Michael Eldridge worked at Verizon for more than two decades. While working for Verizon, he specialized in web development and data base reporting, and he eventually worked his way up to CTI Engineer. However, after 23 years, Michael was unfortunately laid off.

Before beginning his job search, Michael dedicated his time to learning new skills and technologies that he thought would make him more successful when looking for a new career. Although, even with his newfound skills, Michael’s technology industry job search proved to be difficult as an older adult. “I found it challenging to find a position due to being an older worker and seeking a long-term position,” Michael said. “So, I worked a few temporary positions in the meantime.”              

While working in temporary roles, Michael received an email from National Able Network’s IT Sector Center regarding the Charlotte’s Web program. Michael decided to join the program to continue to build his skills as well as his resume! When first joining Charlotte’s Web, Michael was really looking forward to being in a supervisory role as well as consulting one-on-one with actual customers. “For the last 12 years of my career, I had worked from home, so I was looking forward to new interactions with new people,” said Michael. “I wanted to add different skills to my resume.”

Michael’s experience with the IT Sector Center and Charlotte’s Web was exactly what he needed to get started on his career path! Not only did he increase his digital skills, he developed new skills that now help him in his current role as Professional Sales Specialist! “Being in the Charlotte’s Web program, I was able to talk to people that I’ve never met before and it forced me to be more outgoing. It was a great transition! I polished up old skills, gained new ones, and have become a better well-rounded professional. I love it.”