photo: lynne carmody
Last November, after 13 years, Lynne Carmody, was laid off from her job as a Senior Project Manager in Release Management. Lynne, the mother of two boys, has been in the IT industry for 27 years and this was only her second job in all that time.

"I had not been unemployed since I was 15," she says. "It was scary."

Lynne tried to find another position for four months to no avail. To add to her concern was the fact that her husband's business in the construction industry was struggling thanks to the slowing economy and she had been the major breadwinner and had carried the health insurance for the family.

Eventually Lynne turned to the Marlborough Career Center, one of three centers run by Metro South/West Employment & Training Administration, a beneficiary of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. "They're all about getting people back to work," says Lynne.

"It was amazing," she adds. "I walked in, I didn't know what to do. Maureen [Schumacher] my career advisor showed me and she told me about the workshops they offer daily throughout the month."

Lynne participated in many of the courses and training programs offered at the Career Center. It quickly became apparent to Maureen and to Lynne that her lack of a Bachelor's degree - Lynne holds an Associate's - was standing in her way. "It was a gap I felt I couldn't overcome," she says. Maureen encouraged Lynne to take the center's job search workshops where she learned that ITIL certification, when added to her Associates degree, would be "equal" to a Bachelor's degree in many employers' minds.

Maureen helped Lynne apply for a grant to cover the cost of the ITIL certification and she did the intensive 3-day training. At the same time, Lynne interviewed at Fallon Community Health Plan for a position as a Release Manager. After she passed the ITIL exam, Lynne emailed the hiring manager at Fallon to let them know. Within the half hour she got a phone call offering her the position.

"Things were pretty dire at that point so this was a really big deal to us," Lynne says of the offer. "We were talking to the kids about the possibility of having to move. This put us back in a stable position. I definitely attribute the position to my training. I'm really grateful having it available."