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.
What is the rebound?
As Middle Tennessee works to rebound from the impact of the Coronavirus, we want to help. Whether it's getting back to work, making ends meet during this uncertain time, or managing the pressure, we're committed to finding solution. In addition, we want to tell your stories of hope, inspiration, and creativity as Middle Tennessee starts to rebound.
Find more in the sections below
More Safely Back to School storiesHow schools are changing, and what you can do to help your child get the most from their education, in-person or virtual
Getting Back To WorkLearn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.
Making Ends MeetFind help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.
Managing the PressureFeeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.
Doing What’s RightKeep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.
Keeping You SafeFrom schools to stores to restaurants, learn what’s being done to keep you safe.