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Starting Over After 28 Years

Like many baby boomers, Charles Rosenberger worked for one company for decades: nearly 28 years at United Metal Receptacle/Newell Rubbermaid in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

But in 2014, the Army veteran received news that the company and operations were moving to Winchester, Virginia. Over the next year, about 100 workers would be laid off, including Charles. “Nobody saw this coming,” he recalled about the reactions to the layoff announcement. “It was a shocker.”

Charles Rosenberger

In September 2015, the doors closed for good at Newell Rubbermaid. The severance package Charles was given provided temporary financial support. Over the next few months, he applied for numerous jobs without success.

“Looking for a job was a very challenging and depressing time for me,” said Charles, adding, “I did not just want any job; I wanted a job that was the right fit.”

He sought assistance from the veteran representatives at the PA CareerLink in Pottsville, a program funded by the U.S. Labor Department. He had first met them when they came to United Metal Receptacle, as they were one of many information and employment support resources introduced to workers involved in the layoff transition.

The veteran representatives met with him weekly, spending many hours helping Charles perfect his resume, prepare for job interviews and search for jobs. They also signed him up for a basic computer course to boost his skills. And their assistance paid off: In April 2016, he was hired as a utility worker at Silberline Manufacturing Co. in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania – a job where he could both apply his existing skills and earn a sufficient wage.

“The guys at PA CareerLink really helped me and went out of their way to get me a job,” said Charles. He encourages other veterans in similar situations to take advantage of support offered through CareerLink.

“It takes time to find a job, but things will eventually work out.”

Need job and training resources? Find local help at

Editor’s note: The DOL Working for You series highlights the Labor Department’s programs in action. View other posts in the series here.

Joanna Hawkins is the deputy director of public affairs for the department in Philadelphia.  

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