Chris was let go from his position with Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) where he worked as an Environmental Scientist II for two years. Prior to that he had worked for Waste Management as a Project Manager in Hazardous Solid Waste.

People Inc. Dislocated Worker (DW) program staff assisted Chris in looking for employment as a Project Manager, Construction Engineer or as an Environmental Manager. After applying for numerous positions in the region and interviewing for a few of them, he quickly realized that the certifications that he had let expire while working for VA DEQ and Waste Management were an important requirement for every job he applied or was qualified for.

Chris and DW staff reviewed numerous job announcements in his field in Southwest Virginia and compiled a list of certifications that were required the most in those announcements. In order to earn the certifications, Chris would have to take ten (10) eight (8) hour courses offered by DEQ and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and then pass an exam administered by Pearson-Vue for each certification.

In order to complete the classes, the client had to travel to various locations around the state from Hampton Roads to Abingdon. Dislocated Worker program funding paid for the ten courses and exams and Chris paid for the travel, (mileage, hotel and food) expenses incurred while attending the classes. Chris completed the courses and finished testing for the final two certifications in early 2018, earning a total of three (3) certifications: Concrete Plant and Field Certification; DEQ Erosion and Sediment Control Combined Administrator and DEQ Storm Water Management Combined Administrator. Once Chris completed the courses and added them to his resume he quickly received multiple job offers. He accepted a position with MBP INC. as a Construction Inspector because it allowed him to remain in Southwest Virginia. Chris earns $23 per hour and has a full benefits package including medical benefits for him and his family. In summary, Chris completed his certifications successfully and obtained gainful, unsubsidized employment utilizing his existing and upgraded skills.