As an IT professional for more than 20 years, Rob Krueger has long appreciated the value of diligence and precision. Every line of code has a direct, tangible impact on a program.

So, when a jail term caused Krueger to lose “everything but the clothes I was wearing when I went in,” he began to rebuild his career the same way he built it a generation ago:

Rob Krueger and his car in the Kutol parking lot

“Dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s,” he said. “Be diligent. Make good decisions.”

The first such decision was acting on an ad he saw for Nehemiah Manufacturing, which has become a national leader in second-chance hiring. The staff at Nehemiah referred Krueger to Cincinnati Works, where he got connected to a job at Kutol Products Company and transportation through the Beacon of Hope shuttle.

More than six months after being hired at Kutol, Krueger is pursuing a promotion to team leader, he has purchased a car and he is saving money for a new apartment.

“It has been a blessing all the way through,” he said. “Cincinnati Works has been great. Kutol is a great company; I like the people and the culture. I started with, basically, nothing at all. I used every resource. I had to be my own resource sometimes.”

He chose the job at Kutol in part because of the shuttle, a project started by the Beacon of Hope Business Alliance and now operated by Cincinnati Works. A van picks up Kutol employees at their homes (while similar vans pick up employees at a few other local companies) and delivers them to work, then takes them home at the end of a shift. Kutol covers part of the cost of the service.

It is intended as a short-term option while riders save money to purchase cars of their own. Which is exactly what Krueger did.

Rob Krueger (left) at JumpStart graduation, June 2019

“I saved every paycheck,” he said. “I spent $50 and saved the rest until I had $5,000.” He recently purchased a Chevrolet Impala, which opens more possibilities, personally and professionally.

“This whole experienced has humanized me,” Krueger said. “Never in a million years would I have thought I’d get to the point where I was basically homeless. I am blessed to be here right now. Now I have to keep making good decisions.”

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