After losing his job after nearly 20 years in manufacturing, Jim Coutu sought out a college education so he could prevent facing a similar situation again. Coming to Jackson College changed his life.
Coutu chose Jackson College because it was convenient at that time of his life. “They had all the programs and support that I was looking for, and it really worked well with my schedule,” he said. Growing up, he had seen his father lose his job when Goodyear in Jackson closed, so as not to face a similar situation again, he chose higher education.
“The support of my family and friends was incredible at that time of my life. There was also a lot of support at Jackson College also,” he said. “Coming to Jackson College and working through losing my job was the best thing that ever happened to me. It changed my life. I’m so very appreciative of all the people that were there.”
Coutu completed an associate degree in accounting and business and later continued his studies at Spring Arbor University, earning a bachelor’s degree in organizational management. Today he is a business services manager for Michigan Works Southeast. His team works with employers to help them hire, train and retain their workforce. He also now served on the Jackson College advisory board for business and the Jackson County Chamber Board of Directors.
Although he found himself in a difficult position after a job loss, education has helped him turn his career around. Today, he helps employers with their workforce.
“I think it’s important to know that there are a ton of resources out there, but you have to go and actually access them,” he said. “I love helping people, I love helping our communities. It’s very gratifying.”