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Latoya
When Latoya visited the Chicago Workforce Center at Southwest in September 2008, she was hoping for change. Her professional background was a bit bumpy—she had just been laid off and was struggling to care for her child and disabled grandmother—but Latoya knew she had the power to turn her life around.

A career in nursing seemed ideal, but she lacked the credentials necessary for employment. At the center, Latoya met E&ES Career Counselor Stefanie Porter, who helped her develop a plan: She would become a Certified Nurse’s Assistant (CNA) and enroll in training immediately.

Through a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) training voucher, Latoya began at Samland Institute of Allied Health and Technology’s CNA program. She graduated and passed the state exam in the beginning of 2009 and was hired less than a month later as an aide for an assisted living center.

“I’m so proud of what she has accomplished: going to school while working and developing challenging, yet realistic goals,” says Stefanie.

Today, Latoya is well on her way to a long and in-demand career in healthcare. She is working for a home healthcare agency while continuing her education for Phlebotomist/EKG Technician certification, moving one step closer to her ultimate goal of being a Registered Nurse (RN). Even some of her coursework will count for prerequisites in the RN program.

Thanks to the WIA program, her hope for change is now a reality.

“WIA is a beautiful program,” Latoya concludes. “I believe everything they have to offer is great for young adults—a lot of people don’t know about it, but it’s a program truly designed for success.”
 

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