Job One was fortunate to meet Ken Settles in early 2020, just prior to the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a self-proclaimed elderly man that had just been released from an extended incarceration sentence, Ken came to us wanting to write himself a new future but lacking the tools he needed to navigate a world that he did not recognize after being separated from the outside for so long. Though Job One is entirely comfortable working with job candidates with similar backgrounds, Ken’s determination to challenge any barriers that come his way is inspiring and unique.
It was clear that Ken felt ill equipped to tackle the technology age idea of applying for employment positions online rather than the traditional pen and paper application and navigating job offers via email or smartphone. When COVID closures included the Seed to Oaks building, Job One had to find alternative ways to meet job candidate needs. Conversations previously held in person had to change to phone, email and Zoom, which limited who our services could reach due to the technology needed to be successful in a virtual world. Nevertheless, Ken continued to keep the Job One team updated, staying in contact via phone to discuss job leads that would allow a traditional application process rather than a virtual one and he was able to find a temporary job to support himself through the thick of the pandemic.
In the fall of 2020, after a recent heart stent surgery and the loss of employment due to recovery time, Ken reached out to Job One again, eager to find another source of livelihood that could accommodate his needs. Despite his recent health setback, Ken jumped at the opportunities provided to him via Third Avenue Baptist’s Job One programming and hiring events, making sure to catch a bus early to make it to a job fair there despite the cold and gloomy weather that day. A local business partner of Job One, Cardinal Aluminum, saw Ken’s string work ethic and offered him a position on the spot. Ken is the perfect example of an individual who leaves their past struggles behind them and looks forward to writing a new future through hard work, determination, and a trust in the plan that God has for us all.