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If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

On the Chopping Block...

image courtesy of 123rf
M got laid off last year, after breaking an arm. I can't say it's been the easiest time in the world for either of us. Thankfully, financially, we're holding on, but when M's home, all the time, it interrupts the routine I had worked so long to get the kids following. And he's getting very, very bored. And frustrated.

image courtesy of enviromom
Prior to his layoff, he was a shipping/receiving clerk/warehouse manager (somewhere between the two titles). The outlook for this job right now is not fantastic. He's applied to every job he's found in this category, which unfortunately is not many, and hasn't had any good luck yet.

Before that, he worked as a line cook for an upscale burger joint, a job he found both challenging and enjoyable. But, that was about 8 years ago, not exactly current. And jobs for other things he's qualified for, like janitorial positions, aren't that easy to find either.

image courtesy of menucovermen
Sounds pretty bleak, doesn't it? But then, the other night, we were watching re-runs of Top Chef, and M said "I could do that, well, at least most of it. And I miss cooking." So off to the computer I went, to look at programs that qualify for re-training under unemployment benefit criteria. And guess what? A Culinary Certificate program at our local junior/community college does qualify! And, at least in our area, there is a decent demand for trained cooks.

We've now filled out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), and a fee waiver for the college in question. He's slated to register for summer classes in another week, starting with
Sanitation & Safety, a Culinary Arts Survey, and Knife Skills. In the future, he'll be taking classes in pastry, professional cooking basics, and he'll have to work in the culinary cafe for part of his certificate.

I haven't seen him so excited about learning anything since... well, never. He realizes that while some of what they teach him will be review, he'll also be learning a lot of new skills. And for him, this would be a career, not just a job, if you know what I mean. The same reason I am going through grad school... I want a career, since I have to work. Not just a job.

Now we just have to jump all the little hurdles of the Employment Development Department... more paperwork, maybe a phone interview, and so forth. So wish us luck!

2 comments :

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Emerson

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