If there is anyone who knows what it’s like to be down and out and looking for work, it’s Justin Price. The Champaign County man is helping pass on what he has learned in life as the new coordinator of the Piatt County Workforce Development office in Monticello.
“It started in 2009 when I found myself homeless,” Price said about his journey. “I spent time in the Men’s Stepping Stone Shelter Program with the Salvation Army, which turned my life around. I ended up working for them and even filled in as a case manager on certain occasions in the actual shelter. From there, I moved into a position at Goodwill, where I became a member of management for five years.”
He also worked as a delivery driver for Schwan’s in Monticello, and obtained his associate’s degree in psychology before landing a job as a mental health technician at the Pavilion in Champaign.
He was hired at his new Workforce post in October. The federal agency provides job search resources and education and training opportunities for low income, underemployed and dislocated workers.
Price thinks his new post is a perfect fit.
“I know how it feels to be stuck between body and mind. I know that there are probably hundreds of individuals in Piatt County who have the desire to better themselves. There are individuals who dream about living more comfortably and quite often envision themselves doing something that they love for a career,” he said.
He can assist people at the Workforce office, located in the Piatt County Office Building at 1115 N. State St. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursdays. Price also serves as coordinator in the Douglas County Workforce Development office in Tuscola.
He added, “when a person has the support from people who genuinely care about their success, the necessary resources to achieve a goal, and a crystal-clear plan of action, the ambitious mindset that has remained idle for so long in them finally becomes the actual fuel that drives that person to take action. It’s a beautiful thing to witness and it is proof that providing someone with a hand up is far more beneficial than providing them with a handout.
“That’s what I hope I can provide to the citizens of Piatt County,” said Price.
He can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 217-762-8404.