Goodwill Careers Solutions helping Middle Tennessee workers land jobs during pandemic

Posted at 6:58 AM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 07:58:47-04

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A personal chef is among a number of people landing jobs during the pandemic with the help of career coaches at Middle Tennessee's Goodwill Career Solutions.

Chef Michael McDade wasn't working at Park Place Retirement at the beginning of the pandemic, but now he is.

"I'm a classically trained personal and private chef," Michael McDade said. "I specialize in Cajun, Creole and southern cuisines."

Yet the chef with more than 30 years of experience is now cooking at a Hendersonville retirement home after losing his cooking gigs because of social distancing.

"I understand... It was very stressful, but I tried to keep the faith and think positive," McDade said.

When McDade originally consulted with Goodwill Career Solution he was just diagnosed with an eye disease which made seeing color and driving difficult.

A career coach at his local Goodwill Career Solutions office helped him turn things around.

"He just said 'I need help,'" Melissa Alameda said. "'I have this and that going on right now and I don't know what to do.'"

McDade had worked with career coaches like Alameda before. Goodwill Career Solutions offers workshops, job training and job leads free of cost.

"Nursing, anything in the health industry to entertainment, restaurants, retail and merchandising," explained Alameda.

Alameda helped McDade find a position in the kitchen at Park Place Retirement.

"It went from he was sad, confused and scared about what was going to happen to him completely grateful and happy that he can still do the things he loves," she said.

McDade said the people at Goodwill gave him his life back.

"They're really a godsend. They were really very helpful for my situation," he said.

He encouraged other people experiencing unemployment to keep their heads up.

"Don't give up and think positive," he said.

Goodwill Career Solutions has eight locations in Middle Tennessee. For people who are more comfortable speaking to a coach on the phone call 1-800-545-9231.