Ford Re-Entry Programs gives older workers second chance at careers

- Workers who have taken some time off for a while and are now behind in their skillsets are getting a second chance at a new career through Ford Motor Company's program that helps fill in the gaps to get you ready to come back to the workforce.

Kathy Welch worked in IT for years -- in Chicago, then Austin. Then she took a break and spent time with her kids. Then 20 years passed and:

"I needed obviously core security skills. I needed to update my web skills. I also wanted to do some networking, computer networking skills," she said.

She went back to school and learned a lot, but still there was a gap. Some of that came from skills you don't learn in a classroom. So Ford Motor Company started a six-month program that would fill those gaps.  

"How do you get acclimated with the simple basic things, whether it's communication technology, social platforms etc. so we spent a lot of time on that aspect of it as well as the personal development. So what's the career development going to look like for individuals," said Meeta Huggins with Ford.

For Huggins it was about getting back into the world of IT.  She took the class and picked up the things she had missed for two decades in the IT world -- a world that included things like Webex, a web conference program that didn't even exist when she used to work.

"Presentation skills, communications, we do a lot of things on the web teleconferences now that you used to do in person so different training classes in that," Kathy said.

As for advice for someone who doesn't know if they have what it takes:

"I say think about something that you think you'd really enjoy doing, identify your gaps, and figure out a creative way to begin to fill some of those in, but also demonstrate your enthusiasm," Kathy said.

After raising two kids who are now grown, one chapter is in the rear view mirror. She's ready for act two as she revs up a future at Ford that's just getting started. 

"You're always learning. You know, I've learned a lot. There are still things that I want to learn every day," Kathy said.

TO LEARN MORE: CLICK HERE for information on the program.
 

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