The pandemic left a record number of Oklahomans looking for work, but there are programs to help folks change careers.
One of those is an apprenticeship program put together by the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development.
Eric Dixon admits at one point, his work resume wasn't much to look at.
“I have a colorful background, some addiction history, (and) a little bit of criminal history,” Dixon said.
He found Goodwill, a second-chance employer, and became an apprentice with the nonprofit retailer.
“We are just a big family, it’s a great culture,” said Dixon.
“An apprenticeship program is the number one way for an employer to try a person in a job,” said Don Morris, the executive director of the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development.
Morris is constantly recruiting more companies to create apprenticeship programs.
The Office of Workforce Development provides guidance to companies on how to set up their apprenticeship programs and helps pay for a salaries through a federal grant.
Employers can receive up to $10,000 per apprentice.
“Being displaced as so many people were, gives people an opportunity to come to our web page, get certified, come out and get their dream job,” Morris said.
”When you are willing to invest in an opportunity and show people you care, they are going to work harder for you,” said Amara Lett, Goodwill's director of training and employment services.
Goodwill's apprenticeship program means not just getting hired, but moving up.
Dixon started as a cashier and will be a store manager with his next promotion
“It’s has been a blessing. I am just go grateful for everything,” said Dixon.
You can learn more at OklahomaWorks.gov.