Mark Barberis was employed at a publishing company for over 20 years. He held various positions throughout his tenure at the organization, the most recent of which was in Project Management. Unfortunately, due to a reorganization, Mark was laid off. As a married father of two, Mark was determined to get back to work as soon as possible. He began to reach out to his network and received a recommendation to see the resources available to him. That’s when Mark heard about the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program available at National Able Network.

“When you’re unemployed and looking for work, finding a job and a new career is a challenge, let alone finding out what grants and resources are available when your funds are low,” says Mark. He attended the WIOA orientation and decided to ramp up his skills by pursuing training and certifications that would advance his career. “Certifications are very important these days, almost as important as a degree,” says Mark.

As Mark decided which exact certifications he would pursue, he was on the fence about whether he wanted his career to be on the technical side of Information Technology or continue in project management. Azra Poljiak, Mark’s career coach, was a major player in helping Mark decide. “She pointed out that I already had the skills for the tech part, so I decided to continue with project management,” says Mark. He trained and earned certifications in Project Management and Agile!

Mark credits his training at National Able Network, and his new certifications with helping him find his new career as a Cyber Security Engineer for Zurich North America. Reflecting on his journey, Mark says, “My last company paid for a separate career coach as part of severance, and I have to say that National Able Network helped me – they helped me, they were more dedicated to helping me than my experience with the service my last company provided.”

As far as advice for other job seekers, Mark says, “Stay positive. Don’t lose hope. Work with your career coach at National Able Network and they’ll help you as much as they can!”