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“Workforce has been such a blessing to me. The whole program itself took a lot of stress off of me so I could focus on my studies while attending Capital Area School of Practical Nursing. CASPN was not easy at all. It takes a lot of planning, dedication and perseverance to be able to finish. I had car trouble, some weeks I struggled with studying and grasping the material, and other times I just didn’t feel like I could finish. The program is definitely a commitment and you have to make sacrifices in order to finish successfully. About 1/4 of the way through the program, my father passed, suddenly. Even then, I had to keep going, because I knew that this goal, this dream that I had been wanting for so long was close. My classmates, my teachers, and my case worker were as supportive as they could be. In the end, it’s about discipline, the will to want better; even in the face of adversity and when things seem like they are falling apart. If I could give anybody any advice it would be, ‘Remember your why. Remember why you started and why you are going.’ Use that as your motivation to keep going when things may not be working out.
My caseworker, Sherrie Manney, was always available to answer any questions I may have had. She was very understanding and knowledgeable, & always giving good advice. She checked on me frequently and if she didn’t have the answer right then she always made sure to get back to me as soon as she could.
I took advantage of multiple services through Workforce such as tutoring – which at times was a blessing as well, especially in Anatomy. I also took advantage of Tuition/Books/Fees assistance from Workforce as well. This helped tremendously, it gave me peace of mind knowing that school itself was already paid for and I could focus more of my time and energy on my goals. As we all know, life doesn’t just stop when you’re going to school. Transportation assistance also helped as well, especially with rising prices of gas and having to travel from Decatur to Springfield. Workforce also helped me remain accountable by requiring monthly check-ins so that I updated my caseworker of things like grades and anything else that I may have needed, which also prepared me for a new career in nursing where we have to be responsible and accountable for our actions. It also helped me develop my time management skills more by just making sure I check in on time because it is easy to forget when you have so many other things going on.
I most definitely would recommend Workforce to anybody. Overall, it’s a great program. I think if possible everybody should experience Workforce if they are looking to go back to school and may need some assistance. Since graduation, I have passed my NCLEX and have accepted a position at the Women’s Correctional Facility here in Decatur. I am forever grateful to Workforce and to my caseworker, Sherrie, for all the support along the way. I couldn’t have done it without you all. Thank you so much!”
– Sylvia Johnson
“Hello, my name is Malaysia Liddell. I just recently received my Class A CDL. This is how I got to this point. WIS played a big part in getting me to the point I am in my career choice. This program means a lot to me. I’m thankful for the patience and opportunity they gave me. Before coming to this facility, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life as far as reaching goals and being able to commit to those goals in order to reach success, but after working with my career planner she showed me the wide variety of career choices and the resources that WIS can provide me to get there.
My Career Planner/Case Manager was Sherrie Manney. She was very kind and consistent. She made sure I was doing my part of the plan. Whenever I needed anything, communication with Sherrie was never a problem. Having someone who wants to see you succeed that doesn’t know you or your background is an experience everyone should have. Working with her I will give it a 10 out of 10, highly recommended.
WIS helped me get the funds to attend Richland Community College for my CDLs. Even though on my end I sometimes fell short, my career planner was patient and helpful in every way. I tell people all the time about how I got where I am now. I highly recommend this program to people who are looking for jobs in my same field or something else. WIS has the staff and resources for anyone who’s willing to do the work and commit. Because of that, I have a job at McLeod Express, in the field I wanted, making good pay and great benefits. I am forever grateful for WIS.”
