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Things Are Forever Changing

By Ruth Wilmore

(Originally appeared in Good Jobs, Not Just Any Jobs!, March 2013)

Unemployed After 26 Years of Working

JSI/WEI Photo Library Photo
I am a single mom. I quit school after complet¬ing the 11th grade. I had to get a job or starve. For the first 10 years after I left school, I worked as a machine operator on the line fashioning children’s garments. For the next 16 years after that, I did specialty garments and samples. I spent 26 years at that job, and then it just disappeared into another country. Yes, they shipped our work offshore. And now there is a change taking place in my life.

When you lose your job and you have some¬one who depends on you, you have to make a choice. Do you give up or do you say to yourself, “Well, I’m not going to let this beat me. I’m going to do something.”

Finding Resources for Training and Education

I went to the Employment Security Commission and met with an agent. He told me that the De-partment of Aging had a program to help older citizens find a new job. I said, “Thank you, God!”

They placed me in a Title V program, and soon I was working at a hospice and palliative care facility. This is a place that people come to spend their last days on earth. The families can come in and stay overnight. It has large parlors and a dining area. It’s a home away from home for the dying and their families.

This is an awesome place to work. The nurses and volunteers give so much care and love. They are there for their patients’ every need. The nurses are wonderful, and the facility is beautiful. I am trained to work as a receptionist. At the front desk, I get to meet so many wonderful people.

Moving Forward!

I work on weekends. This allows me to go to Row¬an-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC). I am getting my GED. Normally, my job requires em¬ployees to have their GED. But through the Title V program, I have the opportunity to work while getting my GED. Going back to school is some-thing that I have been trying to do for the past 20 years. Losing my job was a blessing in disguise because if I had not lost my job, I would have not been at the Employment Security Commission (ESC). They would not have directed me to this program, and I would not be in the position that I am in now.

The challenge is great, but I’m up for the change. From here on out, who knows what will happen…I may be president of my own company!

Ruth Wilmore is a student at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in NC. She is working towards her GED and wants to continue her work in hospice. She has a 22-year-old son who also attends RCCC. He does not mind his mom attending the same school as him!

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