Starting a new job and starting school thanks to career counselors

Updated: June 22, 2020 06:24 PM

For 17 years, Diane Anderson worked for BlueCross BlueShield. But then, in March of 2019, she was laid off. "We kind of suspected something, but it was still kind of a shock when it happened," she told us.

The Biwabik woman and many others in that group of 40 headed over to meetings set up by the Northeast MN Office of Job Training in Virginia. And since then, Anderson has had help with her resume and applying for school. Costs for her medical coding class through Hibbing Community College will be covered by the Dislocated Worker Program.

"That helps me a lot, to focus on this training that I'm going to have," Anderson added. Plus she's part of the Job Club, which meets weekly and is a support group for those without employment.

Also, just in the past week, a Proctor woman was hired by Vision Pro, after getting at tip about the job from her career counselor, Dave Cook. "I went in and got an application and then got a call 10 minutes later. They had me come in and do an interview," Destiny Eckdahl shared.

She's worked with Cook for about two years now, and knows her struggles as a single mom. "He listened to my problems He might not be a therapist, but he listened and sent me this job. I probably never thought I'd be able to do this without his help," she added.

Both women are grateful for the caring and compassionate people they've met through NEMOJT. Those folks are working harder than ever during this pandemic, and most of them are doing it virtually. Alysa Hackenmueller, who is based in International Falls, said, "No matter what, we're here to adapt to what our community needs."

Their assistance means more adventures ahead. For Destiny, that means at her new optician job, which she starts Wednesday. And for Diane, with school in August. "I'm getting kind of excited about it," she said.

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