Supporting a Family: Joseph Denk

Marine Corps veteran Joseph Denk is the latest example of a veteran and the veteran’s family substantially improving their standard of living through utilization of the OhioMeansJobs Center resources. 

Joe stated that when he left the Marine Corps, he immediately felt “intense pressure” to find a job which could provide adequate income and benefits for his young son and his fiancé who is attending college full time. Veteran Denk obtained a $14.00 an hour job as a delivery driver for the Dan-Dee snack company. The job was located about an hour away from his residence and provided no medical benefits for his child. Joe’s father, Greg, remembered speaking with Veterans Workforce Specialist Josh Collins and Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist’s Matt Katona & Mike Ellis who works for the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services Veterans Program, so Greg reached out to them to see if they could help his son improve his job and financial situation.

As a 23 year old veteran, Joe automatically qualified for Intensive Services. He, first, attended a Workforce Investment Act orientation then met with an Ohio Department of Job & Family Services Customer Service Representative who validated his barrier to employment. Joe was then, immediately referred to Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist Mike Ellis to begin receiving Intensive Services. DVOPS Mike Ellis conducted an initial assessment with Joe and quickly assisted with creating an effective resume for his job search. Veterans Workforce Specialist Josh Collins, informed Veteran Denk of potential full time positions with full benefits packages for Joe to consider.

Veterans Workforce Specialist Josh Collins informed Veteran Denk of the production position with the McGean Chemical Company of Cleveland. The position offered starting base pay of $27.00 per hour plus opportunities for overtime paid at time and a half of the base pay. The position also featured an incredible benefits package including full medical/dental, and vision insurance, 401(k) with a company match, paid vacation and sick time. Plus, the worksite was located just twenty minutes from Veteran Denk’s residence.

With Veteran Denk still in the office, Veterans Workforce Specialist Josh Collins called the human resources contact at McGean and discussed the qualifications with the HR representative. Veterans Workforce Specialist Josh Collins then e-mailed Veteran Denk’s resume to McGean. McGean’s Human Resources was impressed with the resume that they asked to speak with him directly. The discussion led to an interview with the company the next week.

On the day of the scheduled interview, Veteran Denk was out running errands prior to the meeting, when his fiancé called to inform him that there was a fire in the apartment complex they shared with several other families. The apartment suffered serious smoke damage, but, luckily no one was injured in the fire. Veteran Denk assessed the damage and made living arrangements for his family at his parents’ house. Then he went to the interview where, according to the McGean officials, he “hit a home run” and was immediately offered the position which he accepted with pleasure. The next day at Dan-Dee, he gave the employer an official two week notice of resignation and thanked Dan-Dee for the opportunity.

Veteran Denk was also referred to several partner agencies for additional resources. First, he was referred to the Veterans Affairs medical care system to secure the five years of free health care that he earned through his war time service. Next, he was referred to a service officer at the Cuyahoga County Veteran Service Commission to discuss filing a disability compensation claim. After that, he was referred to the Veterans Affairs educational benefits department to discuss his Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. Veteran Denk was provided with several county and state agencies to search for affordable health insurance for his young son.

Veteran Denk has been working for McGean for a week now and told Veterans Workforce Specialist Josh Collins and Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist Mike Ellis that the job is fantastic. He is now planning for the purchase of a home for his family. Veteran Joe Denk and Greg, his father, stated that they are “very thankful” for the work that the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services Veterans Program provided to put Joe and his family in such a promising life situation. 

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