As a returning citizen, Mr. Thomas Alexander was having difficulty finding employment. Not sure where to start looking, he visited Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation One-Stop Service Center on Conner in May 2014.
After attending orientation, he met with his Career Advisor, Cyrus Wheeler, to discuss training and employment opportunities available. Cyrus referred Mr. Alexander to take the GAIN test, which is a first step down the employment path and measures Math and English levels. Mr. Alexander passed both sections of the test.
Cyrus referred Mr. Alexander to the returning citizens training program. The training program runs from 9am until 3pm for one week and is conducted by Special Populations Trainer, Marcus Williams. This demand-based training in work readiness is specifically designed to address the needs of returning citizens. Career assessment, goal setting, transferable skills, resume building, and mock interviewing are all covered during the week.
Once Mr. Alexander attended and completed the training, he met with Cyrus again. Cyrus mentioned there was a recruitment event for Southwest Detroit auto supplier, Sakthi Automotive. Mr. Alexander put in his resume for the position, but learned he was not accepted to move forward with the interviewing phase, because of deficiencies in his resume.
Marcus worked with Mr. Alexander to further re-vamp his resume, and by adding additional details of past work experience such as job responsibilities, enhanced his resume.
Mr. Alexander learned of another opening with Sakthi Automotive. This time, with his updated resume and new skills, Mr. Alexander moved forward in the interviewing process and was hired full-time as a Quality Inspector, earning $11.00/hour.
“We have had a lot of success hiring returning citizens” said Michael Hartt, Executive HR Director for Sakthi Automotive. “Thomas Alexander didn’t give up, and showed clear desire to work here. That sort of dedication and perseverance goes a long way.”
In June 2015, at a press conference during which Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Eric Seleznow announced the award, a $5m Grant to help traditionally hard-to-serve populations, Mr. Alexander spoke to the media about his experiences and the satisfaction of finding full-time employment.
He also learned that giving up is not an option and with determination and the support of his Career Advisor and other DESC employees, overcoming barriers is attainable.