Matt Miller is an everyday hero helping people live better lives.
Glen Mills, PA (February 28, 2018) "I can honestly say I wouldn't be where I am without tuition reimbursement from Erickson Living," says Matt Miller, who, in 2004 set his sights on a second career, rose up the ladder, and now serves as director of general services at Maris Grove, the Erickson Living developed and managed retirement community in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
Miller, who had an associate's degree in commercial design, saw a more stable career opportunity in working with his hands. In 2004, a friend suggested he apply for a grounds worker position at Oak Crest, Maris Grove's sister community in Parkville, Maryland. He did, and a whole world of opportunities opened up to him.
"I partnered with human resources to navigate my career path with Erickson Living. I let them know my aspirations, and together we developed a road map to help build upon my strengths and strengthen my weaknesses," Miller says.
One of those weaknesses was his lack of a bachelor's degree.
While working at Oak Crest in maintenance, Miller took advantage of Erickson Living's tuition reimbursement program and enrolled at Notre Dame of Maryland University, in Baltimore, Md. The company covered 70% of his tuition.
Then an opportunity opened up at Maris Grove—still under construction at the time—that fit his career path. He applied and got the job as facilities coordinator.
"I was traveling around 160 miles a day on Wednesdays to work at Maris Grove and attend school in Baltimore," Miller recalls.
In 2009, he obtained his bachelor's degree in business management with little college debt and even more opportunities at his fingertips.
"All Erickson communities are great places to work, so if you're willing to move, more opportunities become available to you. It's a growing company that helps its employees grow, too," he says.
Partnering with human resources and tuition reimbursement were just two ingredients in Miller's success. He also mentored under Erik Jost, now regional director of maintenance and engineering.
"The mentorship program is about sharing knowledge and experience, and that's what I tried to relay to Matt in grooming him to eventually take my job as director of general services," says Jost. "I brought him under my wing to help him get not only the knowledge and experience but also the exposure. His passion and drive helped make the mentorship easy and successful."
Miller took the initiative to join task groups within his department "to help facilitate changes or learn about other departments and how they interact with each other." Those experiences helped shape his leadership skills and also made him stand out as a motivated team player.
"At Maris Grove, we strive to help our employees grow professionally and personally," says Maureen Heckler, executive director at Maris Grove. "Our excellent benefits package, which includes the tuition reimbursement program, student scholarship fund, and several other employee discounts help us attract and retain everyday heroes like Matt, who has developed and succeeded along his career path with Maris Grove."
Now, as director of general services, Miller says he enjoys helping others achieve their career goals. "People have shared with me their mentorship, their knowledge. Giving back and seeing other individuals grow and move on is a very enjoyable part of being in this role," he says.
The only thing he likes more is making residents happy. "When I can solve a problem or support them in some way that brings a smile to their face, that's what I appreciate most about my career," he adds.
Miller says even if he hadn't received tuition reimbursement he'd still be with Erickson Living. The company's mission, benefits package, volunteer opportunities, and caring atmosphere make it a great place to work.
"We have a family atmosphere here, not just in the care we provide residents but in the care that we share with our staff," he says. "We're here supporting each other. You see it at all levels—staff supporting residents, residents supporting staff, and staff supporting staff and having a good time doing it.
Maris Grove employs more than 740 full and part-time employees. Employee benefits include tuition reimbursement, 401K, paid time off, comprehensive medical benefits, on-site employee health and wellness centers, employee discount programs and much more. In 2017 and 2018, The Philadelphia Inquirer selected Maris Grove as a "Top Workplace."
Miller is the type of everyday hero Maris Grove is recruiting. When people join Maris Grove's team of everyday heroes, they gain more than a great job in a booming industry—they gain unparalleled access to an array of rich experiences, knowledge, and opportunities that will prove invaluable to their personal and professional growth. What's also rewarding for them is that they get to change lives for the better. For more information about Erickson Living careers, visit https://jobs.ericksonliving.com.
About Maris Grove: Maris Grove, one of 19 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 87-acre campus in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. The community is located in Delaware County and is home to nearly 1,600 residents. Additional information about Maris Grove can be found at MarisGrove.com.
Story written by Julia Collins