Joan Tenbroeck and her daughter moved to Augusta in 2006 after she was laid off from her job with a construction company in California. She visited the area for a wedding, and while here was told her job was slated to be eliminated. She liked Augusta, found that the cost of living was cheaper and decided to stay.
Tenbroeck found a job right away as an administrator in human resources, but was laid off a year later because of downsizing. Then she worked at the Georgia Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine taking inventories and stocking clinics. She was laid off when the Georgia Health Sciences University merged with Augusta State University to form Georgia Regents University.
After that, she juggled part-time jobs in order to stay afloat. In 2010, she started doing temporary work with Spherion Staffing Services. She has been employed on and off by them in the past three years. Her last full- time job was at a call center, where she worked about two years before again losing her job to downsizing.
“At one time, I worked four jobs, just trying not to lose my house,” she said. “I worked at a sleep clinic. I worked at Macy’s. I worked at the Y and I did a baby-sitting thing. I was exhausted.
“You get these jobs, they hit you down and you don’t feel like you’re worth much. This time I’m not like that. I don’t feel that way for some reason. It’s kind of out of my hands. I’ve done everything I can do in the world, and I’m working as hard as I ever have. I can’t make something happen. As long as I keep doing what I’m supposed to be doing and try to keep food on the table, what else can you do?”