Fifty-three year old technology enthusiast Glenn Selby of Charlotte, North Carolina, made a life-changing decision when he decided to pursue an education in software programming. The three part-time jobs he had been juggling didn’t provide a steady stream of income and he struggled to make ends meet for his family. And with two children nearing college, he wanted one consistent career that was reliable enough he could help pay for their tuition. While Glenn had a bachelor’s degree in music theory and composition, he was not as versatile as he would have liked. A conversation with an IT recruiter confirmed that he needed to boost his knowledge and skills. So he quit two of his three jobs and in June 2014, started the Charlotte-based program REACH IT, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. Glenn admits that the program was not always easy – but it was worth it. He struggled with learning certain software developing languages at the pace of other students, but continued to believe in himself. “The program was able to provide me with challenges to think, research and problem solve in ways I haven’t in the past,” he said. He received a certificate of completion in November 2014 and is currently working as a junior web portal developer at Health Credit Services in Charlotte – the beginning of a new, more stable career. “Saying the REACH IT program made me more marketable is an understatement,” Glenn said. “The software development track has provided me with a skill set that is in such high demand in the Charlotte area. As I continue to grow and learn in this industry, I am confident I will never work multiple part-time jobs again.” Need a job or training resources? Find local help at CareerOneStop.org.
Editor’s note: The “DOL Working for You” series highlights the Labor Department’s programs in action. View other blog posts in the series here. Asia Brown is an intern in the department’s Office of Public Affairs in Atlanta.