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Discovering new paths with REPAC

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 10th, 2011

Courtesy photo
Brent Wheeler

Globe — When Brent Wheeler received the bad news about his position being eliminated due to hard economic times, he never dreamed the situation could lead him to a college degree. Working for a local turquoise mine, Wheeler was told in November of 2008 that he was being laid off. Wheeler began the search for a new job in a shrinking job market that often required education for many open positions.

That is when Wheeler took the advice given him to check out the local REPAC office. REPAC (which stands for Re-employment Pre-Layoff Assistance Center) helped Wheeler not only open new doors, but to discover doors he otherwise would not have ever considered.

Wheeler recalled the process, which began with profile “tests” (no right or wrong answers) to discover what kind of jobs Wheeler would be interested in and what jobs would match his background. The computer profile generated a list of jobs and employment fields based on Wheeler’s answers to various questions about interests, previous employment, educational background, etc. and jobs that were also in demand.

One job on the list stood out for Wheeler - respiratory therapist. Wheeler explained that he had always had an interest in such a job, but never got the training and education needed to enter the field of respiratory therapy. A friend who already worked in the field provided encouragement and soon, Wheeler had made his decision. However, the road ahead was still a long one. “All I had ever done in my life was work with turquoise, mining it, refining it, etc.,” Wheeler stated. “I knew I had to get some training.”

In July of 2009, Wheeler was accepted into the respiratory therapy program at then Apollo College (now Kerington College). “I was pretty nervous about starting school again. It had been years since I was in school,” Wheeler confided.

For the complete article see the 08-10-2011 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-10-2011 paper.

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