Success Stories

Lumber River Workforce Development Program Gives Opportunity for “direction of the future.”

Meet Michael Atwood

MichaelAtwoodMotivated and determined, Michael Atwood is an exceptional example of an individual that took initiative when faced with both career and personal challenges.

In 2006, he returned to NC because his son-in-law was diagnosed with Leukemia. His family needed help with the children, so he left his role as VP of Production for theWashington Examiner. With more than 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, he went to work with a commercial printing company. It was during that time that the recession hit – ad revenue dried up and gas prices jumped to where travel costs basically negated his earnings.

At that point, he began looking for a career change. While at the local VA office, he came across a brochure about the State Energy Sector Partnership program which highlighted the weatherization field. Intrigued, Michael saw this as “a direction of the future”.  With the help of Lumber River Workforce Development staff, he quickly enrolled into the program to participate in the next training opportunity. After earning his certification as Weatherization Technician, Michael gained advanced training and became a certified Energy Auditor. It was during that time that he was developing a business plan and looking for opportunities to utilize his new skill sets and knowledge.

Within a month, Michael landed a job with Cumberland Community Action Program. He is now a project manager for their Weatherization Assistance Program. Beyond his project management experience and fresh credentials which were required for the position, Michael exemplified how a focused, self-determined pursuit of a promising career path leads to success.

He is currently fine-tuning his business plan by gaining valuable work experience and additional education within his new profession. Michael maintains that, “I am very positive about my future now and truly enjoy this challenging and growing industry.”