Local Agencies Spring Into Action
to Help Frontier Workers
Funds Still Available for Qualified Residents Seeking Training
When Frontier announced it was closing a local call center, Marion agencies sprang into action to assist 245 workers who were losing their jobs. Ohio Means Jobs, Marion Technical College, and Tri-Rivers Career Center went on-site to talk with employees and help them start on a new direction by looking for work or gaining more education.
Workers welcomed the support at a very difficult time.
"I was shocked when they announced the layoffs," said Carla Auck, a 20-year employee of Frontier. "I was worried. Am I going to lose my house? How am I going to feed my kids? What am I going to do now?"
The agencies worked together to offer resume writing workshops, computer training, interview practice, a job fair, assistance applying for the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA), information about unemployment, and even help posting resumes on OhioMeansJobs.com.
For those planning to retire or receiving severance, a financial advisor was available to help plan.
About 45 employees chose to get education or training to forge a different career path, including 23 now enrolled at MTC. Auck, from Bucyrus, had never been to college before. She was able to get tuition paid for through Ohio Means Jobs.
"I wanted a high-demand job. I don't ever want to go through this [layoff] again. The medical field is never going to go away," Auck shared. "I was given an opportunity I should take advantage of to learn something new."
Auck had never attended college before. "At first, it was very intimidating and overwhelming," she shared. "But after the first week, when I realized I could handle it, I was okay."
Auck's oldest son, Kody, is in college and is now her cheerleader. "He said if I can do it, you can do it, Mom!" she shared.
Her youngest, Kameron, is in junior high school and is very competitive, so they work to see who has the higher grade point average. "He told me he would accept nothing less than a 'B'," Auck shared with a chuckle.
While attending college was a big shift in her life, Auck said she found it helpful to talk to Peggy Smith, the director of MTC's medical assisting program. Auck liked that OhioHealth and other employers come to recruit MTC students even before they graduate.
"OhioHealth is committed to hiring and retaining top notch associates, and Marion Technical College has consistently provided well-prepared medical assistant students," said Davene Yankle, MS, RN, manager of Clinical Services for OhioHealth Physician Enterprise. "We appreciate MTC and OhioMeansJobs for helping job seekers get the training they need to, in turn, help OhioHealth fill important medical assisting roles in our care sites."
"I'm enjoying the challenge," Auck said. "It's helpful to have some women in my class that I worked with for 20 years. We help each other. It almost feels like on-the-job training."
While the layoff was hard, Auck found that Marion responded with lots of help.
"I was amazed by all of the resources Marion had to help people in this situation.
Ohio Means Jobs is a very helpful place to go. They will help you find the right direction. They give you the tools. You just have to take the initiative!" Auck exclaimed.
While some former employees may still be in shock, Auck encourages them to take advantage of all the help available. "The first thing is acceptance. No one is going to figure it out for you but you. You have to take control!" she advised.
Ohio Means Jobs found funds to help qualified applicants pay for books, tuition and fees.
MTC offers a medical assisting certificate that can be completed in just two semesters.
Recent graduates had 100% pass rates on the national exam, 100% employment after graduation, and 100% employer satisfaction with MTC's graduates after hiring, according to survey results. The program is fully accredited through CAAHEP which allows the student to take a certification exam through American Association of Medical Assistants.
Medical assistants work in doctor's offices and clinics.
They do a range of tasks, from scheduling appointments to taking vital signs to sending prescription information to pharmacies to medical billing and coding. The number of jobs in our area is expected to grow more than 20% over the next decade.
"Students like our small class sizes, hands-on training, and flexible class schedule, with day, evening and online classes," stated Peggy Smith, director of MTC's Medical Assistant Program.
MTC is very affordable.
A Pell grant covers the entire cost of tuition for a year. More than 90% of MTC students receive financial aid in the forms of grants, loans, and scholarships.
Any local residents interested in this program can call MTC's Admission Department at 740.389.4636 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those who want to learn more about funding for training through Ohio Means Jobs – Marion County can call 740.386.1067.