Tami Johnson, business analyst at Blue Sky Innovative Solutions (Courtesy of PGCEDC)
Tami Johnson, business analyst at Blue Sky Innovative Solutions (Courtesy of PGCEDC)

In December, Tami Johnson was at a crossroads.

She had completed every task that was supposed to guarantee her success and attainment of the American dream: She graduated from high school and went on to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration.

Still, at the end of last year, Johnson had no job prospects and her unemployment benefits were running out. Just when her situation seemed hopeless, she received a phone call that would change her life.

Kevin McNutt, a business consultant at the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation, called Tami to ask if she had recently updated her resume. After further discussion, McNutt extended an invitation for her to participate in the “Hire Prince George’s” program.

“It was just the blessing that I was looking for,” Johnson said. “My consulting business wasn’t going anywhere. I was interested in project management, but didn’t have any experience in that area. Mr. McNutt and the EDC not only gave me the opportunity to get project management training, they also connected me with Blue Sky Innovation Solutions where I have been working as a Business Analyst since February. I am now studying to take the Project Management Professional exam to get my certification. I am proud to live in a County that allows me to live, work and play right here.”

Companies are getting a bonus from EDC through its ‘Hire Prince George’s’ Program, which allows businesses to cut their training costs in half when they hire local dislocated workers. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Driven National Emergency Grant, the program enables Prince George’s County to utilize various resources to provide employment related services to dislocated workers.

The also program provides a “Win-Win” scenario for both job creators and job seekers by assisting employers in developing training programs for the skills the employers are looking for, training new or existing employees, and working with the dislocated workers to connect their talents with the best possible jobs in the area.

Companies participating in the program are eligible to get 50 percent of their training costs and up to 90 percent of the costs associated with an on-the-job training salary reimbursed for up to six months.

More than 30 companies, including Blue Sky Innovative Solutions, a small minority, women owned business solutions firm, have already taken advantage of the program.

“We are completely motivated to ‘Activate Prosperity’ in our community by connecting local job seekers with the resources they need to be successful,” said EDC President and CEO Jim Coleman. “Our residents deserve high-wage employment and our job creators expect and deserve talented employees. Together, we are connecting our strategic partners to ensure that both residents and employers obtain the American Dream right here in Prince George’s County. We have it all and we’re not shy about sharing.”

Life for Johnson is getting better and better since her EDC encounter.

Not only does she have a job she loves, Johnson is able to give back to her community as a recruiter for Blue Sky Innovative Solutions and helping other county residents find their piece of the American Dream.

For more information about employment, training and recruiting opportunities through the “Hire Prince George’s’ program, contact Jeffrey Swilley at jswilley@co.pg.md.us or call 301-618-8400.

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