Liz Combs had always worked in factories. But when the economy crashed in the 2008 financial crisis she was forced to look elsewhere for employment. She bounced around a few jobs – working for Toyota and the 2010 census – and moved across Indiana and Kentucky looking for permanent employment, but as an older worker she faced many challenges.
“After you reach a certain age you realize you can’t do this anymore,” Liz said of factory work. So, in addition to permanent employment, she had to adjust her skillset for a brand-new career change. “In 2012, I went to the WorkOne unemployment office because I needed money coming in.” On this visit, Liz learned about the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).
Liz’s initial experience with the organization managing the SCSEP program at the time was difficult. “It was a run of bad luck,” she said. But soon, she was notified that National Able Network (Able) was taking over the program in her area, and this change led to Liz finding the professional success she had longed for. “[National] Able [Network] built my confidence,” she said.
Through National Able Network’s SCSEP program, Liz was given the opportunity to participate in JUMPSTART classes, which helped her build a resume, navigate LinkedIn, and most importantly, hone her interview skills. Liz also attended webinars and worked closely with her career coach, Jacqueline Denny. She was practicing and perfecting her job readiness skills and training in the field of office administration.
In January 2020, Liz graduated out of the SCSEP program and was interviewed for a position at WorkOne as a front desk receptionist. Liz was impressively prepared for the interview and was hired on the spot! In her role, she greets customers and helps individuals file for unemployment, amid other responsibilities. “If I had known there was work like this, I would’ve done it,” Liz said. “The girls in this office walked me through everything. I’ve got a great job.”
“I want to thank the people at [National] Able [Network] for helping me like they did,” Liz said. “I expect one of these days I’ll have to quit but I don’t have to any day soon. They keep me going.”