Leah led me in the right direction,” says Doug. “She was always there and kept me moving.”
In addition to a traditional job search, Doug began to network. This skill and the confidence he had gained led directly to employment.
While stopped at a local gas station for a soda one afternoon, Doug noticed several trucks drive by and asked the clerk behind the counter if he knew where they were all going. To his surprise, the clerk informed him there was a plant not far away. Doug proceeded to park his car on the side of the road and start waving down truckers as they drove by. He told them he had his CDL and asked if they had any advice for him. This bold move led to the name and phone number of a hiring manager. A brief phone conversation with the manager led to a face-to-face interview, and Doug was hired on the spot!
“Doug worked very hard to be where he is today, and I’m honored to have been part of his journey” says Leah Campbell, Career Counselor for Workforce Solutions Capital Area. “He is truly an inspiration.”
“It’s easy to fall into a rut,” says Doug. “Don’t give up and just keep trying. Don’t get discouraged. A lot of people think they can’t do it and then don’t try. You have to try.”
The Rapid Employment Model (REM) provides Travis County workers with the opportunity to gain in-demand skills and enter the workforce in a short amount of time.
The aim of the program is to equip participants with in-demand skills so they may enter the workforce in a short amount of time, earn higher wages and work towards self-sufficiency. The program provides short-term vocational training in targeted fields for eligible participants. Trainings are between two and eight weeks in length. In addition to training, this rigorous program provides participants assistance with job search and placement. A major component of the program is job retention. Thus, there are built-in incentives for training attendance and job retention.
For more information about the program and eligibility, please visit www.wfscapitalarea.com.
Workforce Solutions Capital Area is an equal opportunity employer. Auxiliary aids and services are available, upon request, to persons with disabilities. Relay Texas: 800.735.2989 (TDD) / 711 (Voice).