Going to school is about getting a job, but if you don’t take a typical path through school, you need to take a non-typical path to finding a job.
Meletha Glover, procurement technician, found that path at a school in Lorain, Ohio that offered her exactly what she needed.
After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1982-2001, Glover realized she wanted to get her degree. Glover enrolled at Lorain County Community College in Ohio, taking classes and working part-time in the school’s Disability Services Office. It was here that she learned about the Workforce Recruitment Program, a program that would change her life.
The WRP is a nationwide recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private sector employers with highly-motivated college students and recent grads with disabilities that are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace. Annually, colleges and universities have the opportunity to register their students for the WRP. Trained recruiters from federal agencies visit the colleges and university campuses across the country to conduct interviews with interested candidates. The prescreened candidates’ employment data is compiled into a secure database available by request to hiring officials.
For Glover, she was first selected from the database by the Charleston District’s equal employment opportunity officer in 2012 and was offered a position in the District’s EEO Office. Glover got other offers but had reasons for choosing Charleston.
“I didn’t know much about the Corps of Engineers, but the job seemed challenging,” said Glover. “Plus, I liked the location because I’m from the state and was stationed in Charleston when in the Navy.”
WRP gives students that are selected a paid internship for up to 14 weeks. Glover wanted to work in EEO and HR because, at that point in her school career, she had just completed her associate’s degree from LCCC in the human resources field.
“I am always looking for opportunities for Charleston District to take advantage of resources to achieve our goal of increasing employment of individuals with disabilities in the federal government,” said Jessica Byrd, EEO officer. “In addition to gaining temporary assistance within the EEO office and providing work experience for the student, I wanted managers to see first-hand what great talent is available through the WRP.”
After completing her internship, Glover returned to LCCC to finish school where she enrolled in the University Partnership.
“UP is a unique program where you can get your associate’s degree from LCCC in two years, and your bachelor’s degree from a university the next two years,” said Glover. “It worked for me because I wouldn’t know my way around a new place and I could keep working with the Disability Services Office and get my degree in a one-stop shop.”
Through the University Partnership, Glover attended classes at LCCC that were taught by instructors from Kent State University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business management in 2014 and applied for WRP again and was once again chosen by the Charleston District, this time in the contracting office.
“The great thing about the WRP is that you get experience and build your resume with the hopes that your internship will turn into a permanent position,” said Glover. “It’s a win-win for employers and the students.”
Glover’s primary goal of turning her internship into a permanent job has been partially realized too; she was offered a temporary position for one year with the Charleston District. She’s continuing to hope that this is the job that will become permanent.