Graniteville group helping long-time unemployed get back in work - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Graniteville group helping long-time unemployed get back in workforce

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Eric Dowling says he has his confidence back.

The married father of five was out of work for about two years after losing his job at a Graniteville factory.

"It was very tough. Very, very, very tough," Dowling says. "Let's just say I wouldn't want anyone else to have to go through it, because it's very hard to find money."

But that time in his life is over.

Dowling's been working a new job for three weeks now, and he feels like the man of the house again.

"Being able to finally find work, and go out and earn a paycheck, and don't have to go out there and beg or scratch or scrape," he says proudly.

Tuesday, Eric received a diploma from the program he credits for getting his life back on track, the Megiddo Dream Station.

"Megiddo is a nonprofit that works to train people so that they can get back into the workforce," says Executive Director Kay Benitez.

Megiddo graduated 18 men and women in it's first ever class Monday night.

Benitez says the program helps get people in the Graniteville community back on their feet after struggling for several years since the mill closed down.

"We found a lot of people that worked in the mill had no computer skills for instance," she says. "We've been able to help them to get comfortable, because there are not very many jobs today where you don't have to use a computer in some form or fashion."

But it's not just job skills. Graduates are learning skills that can help them in all walks of life.

"We train them on how to use their money in a better way, how to budget," Benitez says. "Healthy meal planning. How to take care of their clothing- simple things like how to sew on a button. And we also do a Bible study."

And for graduates like Dowling, after years of battling, they have a new lease on life.

"I just had to step up and accept it and go ahead and do the right thing," Dowling says. "And that's what I decided to do."

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