• Felecia Gilmore-Long

Meet Oliver | cdc monthly - April 2018

"Success on a number of levels comes from your manner of thinking."

Oliver Crawford had a lot on his mind this time last year.

After working at the VA for more than two and a half years, Oliver was let go from his position in March 2017 before becoming a vested employee. At first, he felt that a door had been closed on his present and his immediate future; but in short order, Oliver's mindset helped him start exploring new opportunities--that brought him closer to a life-long dream.

"I realized pretty quickly that there were only two things I was going to be: bitter - OR - better. Oliver recalled. "I chose to think about how my career could get better."

Just a month later, Oliver re-connected with CDC of Tampa, where he joined the Workforce Development Center's Employability Skills training, and later completed his OSHA 30 certificate through CDC's Tampa Vocational Institute.

"I've been a D.J. since 1978, and I even DJ'ed at the CDC office in 2008 when the Chloe Coney Urban Enterprise Center opened. Since then, I had come back to get my taxes done over the years, and I always remembered the many services CDC had to offer. I'm glad I remembered!"

As important as the courses were in helping Oliver brush up on, and learn new skills, they also opened his eyes and mind to new possibilities.

"When I arrived, I thought I was going to need to look for a job just like the one I had. But after working with staff, taking a vocational test, and focusing on what I was truly interested in doing for a living, my thinking changed. My focus shifted to the question, "What would be the right fit for me?"

After working with CDC's Workforce team, Oliver started a new position with USF Security in August 2017. But his process was only getting started.

He continued working with CDC to acquire a Security D License as well as CPR certification--which put him in position to be promoted in January 2018 to supervise 22 direct reports, and AGAIN in early February 2018, becoming a Command Center Operator.

Oliver is now on a management track within his organization, and has begun to turn his thoughts to what he can do to give back to the Tampa Bay region.

"Working with USF Security, I have the opportunity to support events for Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment at Amelie Arena and the Sun Dome. I've seen so many musical artists and entertainers from other communities come here to Tampa and make money that can be re-invested into the places they call home. I've started to wonder how I can help highlight homegrown talent here in our area, and encourage them to use some of the money they make to build up our community."

Today, Oliver still has a lot on his mind; specifically, how he can build on his recent career success, his passion for music, as well as his desire to see Tampa Bay continue to grow. He dreams of producing a documentary that highlights talents DJ's that grew up in Tampa Bay, to inspire the next generation and better position Tampa for national exposure from the music scene.

Oliver: your CDC of Tampa family is proud of the future you're building for yourself, and we'll continue to be here to support your ideas. Thank you for inspiring us everyday!


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