WIOA Program Helps SGTC Student Pursue Career Dream

Published 8:39 am Friday, August 11, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Staff Reports

As a mother of four in her thirties, Kristie Neal of Cordele could have easily given up on her dream of working as a nurse. “I’ve always wanted to be a nurse,” she said, “but life happened, and I just needed to pay the bills.”

Thanks to the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA), however, Neal discovered she could study nursing at South Georgia Technical College without taking on a heavy financial burden. She enrolled in the WIOA program in 2022 and excelled in her practical nursing studies under instructor Brandy Patrick, who praised her as an outstanding student and hard worker. Neal was nominated by Patrick as the Student of Excellence for the practical nursing program in the spring semester.

Sandya Muljibhai, WIOA Coordinator at South Georgia Technical College, also praised Neal for her intelligence and work ethic. “She is very smart and hard working,” Muljibhai said. “ She has been focused on achieving her goal to become an LPN.”

Kristie Neal finished her studies in the summer semester, and received her nursing pin along with other graduates of the practical nursing program in Cordele during the recent pinning ceremony at the SGTC Crisp County Center. Neal will soon take the next step in her career working for CareConnect Americus OBGYN.

WIOA is a federal program established in 2014 to help serve laid-off individuals and income-eligible adults who need job skills training to enter or re-enter the workforce. The program provides funds to cover tuition, fees, books, and direct training costs to eligible students in select programs.

WIOA federal funds are made available through the WIOA Board and the River Valley Regional Commission. To qualify for the program, students must live in the Middle Flint Area 15 region of Crisp, Dooly, Macon, Marion, Schley, Sumter, Taylor, and Webster counties and meet other eligibility requirements.

For more information on WIOA and what areas of study qualify for the program, call the South Georgia Technical College WIOA office at (229) 931-2172.