“I never thought that a company I dreaded dealing with, such as a collections agency, would be the biggest help to my finding employment.” Michelle F., Danville, IL
For immediate release. Columbus, OH February 8, 2016 – In less than two years, nearly 300 jobs have been filled by consumers in collections at Choice Recovery, a Columbus-based debt collections agency with clients throughout the U.S. – from assistance through the agency’s Customer Care Department. Thirty (30) positions were filled in January 2016 – the most in any single month to date!
In an industry not typically perceived as understanding and compassionate, Choice Recovery is unique. “Bad things can happen to good people. We know that many of the individuals in collections here want to pay their bills, but can’t, and could use some help to turn things around,” said John Olmstead, COO of the company. “Our Customer Care team helps them with creating a solid resume, conducting job searches, navigating online job sites and submitting applications, interview coaching and more.”
Olmstead said that Customer Care has also helped consumers who are turning their lives around – perhaps now in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, or recently released from prison. “Those challenges may have contributed to their being in debt. Now they want that new lease on life and they want a job.”
Positions have been filled for consumers in 16 states and range from administrative to food service to general labor to management, as well as care providers, caseworkers, teachers, sexual assault advocacy – and more. Created in early 2014, Customer Care has helped consumers in other ways too:
- By providing information on how to get a GED and the testing process,
- Helping to find affordable housing for a consumer who lived in a shelter,
- Locating a physician that was a provider within a blind woman’s PPO network – and who was within walking distance as she could not drive,
- Giving information on social services or financial assistance that the consumer was eligible for.
In 2015, Choice Recovery’s Customer Care team found over 250 jobs for people. This year, the Customer Care Department is focused on finding 500 new jobs for those in debt – a goal Olmstead said is definitely achievable. While not everyone wants the help, Olmstead added that those who do are initially amazed that a collection agency is offering these free services, and they become actively involved in the process with the Customer Care team.
About Choice Recovery: Choice Recovery works nationwide with over 5,000 clients, specializing in commercial, government, healthcare, and higher education collections. The company has successfully recovered over $200M in gross revenues since 1997 from more than 1,500,000 consumers. Choice has been locally and nationally recognized as a top workplace seven times in the past three years.
Note: This is a recent letter to Choice Recovery from Michelle F of Danville, Ill., a consumer who started a new job in late 2015, with assistance from the agency’s Customer Care Department.
I want to thank you for the employment program that helped me find a new job this fall. Thank you also for employing incredible people like Sarah and Markie
I know a little bit about what it takes to be an employment specialist and help those seeking employment. That was the job I lost back in July. I worked for a mental health agency that had a zero exclusion policy for their IPS program. Most of my clients were looking for part time jobs in the community, but some were indeed looking for full time work. They had many barriers to overcome such as a long unemployed period; recovering from drug, alcohol or mental illnesses; a history that included criminal justice involvement. Some were also dealing with domestic violence, homelessness, medical issues and lack of transportation as well. Each client had a unique set of challenges, and some required help that went outside my job description.
Sarah has gotten to know me pretty well and how deeply I cared for my clients and how hard I worked to help them achieve their employment goals. Having said that, I feel like I have met two women who share the same work ethics and sense of compassion that I do, whether as an employment specialist or in my current role as a case manager in a large human service agency.
When they first contacted me I was pretty discouraged. I still in shock from losing a job I loved and my self- esteem had taken a pretty good dive. I was struggling with depression and feeling that my age had become a liability. I did not want to end up in a series of dead-end jobs with no chance for advancement.
It took some time to build trust and see how helpful they could be, but it was through their hard work that this opportunity presented itself. I am grateful that they both hung in there when I would struggle through bouts of no interviews and self-doubt.
I can’t say enough about these two ladies or the program that allows them to assist people such as myself. I never thought that a company that I dreaded dealing with as a collections agency would be the biggest help to my finding employment. They were always encouraging and helped me end many a pity party!
Michelle F. Case Manager Danville, IL