– Malaysia Liddell
“Workforce Investment Solutions to me was an opportunity to rebrand myself in a way that changes my life completely. Before Workforce Investment Solutions I held a labor position in a warehouse and it paid well, but it didn’t give me that sense of purpose I needed career wise. Workforce Investment Solutions gave me that opportunity to acquire my Class A CDL fully paid for by them. They prepared me for this career before I had the chance to start the program through their process in the beginning by making sure I had pre-hires so that when I had finished the program there will be employment positions waiting on me ensuring I’m not unemployed upon completion of truck driving school. Throughout class I was presented several job-offers and contracts. During my journey I was blessed with Ms. Sherrie Manney as my career planner. She was with me every step of the way from making sure I made it to class or needed anything while in class. She also was great in keeping our line of communication open during trucking school. There were times when I had to contact her last-minute needed gas cards to make it to class and she assisted me with ease. I would recommend Workforce Investment Solutions over any other program available because to them you’re not just some candidate. You’re family to them and it’s nothing they wouldn’t do if they had the power to seal your success. It wasn’t even two days after I passed my tests in Springfield when I had signed my offer letter for my new job as a CDL driver. I’m grateful for Workforce Investment Solutions and Ms. Sherrie. It is because of them that I now have that sense of purpose career wise with my class A license, which has changed my life forever.”
– Cameron A.
“Workforce Investment Solutions is a program that provided me with the resources needed to further my career in the healthcare industry. I was a single mother of one at the time, working as a phlebotomist full time. WIS provided me traveling expenses to get back and forth to school, covered my childcare expenses, paid my tuition and all feels back in 2009 so that I could graduate worry free as an LPN from CASPN. They also provided the same resources for me recently as I pursued my degree as an RN.
The process first prepared me for my new career, by teaching me to stop doubting myself and pursue my dreams full force. It also taught me to stop making excuses and letting things stop me from furthering my goal of RN. I graduated in December 2009 from Capital Area Practical School of Nursing. I’ve worked as an LPN for 12 years and 2 months. The majority of my career was spent in long term care. I’ve also held the position of Director of Nursing in an assisted living facility during my career. My last 3 years have been spent in the hospital setting as a bedside nurse. I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences as a nurse for anything in the world.
My career planner/case managers were Tenia Currie in 2009 and Sherrie Manney in 2018. My experience with them both was nothing short of amazing. Tenia suggested back in 2009 that I go for my RN, but I was scared and wasn’t ready to take such a big step at that time. I was a new mother at the time and RN seemed too big a jump for me. I was willing to take the steps eventually to get there. Sherrie, more recently, will always hold a special place in my heart. She was so supportive when I told her I needed to withdraw from school after my nephew passed. Depression set in and I was devastated. She continued to support me by checking on me throughout the whole ordeal and still encouraged me to get back to school when the time was right to finish what I started. I re-enrolled in school and finished what I started. I graduated December 2020 from Richland Community College with my ADN.
After failed attempts at the NCLEX, I reached out to Sherrie after graduation, and she advised me to try different means of studying with different programs. I finally passed my NCLEX-RN on February 26, 2022, after being discouraged for so long. Sherrie encouraged me through it all and I’m forever grateful for her and Workforce Investment Solutions. I’m where I am today because of this program.
I would highly recommend Workforce Investment Solutions to anyone pursuing a new career at any stage in their lives. The process from the beginning to end was very smooth. They have been amazing and I would definitely reach out to them again in the future if I decide to further my career and education in healthcare.
My advice to everyone is to not be afraid to step out there on faith. Workforce is the perfect solution to furthering or starting a new career that is in high demand. They will pour into you as long as you’re willing to pour into yourself.”
“Workforce Investment Solutions meant a new opportunity to start over and get things right in life without having to stress over how I would do it. Going back to school as a nontraditional student meant worrying about childcare, gas, and finances needed to go back to school. Workforce Investment Solutions took the financial burden off my shoulders so I could complete my degree so I could give back to my community.
