By the time his final Halloween Job Search Story arrives this Friday, Jim Fergle will have served 26 years and 10 months with DuPage County Workforce Development Division.
He estimates he has helped approximately 15,000 job seekers.
Jim started his career in the U.S. Army before serving the public in a different capacity: as a job coach for the residents of DuPage County. After graduating from Minnesota’s Saint John's University in 1975, Jim went on to serve in the Army until 1987, culminating his military career as a Captain with the 3rd Armored Division in Germany.
Upon returning to the states and civilian life, he worked a series of jobs in insurance and recruiting before finding his passion for service once again with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) in 1992, and a couple years later with DuPage County. He was originally hired by the county in December 1994 as a Veteran Counselor before ultimately becoming the Manager of Job Search and Veteran Services at workNet DuPage.
Throughout his tenure, Jim’s commitment to provide job seekers with the most relevant job search insights has never wavered. His own experience of consecutive job loss due to economic downturns during the 1990s enabled him to relate to laid off workers from all walks of life.
His gift for storytelling set him apart from the average job coach. Through his presentations, combining storytelling, art, evidence-based job search tips, employer insights, and philosophy he provided job seekers with something long-lasting: faith in their abilities, and hope for a brighter tomorrow with meaning and dignity. Jim always encouraged job seekers to discover their strengths and passion, to acquire meaning through employment as well as a steady paycheck. For Jim, it was the secret to career success.
Looking back at his career, Jim says he most enjoyed providing job seekers creative methods to identify their value: “I liked being able to help people who have lost their jobs, being able to develop creative workshops to help people discover their strengths and find employment. I also valued the great people with whom I have worked. I treasure my staff and admire their dedication to helping job seekers in distress. To sum it up: My life has been one of service to the people and to my country.”
That it has been. Job well done, Jim.
Please join us this Friday for Jim’s final Halloween Job Search Story and his final presentation with workNet DuPage. His last day will be this Friday.
We will wish him a healthy and happy life in retirement as we bid him farewell. Jim is looking forward to spending time with his wife, Karen, and sons, Eric and Mark, and mother, Elaine. Ever the lifelong learner, he let us know you might find him at the College of DuPage, keeping his creativity alive as an adult education learner. In the meantime, don’t miss out….We promise it will not disappoint and Jim would love to see you there.