Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A new program with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce helps homeless men and women overcome barriers, trains them and helps them find a job.

The program is called the Back to Work Program. Transitions Homeless Shelter is a partner on the five-week program. Participants learn interview techniques, how to build a resume, conflict resolution and more.

“I thought they were just going to sit us there in front of a computer screen and tell us to find a job but I found out that there is way more to it than that,” Back to Work Program graduate Terry Pressley explained. “They're doing something new now where they make contact with potential employers and they connect the two of you together.”

Pressley was homeless and had lost his job. He said without this new program, he would not have his new job at Jarden Applied Materials.

Pressley is one of nine participants who graduated from the program Wednesday.

“It feels great,” he said. “You stay focused and that's what I'm trying to do, I'm trying to stay focused and keep moving forward.”

It’s a sentiment Brian Washington with the Department of Employment and Workforce is happy to see.

“It's beautiful, those are individuals that have completed the course, stuck through it and is motivated to get out there and knowing that they got a support system, that's not going to stop, that's going to continue to go and so it's a pleasure to see them graduate,” Washington said.

The Department of Employment and Workforce has had 84 back to work graduates with 58 of them finding employment.

“But now since I have a job now, the tumbling will stop and I'll you know start on my journey back up,” Pressley said.

Main Street Methodist Church also helped launch the program and Palmetto Health's Assertive Community Treatment Team helped with case management and referrals to community resources.

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