George Allen had some big dreams. After 27 years in the transportation industry, 23 of which were spent at CSX, Allen left to start his own business in 2011. His wife, Lori, worked in banking and maintained health insurance benefits for the couple. That is, until she was laid off when her job was outsourced in 2012. It was in Dec. 2012 that Allen heard a radio spot announcing an information session for University of North Florida Division of Continuing Education’s Certification in Transportation and Logistics.
"The session was great,” Allen said. “I was excited to get started, but concerned about how to pay for the program, since money was so tight in our house.”
That was when a Division staff member stepped in.
“Vivian Nordgren directed me to Worksource,” continued Allen. “I was already working with them, looking for a job with benefits, so I knew where to go. After I completed a rigorous interview and vetting process, they approved me for a scholarship that paid for my tuition and books.”
Allen began the six-month, five-module program in March.
“The experience was amazing,” he shared. “Ron [Shamlaty] and Brett [Harper], my instructors, are a wealth of information. I was blown away by all the real life, relatable examples and experiences they had for every chapter of every book in each of the five texts we covered.”
In addition to the information and skills Allen acquired, he also gained new contacts and leads.
“With such a small class, we all got to know each other really well,” he explained. “A couple months in, one of my classmates who works for C&S Wholesale gave me a name and number and told me to call. He had gotten me a meeting, which turned into an interview and then a job.”
“Networking is just as big a part of this program as the classroom curriculum,” Ron Shamlaty, CTL and instructor, related. “We keep in contact with most of our graduates and have an extensive network of partnerships with organizations both local and global. It works in favor of our students for sure.”
For Allen, the networking and the curriculum both paid off. He completed his certification in Sept. 12, 2013 and as of Sept. 30, began a new position with Republic Services as a warehouse dispatcher, a job he loves and is thrilled to do.
“I have been able to relay what I learned through the CTL in my new role,” he explained. “There were some young guys, without much experience, in my class and they really got a head start in this industry. For me, even after almost three decades in the industry, I got a whole new perspective on global business.”
-Written by Jessica Scott
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