Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Rural Minnesota CEP, Inc.

Meet Leah

Workforce Challenge

In May of 2007, Leah was laid off from her $14-per-hour Service Representative job with a commercial electrical services provider. She lost her health insurance along with her job. She was 49 years old, recently married and had one stepchild. Her husband worked as a carpenter. Leah unsuccessfully looked for a new job, but decided in July 2007 that she should consider going back to school. She applied for funding from Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program (RMCEP).

Workforce Solution

RMCEP funded Leah for a two-year Health Information Technician program at the North Dakota State College of Science. She found returning to school intimidating. She was not confident she could do a good job at school and work at the same time. Staff set workable, achievable goals with Leah and provided the one-on-one support she needed. She received assistance with her utility bills, supplies required for school, car repairs and insurance, gas and clothing for interviews.

Outcomes & Benefits

Leah worked part-time jobs while going to school. She maintained A and B grades throughout. After graduating in May of 2010, she interviewed for jobs while continuing to work at her part-time job. In December of 2010, she was hired as the new Tumor Registrar for the Lake Region Healthcare Cancer and Research Center at a pay rate of $17 per hour. She calls it her "dream job". She is "excited to go to work and be a small part of something so big that will benefit people beyond my lifetime".

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