The only thing Merlin Reeder had when he was 60 years old was an expired teaching certificate and the memory of a closed printing business.
Rather than sit around and think about the past, Reeder became certified under the Job Training Partnership Act program, enrolled at the University of Utah and the Salt Lake Skill Center and eventually received his teaching certificate.Since then he has been a permanent substitute teacher for Granite School District and during the summer is an employment specialist for the JTPA Summer Youth Development Program, where he supervises 38 people 15-18 years old.
For his accomplishments, Reeder was honored Wednesday at Lagoon during a picnic that is part of National JTPA Alumni Week, a salute to America's job training successes. Several others JTPA alumni also were honored.
"I am deeply indebted to the JTPA staff who motivated, supported and guided me through the program," said Reeder.
Jack Klepinger, chairman of the Utah Job Training Coordinating Council, said, "Mr. Reeder, like many of our clients, had what it took to be self-sufficient. He just needed the training and support to make it work."