top of page

A Veterans’ Journey to Finding a New Job: A Michigan Works! Success Story

My journey started back in November of 2023 when I was laid off from Fiber Char in Alpena. I had been with them for about 3 years and enjoyed working with the team there. To be laid off at my age, I knew I needed to stay positive and focus. Knowing that it would be hard to locate a job just through the newspaper, I decided to branch out to other resources, which led me to Michigan Works and the VES  (Veteran Employment Services) Team.

I took advantage of Michigan Works! resources and got help from Career Navigator Mary Trudgen. She would update me with local job postings and helped me stay positive during the process (even though some weeks seemed impossible). She also helped connect me to the members at the VES. I attended bi-weekly phone conferences every Monday evening with the VES. They helped me update my resume and helped me prepare for interviews.

I used search engines for local jobs and applied for a few jobs from there, but was often just a little too late. One job I applied for sent me an email saying they received my resume, but the job listing had already been filled. I followed up and checked with their HR contact to see if there were any other job openings at that time or coming up. Shortly after, I received a call saying they wanted me to come in for an interview for another position. They liked how my resume was put together and was informative. But, that position wasn’t established yet and they weren’t ready to hire. I did keep checking with them and they did finally call me back for what I thought was for another interview, but it was to be hired in as custodial, the original job I applied for! I started working at Phoenix Composite Solutions on March 25th!

I appreciate the help I got from Mary, Michigan Works! and the VES team. They gave me positive recommendations and helped me keep looking for a new job without getting down and depressed. For a Veteran, to be looking for a new job in his later years is harder than most people would think. They may have worked in a certain career set and to have to start over is not easy (and it’s quite depressing). Mary never let me give up. After weeks of submitting applications and having interviews, I finally found the perfect fit for me and I couldn’t be happier.


bottom of page