After meeting the criteria for the program, my career planner prepared me for my career by having me complete various questionnaires and standardized tests to ensure I was ready to enter the healthcare world. My career planner’s name was Sherrie Manney and she was absolutely amazing. She was very supportive and proactive with ensuring I received every resource they had available. She also checked in every month to check on my well-being, grades, progress, and overall thoughts while going through the program. Sherrie was extremely punctual, precise, and on top of things from start to finish. The services that helped me the most were tuition coverage, childcare assistance, and gas reimbursement. With gas prices skyrocketing and traveling almost 100 miles per day, that was an expense I didn’t have to worry about. It took a weight of having to worry about how I would get back and forth to class and clinicals.
Tuition payment was the major factor. I had gone to several schools which meant I accumulated thousands in undergraduate student loan debt. With Workforce paying my tuition, I was able to save money that would have gone towards paying back loans with high interest rates. I was also able to keep monies from the Pell Grant which also helped with miscellaneous expenses that may have arisen. My experience with Workforce Investment Solutions has been second to none. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to follow my dreams with the upmost support and funding from Workforce. My career planner made the process easy. Although the process was complex, she ensured I knew what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. She was there every step of the way and would advocate when needed.
I would absolutely recommend Workforce Investment Solutions to any and everyone. I have done so already by spreading the word to everyone who inquires on going back to school but may not have the resources to do so. I graduated from Lakeview College of Nursing in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Before graduating, I accepted a New Graduate Nursing position with HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur in the Intensive Care Unit. Not only did Workforce assist with my undergraduate process, but they also supported me after graduating. They provided work materials, supplies, and even scrubs for my new position. Workforce Investment Solutions has completely carried me from start to finish while still providing support after I’ve completed the program.
I cannot thank Sherrie and the Workforce team enough for the opportunity and everything they’ve done for me. Thank you all so much!”
“Workforce Investment Solutions was the key to my success. They gave me all of the resources that I needed in order to thrive while I was in school. The program also paid for tuition and any additional fees that had to do with my schoolwork, which made focusing on schoolwork so much easier. My career planner was Sherrie Manney, and she was amazing to work with. She was very knowledgeable in guiding me in the right direction, as well as one of the nicest and easiest people to deal with that I’ve ever met. Every so often, you have to check in with your career planner and inform them of how you’re doing and if you’re struggling with anything. If you are struggling, they really step up and try to give you the best assistance possible.
I struggled during the third semester of the nursing program and ended up having to repeat. At this time there was no guarantee that I would get back into the program, and I was worried that I would lose the benefits of using the Workforce program. However, Sherrie was able to steer me in the right direction and keep me in the classroom while I waited to get back into the program. The following semester, I was accepted back into the program and finished my last two semesters with A’s.
Passing the NCLEX was my next goal. Being in the Workforce program was very beneficial as they paid for each attempt. Having this perk, I was able to really focus on studying for the NCLEX. I failed my first attempt but kept at it and eventually relief settled in as I had finally passed. There was no greater feeling.
Moving on to the next phase: Job Hunting! I was surprised when I started looking for jobs because there were so many RN positions available. You really have the pick of the crop when it comes to starting an RN career. I ended up narrowing down my choices to the positions that I thought would be the best fit and ended up accepting a position into home healthcare with the company Enhabit Home Health.
When it comes to Workforce Investment Solutions, I would highly recommend them to anyone. There were never any hassles or “hoops” that I had to go through, and they really don’t ask for much, especially in comparison for what they will do for you. I even told a few of my friends about Workforce while we were all in the program together and they signed up mid program and wished they had known about it sooner. So, keep in mind that it doesn’t matter what semester you are in, it’s never too late to join Workforce. For those struggling with finding the time to focus on studies, keeping the house in order, raising a family, and working to keep the money coming to pay for the schooling, Workforce is the answer. These were my biggest struggles early on and Workforce made it to where I could breathe again and focus on getting successful grades.”
-Zachary M. Voyles
“What does Workforce Investment Solutions mean to me? This program allowed me to reach my goal of becoming a Registered Nurse. It was a major support system that helped me both financially and emotionally. Without this program I am not sure how I would have been able to achieve my goal of becoming a nurse. I am a single mom of three boys and the program was pretty hard to complete. Workforce Investment Solutions not only helped with my tuition, books, fees, and needed materials, they also helped me out with daycare. This program was a God send for me and made it possible to reach for my dreams.
