By Carmen M. Woodson-Wray, Gary Crusader
For millennials staying on a job until retirement is unheard of now because the average time they spend at one job is 4.6 years, according to data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fortunately, there are still people like Wendy McLaurin who defy the statistics with 41 years of service at the same company and a successful career.
McLaurin has worked 41 years with the City of Gary in one department, except for two years spent working for the Gary Police Department. One day McLaurin came to the decision that she had served enough and that she was ready to retire.
She has worked as the City’s Human Resources Insurance Department Benefits Manager for 39 years. Before becoming manager, she was assistant manager of the department.
Although McLaurin’s last official day was August 31, she has already made plans for what she will do once she starts her retirement. For one thing she plans to take her shoes to the shoe shop. She said, “If I can do that then that’s a winner.”
McLaurin says she has had some memorable moments working in the Human Resources Department. “By working in the insurance department you get to help people with issues they may not be able to solve. For instance, there was one employee that was in the doctor’s office and was having trouble getting his baby put on his plan and I was able to help him right away. It was a simple thing to me, but a big matter to him. There have been other cases where people have lost their insurance coverage and I was able to get them restored.”
There are many other things McLaurin plans to do once she retires including first of all spending her first day sleeping. Then she plans to going shopping, traveling possibly to Hawaii and devoting more time to her ministry.
McLaurin is also an evangelist and this will give her time to promote her book “Healing The Offspring of Salvation.”
She said, “I wrote this book four years ago and I would like to do some traveling promoting it with a book signing tour, but my passion is my ministry. As time goes on I would like to eventually become a consultant in Human Resources and Benefits.”
Working for the city’s Human Resources Department has been very astonishing for McLaurin. She says she will never forget the opportunities she was given especially to see the first African American President of the United States Barack Obama when he came to Gary to campaign. She said, “When I saw him I knew he would be an amazing president and a great leader.”
Another one of her passions is her love for walking which she calls her time of peace—a time for her to talk with God. “It’s always something to talk to Him about and walking has been a blessing,” she said.
McLaurin says she has worked for six of Gary’s mayors. In her retirement letter she stated, “It has been a privilege to work for each of them because all of them made an impact on the City of Gary. I’ve seen many people come and go, but now it’s my time to let someone else take over the reins.”