Ohio Employer Teams Up With ABLE to Help Workers Advance Careers

Monday, July 21, 2014

When Brenda Landrum dropped out of high school more than 30 years ago, she didn’t think she needed that diploma. What she needed instead was to help her family financially, and that meant getting a job.

Over the years, she thought about pursuing a GED, but her odd work schedule left little time for preparatory classes. Luckily for Brenda, her employer – Candle-lite – is known for investing in its people. When a group of Candle-lite employees expressed an interest in GED completion, the management team contracted with Southern State Community College’s ABLE program to offer classes at its site that coordinated with the employees’ shifts.

At one time, Candle-lite hired people without high school diplomas, but those employees were not eligible for promotions or pay increases. For Brenda, that meant that although management regarded her as supervisor material, her advancement in the company was limited.

Today, Brenda has successfully completed the GED preparatory classes, earned her diploma, and accepted a supervisory role with the company.

“I’m so glad I did it,” she said. “The instructors didn’t make you feel dumb. They were so patient and helpful. There are other people here who don’t have their GED and I tell them to just do it. I’m proud to work for a company that cares about their employees.”