My Life Is Restored

“I won a job that I love!”

I left high school a couple of months into my senior year and never saw a need to finish school or take the GED. I found several jobs back then, when hard work and common sense were enough to get a man through. I worked for a printing company for 28 years as a master printer, until one day I was hit by a car while riding my bike to work. The accident left me with a broken leg and crushed hip. I suffered through surgeries, hospital stays, and weeks upon weeks of recuperation.

My job at the printers was held for me, so that when I was able to work again I walked right back into my old position. However, the ownership and management of the company changed, and I soon found myself without a job. Because I lacked computer skills and education, I was unable to find a new position. Without a job, I became homeless and lived on the streets for some time.

I sought out whatever resources might be open to me. Workforce Services paid for me to go to school, where I obtained my CDL. The Food and Care Coalition helped me obtain food and temporary shelter. It was there that I met Gordon, a local businessman and WWII veteran, who owned a vacant warehouse. He needed a live-in caretaker and offered me that position. I gladly accepted. Gordon also introduced me to the Deseret Industries training program. We found the bishop in the area I lived in, and he was happy to write a request for services for me. Gordon became my mentor.

Meeting, greeting, and serving customers just seemed natural, and working as a cashier came easy. I did so well that within a few months they asked me to be a lead over other associates. With that responsibility I gained supervisory and customer service skills that will be used for the rest of my life.

A Church-service missionary at the DI met with me to help me learn computer basics. Having fundamental computer skills, I was able to prepare a resume and began to apply for jobs online. My CDL certification should have brought me many responses; however, there were none. I had excellent training and certification, but I lacked a GED. Our focus immediately changed to preparing me to take the GED test. I struggled with the math portion, but the day finally came that I passed!

It had been over two years since I began my training at DI, and it was time for me to move forward. I applied for a great position that not only let me use my CDL certification, but added extensive training to it. I won a job that I love! I am very grateful for all those who provided the help I needed to change and restore my life. 

“I gained supervisory and customer service skills that will be used for the rest of my life.”

For more amazing stories like Doug’s, visit the DI’s Facebook page by clicking here.