100 Years, 100 Stories
As a single mom with two small children, two and three, Gumm was unemployed and said she knew she needed to find a better way to provide for her family. She heard about programs being offered at Metropolitan Community College. Once she discovered that grant money, given by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education, helped make some programs available for little to no cost for unemployed candidates who met certain requirements, Gumm said she was thrilled and ready to sign up.
After an 80 hour course, which equals two full time work weeks, she earned a Warehousing and Logistics Associate Certificate. According to Gumm, she learned much more than she expected.
“Our instructor taught us it is not just a forklift. From the CEO down, it is a trickle-down effect, and if you mess up down here it impacts the customer and purchasing. I liked learning the whole process. You could understand if you do mess up a box, it is not only boxes you are messing up, you are messing up a whole chain of processes,” said Gumm.
She even had the chance to meet the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez when he toured the campus. She participated in a roundtable discussion that included instructors, students and business partners.
Gumm told the Secretary, “The program not only gave me skills, but it also helped me personally as well. With the mock interviewing, I was able to work through a lot of my insecurities about public speaking. That really helped. I also have a great resume. They really took the time to go in depth and look and the layout and where to arrange things. The skills that they gave us were really great and they also he worked with us.”
She teared up during her visit with Secretary Perez. “Right now it is kind of a touchy subject. I am really emotional and it is hard, but I feel like everything I am doing right now, it is definitely going to pay off in a year or so. Right now it is hard, but I think there will be a bright future for us.”
Secretary Perez responded, “I think I speak for everyone when I say you inspire all of us. Brittany I learned a long time ago, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. You have no reason to feel anything but pride and confidence and I know your kids are looking up to you and saying my mom has game.”
Gumm says most importantly, she is now employed.
“It is like breath of fresh air, to be able to provide for my kids and be able to pay for things and not have to worry about when the next time you are going to have gas. I had two job offers right away and I stopped putting in applications after that. One was actually more money than the position I took and it was full time, but it didn’t really work out with school. So, I turned down that job and work at the Toys R Us distribution center and I am currently working there now and still going to school,” explained Gumm.
That’s right, she is not letting go of education just yet.
“Not only has it given me the warehouse credentials, but I also pursed the welding and I am really passionate about that. As soon as I finished the certificate that was offered, I signed up for the credit course. So there will hopefully be a career path in welding for me,” said Gumm.
When asked what her dream is now, she answered “to have a house and a full time career with a steady income for my children,” said Gumm.