After spending over 18 years working for the Cooper Tires plant, Howard Seamon got the news that he was being let go.
"Everybody was naturally scared. There were so many questions of what are we going to do." Seamon said.
Facing a slow job market with only the technologically advanced finding employment, he didn't know where to turn and without programs to help him get back on his feet, he and his family just may not have made it.
"The Department of Labor was wonderful. They paid me unemployment. They paid for my fuel and tuition," said Howard Seamon.
Instead of filling out an endless amount of applications with no reply, he got competitive. Going back to school was a risk, but for him, it was one worth taking. It's an attitude that many took in the recessive job market.
"Individuals have to take their employment situation into account and do what's needed to resolve the situation for themselves," said Anthony Parker, Albany Technical College President.
He believes if people want a job, they need to make sure they're trained and able to compete for the position they desire. After President Obama's speech on jobs, Parker says it's time for people to stop looking for a one fits all solution. In this economy, job seekers may have to step outside their box.
"Some graduates have to commute further than they did in the past," Parker said.
For Howard Seamon, fate was on his side. Two weeks after completing his degree at Albany Tech, he landed a job and he says without a team's support that may not have happened.
"They believed in me when I didn't believe in myself and they picked me up and dusted me off and said you can do this Howard," said the Albany Tech graduate.
After being without a job for over two years, he acquired a job at the Oxford Construction Company. He says he now counts it as a blessing to enjoy what he does every day.