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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Piedmont Triad Regional Council

Meet Jewel

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Workforce Challenge

In December 2009, Jewel was laid off from her job as an IT Compliance Coordinator with an energy solutions provider. She began a very comprehensive job search. Lacking a formal education in the IT field, she found that she was at a clear disadvantage compared to other job seekers with degrees.

Workforce Solution

Surry County WIA staff assisted Jewel with an intensive job search. They encouraged her to enroll in the community college’s KeyTrain class and take the Workkeys test, so she could obtain the NC Career Readiness Certification. She earned the Gold Level CRC in June 2010.

Jewel, a believer in the power of networking, regularly attended job club meetings conducted by WIA staff, and even attended networking events held by other agencies as well.

Finally. Jewel sought WIA assistance in pursuing an Associate Degree in Information Systems Security from Forsyth Technical Community College. She was granted special approval due to her IT background, extensive career research and obvious determination to succeed.

Outcomes & Benefits

Even though she kept a heavy course load each semester, Jewel’s grades were exceptional. She was invited to become a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She was also selected to represent Forsyth Technical Community College in the 6th Annual CyberWatch Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition at Johns Hopkins University. However, Jewel not only participated, she was the team captain and led her classmates to a third place finish!

Jewel was invited to make a presentation to the advisory board of Forsyth Tech’s iTec Department, which attracted the attention of Piedmont Federal Savings Bank. Obviously impressed, Piedmont Federal hired Jewel in June 2011, even though she had not yet completed her degree. They offered a complete benefit package, including tuition reimbursement so she can continue working toward completing her degree.

Today, Jewel is back at work and loves her job. She is grateful to the WIA program, and said, “I would not be where I am had it not been for the WIA programs and my WIA coordinator. The encouragement and opportunities that they have provided have been instrumental in my recent success.”

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