After 36 years on the job, Bessie received a phone call from her employer telling her she no longer had a job.
“I was shocked. I was hurt, angry and upset,” she said. “I had worked for the company for 36 years. I worked in the factory. I figured I was so far up in seniority that it never dawned on me that I could get laid off. I felt l like I gave most of my life to the job, and now I was being thrown out to pasture, but I still had a lot of good years left in me.”
Bessie was on unemployment for over 10 months and took some workshops at the American Job Center. There she learned about Meritan’s program to help older adults re-enter the workforce. “They saved me. I was broken,” she said. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but everyone in the program was just like me with similar stories.”
Meritan’s Title V program helps seniors 55 and older find jobs and receive job training, and the program has a 75 to 80 percent job placement rate. Bessie said that during her orientation with Meritan, she was asked “What do I like to do?” She told us she likes to cook, take care of people, and work with children. When Bessie was placed with Memphis Heritage, she got to do all three.
Bessie was in the Title V program for 48 months and met her durational limit. She said, “I thought it was over for me, but even though I was out of the program, Meritan followed up with me, told me about a job, and set up the interview for me. Using the skills I was taught and going to the workshops, Meritan prepared me for a job at my age doing something I really like: helping people. I am now employed once again with a great company. I want to say THANK YOU MERITAN!
Meritan spoke with Bessie’s supervisor and was told she is a great employee, her clients love her, and she is their biggest recruiter. Her supervisor told us, “Bessie is everything you could ask for in an employee; she’s loyal and dependable. She has referred three or more job candidates to us and all were hired. I wish we had more employees like Bessie!”