We had the good fortune of connecting with Jerry Myers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jerry, what role does tech play in your business?
Technology is becoming increasingly more important in my business as it has shifted the world even more due to Covid-19. My company provides workforce development services and training for 21% of Georgia. We help operate One-Stop Career Centers alongside other organizations such as the Georgia Department of Labor, Job Corp, Senior Community Service Training Program, Technical Colleges, and other entities. Our focus is to help connect job seekers, those who need housing or utility assistance, dislocated workers, and youth to resources that provide them career and economic mobility. When a customer enters a One-Stop location, they can get services such as filing for unemployment insurance benefits, resume writing help, interview preparation assistance, speak to housing and TANF representatives, or just a resource computer. Also, If eligible, they can do the job training assignments, credential obtainment, and potentially get a new in-demand skill. As more customers only utilize smartphones or have challenges with transportation, we are establishing online tools to provide career services virtually. Depending on what part of Georgia someone is located, they may have to drive 50-100 miles to get to a One-Stop Career Center. We see this as an opportunity to help our customers do virtual methods such as Zoom and our Canvas learning management system platform. Utilizing Zoom, we provide virtual workshops such as “How to Network in a Time of Social Distancing” or “Creating a resume that gets the attention of Employer.” We also know that many customers have kids at home in which it could be a challenge to bring them to the Career Center, so virtual coaching sessions have been a value. We’ll be hosting our first virtual career fair in DeKalb County, Georgia very soon in a way to support economic relief efforts. In our canvas platform, we have a mock interview process where we have our customers login, to an interview preparation section where our customers get asked interview questions through pre-recorded video simulating a real interview. The customer then has a chance to upload their video, and then read best practices on how to answer those questions. These are just a few ways that technology is changing the way we do business. I am proud of our team, who are embracing these changes as they see the benefit of serving those who come through our career center doors in different ways.
What should our readers know about your business?
IN THE DOOR started in 2015 with the addition of my first book, “GET IN THE DOOR: 7 Keys Maximizing Your Career Search”. This book was written to assist individuals looking for employment opportunities, whether youth, adults or seasoned professionals. Fast forward a year later, and I left my job, my financial comfort, and my status in the business world to start a new journey that led to government contracts. The contracts we’re challenging at first as we were only looking for federal opportunities, in which we had no success. I was going to contract events meeting people in the contract world but was not getting anywhere competing on a national level, so our focus was on local training. In 2017 something clicked; we eventually were able to land several workforce development contracts in the state of Georgia and had to prepare fast by hiring staff and creating processes that would enhance our business structure. This led us to a remarkable growth trajectory from 2017 until 2018, which has continued today. What separates our brand today is our team that is intrinsically motivated to help out individuals who are unemployed underemployed or need additional training. In our interview process we’ve realized that you can always train someone on technical skills but it is not as easy to train people to care about other people. We specifically seek individuals to join our team who are motivated to help others when we have our interview process. At the moment, we are working with a Technical College state of Georgia in an effort to help to return citizens who are looking to reenter the workforce. Our training will include resume writing, mock interviews, working successfully in teams, and creating smart goals. Today, I am proud that IN THE DOOR is rolling out increased technology to further serve our clients through digital platforms, which our team sees as a more efficient way to help high volumes of customers.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of the spots that I recommend in Atlanta is Paschal’s Restaurant. Known as a political gathering and meeting spot, Paschal’s has been a staple in the community for years, exhibiting a rich history including having individuals like Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King frequently dine there. My family has had graduation parties, birthday celebrations, and my wife and I had some excellent dates there. If you are looking for southern cooking with quality service, they are the place to go.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are two people from my perspective that have inspired me. First, my wife, who today serves as our Accounting Specialist at IN THE DOOR who juggles handling audits, payroll, our growing son’s. She was the one who encouraged me when I thought about venturing off to start my own company in 2015. At that time, I was not sure what being an entrepreneur looked like, but I knew it was time to step away for my role in education leadership. Many people around me thought it was not a good idea to leave a comfortable position to venture off to start a company. Her perspective was that whatever we set to do would be successful and allow God to lead the journey. At the time, she was working part-time as an accounting teacher, and I was also an Adjunct Professor at Saint Leo University. So although we would have some money coming in, it would not be the same as our current income, yet she still encouraged me to leave, which I appreciate to the day. The Second person is my cousin Kim Rouse who serves as a patent attorney in New Jersey. There is not a time when I speak to her that she does not encourage me by Speaking of her new good business ventures. She has done work for many major entities, including the National Basketball Association. She is not only an inspiration but also has encouraged IN THE DOOR from our beginnings with my first book “GET IN THE DOOR: 7 Keys to Maximizing Youth Career Search” and our consistent scaling of today’s organizational growth.