Timothy G. Hobdy
Further Education Turned the Lights On for Success as an Electrician
Dislocated Worker Program
Career Advancement Scholarship to Bishop State Community College
After seven years of working for International Paper Company as a boiler operator handling heavy equipment and machinery, Timothy Hobdy found himself among the ranks of many the unemployed when he was laid off from the company when it closed its Mobile plant.
Hobdy, a 38 year-old husband and father of two children, including a boy age 12 and a girl age 5, knew retirement was not option for him at this point in his life. He also did not know where he could find a job making a similar salary and that he wasn’t going to find another paper mill in the area. Although he did not know what he was going to do, he did know he had to do something quickly to ward off a financial crisis. Through the Alabama Career Center’s Rapid Response Team, Hobdy learned about training opportunities with Mobile Works and instantly recognized this as a chance for a new career.
After considering his current skills and interests, as well as researching future job prospects in the Mobile area, Hobdy decided on electrical work for his career future and was awarded a Career Advancement Scholarship by Mobile Works.
He entered the electrician program at Bishop State Community College in January 2001. Electricians can work in either residential, commercial or industrial and Hobdy studied all aspects while at Bishop State. During his studies, Hobdy worked closely with his case manager, Brenda Bright, and kept her informed of his progress. He excelled in all of his classes and successfully completed the program in spring 2003. [
Hobdy began seeking a full-time position and was hired by the City of Mobile electrical department in April 2003. The City of Mobile has three divisions in its electrical department: Street Lighting & Ballparks, Public Buildings & Special Events, and Traffic Intersections. Hobdy is currently working in the Public Buildings and Special Events division and his duties include maintenance and troubleshooting of all things electrical.
Hobdy says, “The Mobile Works training program gave me the opportunity to get a degree, which I never thought I would have, and the confidence to build a new career as an electrician.” Hobdy has become financially stable once more and has even been able to set enough money aside to build a new house for his family.
Hobdy is supervised by Mark Hyde, Supervisor of the City of Mobile’s Public Buildings and Special Events division of the electrical department, who says, “Tim is a good worker who works hard and is studying for his journeyman’s card. When he gets that card, he will get a pay raise, so he is definitely moving along our career track.”
Stated Hobdy, “This program at Mobile Works kept me going when I didn’t have a job or income and I think anyone in a similar situation should take advantage of the opportunity to get re-skilled. I enjoy my job and I’m proud that the City of Mobile has gained from this program too because they have a skilled and dedicated electrician.”