In 2008 as the economic crisis began, Charlene Robinson, 44, of Milford, was a busy working mother with two children at home when she found out her job was being eliminated. One of 800 workers laid off when Blackhawk Automotive Plastics in Mason closed, she knew that she needed more education, skills and certifications to change careers.
“I had dropped out of high school and had never finished,” she said. “Along with working third shift at Blackhawk, I had a part time job taking care of someone in their home and I really enjoyed that. I decided to earn my GED and then go into medical assisting.”
Some people see the dark clouds, and some people see the silver lining. Charlene is one of those who sees the opportunities in a situation instead of focusing on the negatives. Counselors at Warren County Workforce One told her about the medical programs at the Warren County Career Center and she found financial assistance from federal funding for those whose jobs were outsourced. “When this opportunity came along, I took advantage of it,” she said.
Her hard work paid off, and she earned her Medical Assistant Certification in February 2010. She had an internship at Doctor’s Urgent Care in Milford from December 2009 until her program completion, and the facility hired her full time after that. Just a few weeks later, March 31, 2010 to be exact, Charlene was in the right place at the right time for a woman who had just come in to Urgent Care.
“I was in the next room and I heard a loud noise,” she said. “I ran in and found a woman had just fallen over and was in full cardiac arrest. It was a little scary, but I just told myself I had to act now and use my skills.” Charlene and another staff member began CPR while others in the office called 911 and grabbed lifesaving equipment. She and her co-workers were honored by Miami Township, Clermont County, for their heroic efforts. The woman lived, and was very grateful for their quick action, she said.
“Coming to the Career Center was one of the best things that has happened to me,” Charlene said of her training. “I love what I do now, and I learn something every day.”
Now, Charlene is thinking about going back to school to become an Emergency Medical Technician and then a Paramedic. She has already earned her General X-Ray Machine Operator certification. She is proof that learning is a lifelong process that leads to success.