Marcheita Crawford, who was working as a billing administrator for a major corporation, was notified that after 15 years of employment she would be laid off from the job that had helped support her family for more than a decade. Once she began her job search, she realized that her substantial experience alone would not be enough to replace her lost wages. She had been working on an Associate Degree since 2013 and was very motivated to complete it, but it hardly seemed like a step she could take while unemployed.

Marcheita was notified that, because her former job was considered to be trade impacted, she might be eligible for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program at National Able Network.  “Before I joined [National] Able [Network] I had no clue how opportunities were going to open up like this,” she said.

Marcheita attended orientation and learned that the program could not only pay for training but could also provide extended unemployment benefits and transportation support. Suddenly what had seemed nearly impossible looked possible and achievable. Now, seeing the possibilities, Marcheita set out to develop a plan.

“I was working towards my associate degree at that time. [National] Able [Network] took me through the enrollment process and I was told I could go even further and get my BA in Business,” Marcheita said. “From the moment I met with my intake counselor I already knew what my plans were going to be, so I decided to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.”

Her plan was approved, and she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration in August 2019.  “[My career coach] Mayra provided me with a lot of positive feedback and coaching during my participation in the program,” Marcheita said.

The best news of all, though, was that Marcheita found a job earning more than she earned at her old job. “I believe there’s a blessing in everything, if you look at a situation,” she said.

Because of the accomplishments Marcheita made at National Able Network, she moves toward a future with a competitive edge in the job market and earning a livable wage.