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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County

Meet Cathy

Customer Photo

Workforce Challenge

When the banking industry crashed in November 2008, it took Cathy's career in commercial lending with it. She was laid off, and then watched as job opportunities in banking evaporated. At age 54, she had never faced an extended job search before. “I’d worked 40 hours a week since I was 16,” she says.

With a son in college and a husband with health issues, going back to work was a priority. If banking was finished, Cathy certainly wasn’t.

Workforce Solution

Cathy went to the WorkSource Development Center (WDC) and started exploring job training. After deciding to study Medical Coding at Highline Community College, Cathy received a Recovery Act-funded voucher that covered all the tuition costs. WorkSource Career Counselor Ginney To (a position also funded by the Recovery Act) provided support and encouragement.

Cathy was so determined that she finished almost six quarters of training in just 12 months, earning two certificates. But then she faced another obstacle: getting a job. Her lack of experience — and, she feared, her age — were against her. Ginney stepped in to connect Cathy with a volunteer opportunity at Group Health Cooperative. This foot in the door led to the job she had been seeking.

Outcomes & Benefits

Cathy was hired at Group Health in Seattle as a Medical Coding Resource Specialist at $22 an hour, with excellent benefits and the opportunity for advancement. Thanks to the WDC, she says, “I could update my skills and find an employer who could appreciate what I could bring to the table.”

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