Barb Walsh and Brad Collins were guests of the President and First Lady at the March State Dinner honoring UK Prime Minister, David Cameron and his wife, Samantha.
Christian Menno covered the story for the Courier Times. From the story:
Thanks to a government program meant to help Americans struggling to find work, a Middletown couple was able to go from the unemployment line to the White House.
In 2008, husband and wife Brad Collins and Barbara Walsh joined the ever-growing ranks of the jobless during one of the worst economic recessions in this country’s history.
Things looked bleak for the couple, who were laid off within three months of each other.
Collins said he sent out his resume to countless companies, but with so many trying to find work at the time, he “might as well have been throwing it into the ocean.”
But then Collins began researching a federal program that could, in effect, extend his unemployment benefits as well as help pay for health care and additional education and job training.
And it paid off.
The Trade Adjustment Assistance program led Collins to five new computer network certifications and an information technology job with Comcast.
While finding a job in this economy was unexpected, according to Collins, it was nothing compared to the surreal experience he and his wife had Wednesday. The couple spent the evening rubbing elbows with movie stars, foreign dignitaries and the president of the United States.
Penn Action supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and supports the American Jobs Act, which stands to help millions more people like Brad and Barb.