Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability

Charles Collins

Charles Collins

Charles Collins

"It worked for me. It gave me a job skill. It's one more feather in my cap that I can use to go out and find work."


When Charles Collins moved from Texas to Colorado Springs in 2008, the former police officer thought he was starting a new chapter in his life as a school teacher. Instead, the 57-year-old found himself without a job and struggling to pay the bills.

"I have worked all my life and made good money, but early in 2009, I found myself jobless with seemingly no ability to get a job. Bills were stacking up and even the bare necessities were becoming an issue" he said.

Mr. Collins responded proactively and contacted the Pikes Peak Community Action Agency, where he was introduced to the Transitions to Independence Program. He entered a program training to become a phlebotomist. The program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Community Services Development Block Program. These funds pay for tuition, exams and licensing assistance, job coaching, bus passes, help with food, books and equipment and child care expenses. "I had been spinning my wheels for months and going nowhere,” Mr. Collins said. “But in a single hour-long meeting, my life went from formless to laser-focused."

Mr. Collins received his phlebotomy certificate in late 2009 and is searching for work. He plans to finish his Masters degree in education, but Mr. Collins said this certification can get him working sooner and back on his feet. "Phlebotomy will always be a skill I can apply and may very well end up weaving into my long term career path" Mr. Collins said.

Mr. Collins said he is glad that the Recovery Act helped him.

“It worked for me. It gave me a job skill. It’s one more feather in my cap that I can use to go out and find work.”


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