Deb Theurer’s future looked sunny. As manager of a child-care business for 17 years, Deb had become very comfortable with her job. Trouble struck in December 1996, when the business she managed was sold. At that time, she needed to make a decision about staying in the business or making a career change. Her decision was to increase hours at the second job she had been working for the past six months.
Everything worked out smoothly and she was doing a job she enjoyed. The outlook was bright again.
Six months later, in June 1997, Deb received notice the position she currently held would be eliminated. The grant program she was working with was to be moved to another agency which would be restructuring. It was decision time again. What a shock to be in the same difficult position twice in only six months.
Deb took advantage of this time between jobs. Not knowing what was coming next, she enrolled in computer classes at the Adult Learning Center in Dickinson. The employment world had changed drastically in the 18 years since Deb was last in the market for a job. She felt she needed to upgrade her computer skills. She had learned hands-on through trial and error and felt she needed more concrete training.
The staff members at the center were patient and encouraging. Because Deb didn’t know how long she would be unemployed, the center was flexible in scheduling classes. She spent anywhere from two to eight hours a day at the Adult Learning Center. Each day, the staff encouraged Deb with positive words.
It had been a long time since Deb interviewed for employment. Event the format of resumes had changed. She started churning out job resumes. Two months after she lost her second job, Deb was hired as the Extension Agent/Parenting Resources Coordinator with West Dakota Parent & Family Resource Center.
Deb says she is thankful for the support of the staff at the Dickinson Adult Learning Center. She believes they had a big impact on the confidence she needed to interview with prospective employers.
“The great side benefit,” Deb says, “is that even though we’re separate agencies, my office is above the Adult Learning Center.” She is greatful that encouragement is still so near. Her future again looks bright.