Providing Opportunities to Veterans
Brian Dandridge : Veteran Success Story
On Feb 4, 2021, Brian Dandridge came into the Duplin County NCWorks Career Center for job search assistance and career guidance. Melvin Sabillon, CSR, assisted Mr. Dandridge with registering into NCWorks.gov and referred him to Carla Whaley, Career Advisor, for additional services.
Carla assisted Brian with job searching and explained the services offered through the Career Center. He told Carla he was currently homeless and unemployed. He had worked as a swine farmer for seventeen years and lost his housing upon resigning his position.
Brian’s experience working with swine lagoons inspired him to enroll in the Combined Biological Waste Water Operator I and II class at James Sprunt Community College. Carla instructed Brian to update his resume to showcase his work history and enrollment in the Waste Water class. Carla learned Mr. Dandridge was a Disabled Naval Veteran. She explained the NCWorks Veteran’s Program to Brian and contacted Zackary Branch, Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist (DVOP) for Duplin County, to request his assistance with Mr. Dandridge, as well.
Zackary began working with Brian on Feb 23, 2021 and referred him to several openings within the surrounding area. Mr. Branch also contacted Charles Lee with the Veterans Services of the Carolinas-Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP). After enrolling in HVRP, the program paid for Brian to test and receive his Waste Water Treatment Plant I certification.
Mr. Dandridge continued to receive services from the Duplin County Career Center. Charliss Gwynn, Career Advisor, joined the team focused on assisting with his job search. Charliss found a position with the City of Jacksonville and the Pender County Utilities – Water Department Division. She shared the information with Carla who immediately called Brian with application instructions. Brian promptly submitted a Pender County application and was soon scheduled to interview. After completing the interview Mr. Dandridge was extended a job offer with Pender County Utilities starting on May 17, 2021.
The NCWorks Career Center continues to assist Brian with locating affordable housing. Zachary Branch (DVOP) referred Brian to Volunteers of America and Charliss Gwynn referred him to the Homeless Emergency Solutions Grant operated by Greene Lamp Community Action.