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Pathway: Law, Public Safety and Security
Program: Dislocated Worker/Trade Adjustment Act Services
Location of Service:
When Jackie Freeman first applied for TAA, she was underemployed for over 2 ½ years, working a retail sales job that paid $10 per hour, much less than the annual $85,000 she earned at the trade-impacted employer, Quad Graphics. Freeman's skills included billing, procurement, and project management; however, coming from the declining printing industry during the economic downturn it was very challenging to find a suitable job and the long-term under-utilization of skills only made the process more arduous. Through the assistance of DuPage County Workforce Development Division at the workNet DuPage Career Center she was able to discover a link between her transferable skills and a legal education to find a more lucrative job by focusing on legal compliance and employment law.
Freeman found the perfect training through the Paralegal Studies program at College of DuPage, which offered courses in business law, contracts, drafting legal documents, and specialized coursework in labor and employment law. These courses along with a productive internship at the employment law firm of McLaughlin & Hobfoll were essential in securing a position as Director of Special Projects at McCracken Label, paying $60,000 annually. At McCracken, she has been instrumental in developing business and system processes and policies and is part of a team charged with buying a new facility and soon of integrating acquisitions. She is very grateful for the opportunity offered by TAA and the staff that assisted her directly, including Omar Sanchez and Tobey Majack of workNet DuPage and John Ferry of IDES. She believes that without their assistance and the financial support offered by TAA she would have had to continue working long low-paying hours, not being able to dedicate as much time towards focusing on training to hone the skills that made her competitive for her new self-sufficient career.