The Guild’s new EDD Coordinator, Anthony Amey, is well-versed on the ins and outs of applying for unemployment benefits. After being laid off by Bank of America and having to leave the financial sector during the economic downturn, he found work as an office assistant at East L.A. College and then moved to Valley College, where he worked as a classified staff member at the intake desk in counseling.
"This is where I started re-planning my career path,” Amey explained. “Being around counselors, I was able to see how they work and the way they helped students. I thought this could be a good career alternative for me.”
After working at LAVC for four years, Amey went back to school (he already had a BA) and received a Master’s degree from the University of La Verne, which was near his home in Cerritos.
“I started making calls looking for a counseling position,” he said. “But I was optimistic.”
The optimism was well-founded. A department chair at Southwest took him on board as a part-time nursing counselor in 2016. It was a tough decision to give up a full-time classified position to take part-time work at 23 hours a week.
"Should I take the leap?” he recalled thinking. “It was not a guarantee of security, but I was ready to see the faculty side and wanted my impact to be more than just scheduling appointments. I wanted to give them strategies for success. As an African-American male, I felt that I’d be fulfilling a charge and needed to step up. Now, I thought, I can have an impact as a professional.”
So in January 2017 Amey started work as a part-time counselor in Nursing at Southwest. Unfortunately, due to changes in counseling, his assignment ended after two years there.
As the Guild’s EDD ombudsperson, it will be his role to help part-time faculty navigate the unemployment system. Amey is learning the ropes by attending appeals hearings and listening to administrative law judges to understand how they make decisions.
“This has helped me figure out how to appeal a case and learn what documentation and explanations are needed,” he explained. In his first case, a denial was turned into an approval.
ï»¿In December, Amey will hold EDD workshops for adjuncts. “The goal is to reduce the number of denials leading to appeals,” he said. “I’m using my experience working with counselors to counsel faculty.”