The Workforce process helped prepare me for my new career by setting me up for success by taking away the financial burden of being a full-time nursing student and providing the essentials throughout the program. Sherrie was my career planner, and she is amazing. She was always pleasant and helpful. She was able to provide words of encouragement during those stressful months and for that I am grateful. I would highly recommend this program to anyone that may need those extra resources to reach their dreams. This program truly helped me out in so many ways. The saying, “it takes a village” is quite true and this resource was a big part of that village for me.
The services that assisted me the most was that the daycare was paid for along with tuition and supplies for the duration of my degree. The daycare payments helped me out tremendously because during the summer months or during school breaks, they made it possible for my boys to keep their spots. Being a single parent, you depend on your babysitter or daycare tremendously and this program allowed me the peace of mind that my children would be able to continue to go and not lose their spots due to me not being in school for a period of time. It was also helpful that they covered jut about everything from clinical attire and books to paying for the NCLEX exam and my license.
I do have a job in my new career in the cardiovascular intensive care unit as a Registered Nurse. I will be starting this next week. I have been pretty calm up until this point and now my anxiety may be kicking in a little bit. I am excited, but also a little nervous. When an issue arises, I no longer will be going to find the nurse, because I am the nurse. I am confident that the schooling provided the fundamentals of nursing while on-the-job training will provide me the tools to be successful in my position.
I would highly recommend this program to anyone that may need that extra bit of help. In my case, I may have needed more than just a bit of help. I had several barriers that I ran into while pursuing my degree, and Workforce Investment Solutions helped me through those hurdles each step of the way.”
“Hello! My name is Shaquita Bond. I signed up for Workforce Investment Solutions because I wanted to pursue my nursing career and I knew this was a program designed to help individuals within my county. WIS meant a lot to me because it helped cover the cost of nursing school in a way that I never would have imagined. I didn’t have the finances to work and go to school at the same time, which was very challenging for me. This program was able to provide me with all the resources that I needed such as my textbooks, nursing uniforms, supplies, daycare assistance, personal tutor, and everything I needed to finish this program successfully! With the Workforce Solution being implemented, it helped me prepare for my new career tremendously! WIS made my life less stressful by supporting me, and the program was there to assist me for a second time around when the trials and tribulations came along. The finances that I received from them, I don’t have to pay back and believe it or not, I went through and came out of nursing school debt free! Now that I’ve graduated and completed my nursing program, Workforce Investment is still willing to help me purchase new uniforms, and more supplies that are needed to go out and work in the field which is something I really need. Sherrie Manney, who was and still is my career planner, is awesome and amazing! She was always available when I needed her! If I couldn’t get a hold of her, Sherrie would return my calls and emails within hours! When I was struggling in school or in different areas that become more challenging, she suggested seeing my tutor more and was always there to listen and give me advice about certain things. Most importantly, she never judged me. Whenever I was going through personal matters outside of school and would voice the information to her, she’d always listen and was very considerate of what I had going on in my life. Even with my timesheets, she was very patient. If I was late, she’d get on me but was understanding because she knew the struggles that came with nursing school. I also can remember when I flunked out of the program back in the year of 2020, Sherrie was the one that kept me lifted and believing in myself that I still could do this even when I felt like a failure and wanted to give up. She suggested that I take a medical terminology class to help me gain more knowledge even though this credited class would not be applied to my Practical Nursing Career. Workforce paid for it, and I was still on my way! Sherrie lifted my spirits when I was down, plus I was still learning even though I had to sit out a whoooooole year before I could apply for the nursing program again! What more could I ask for?! Any barriers or anything I needed help with, Sherrie was always there for me! Now that I’ve graduated from school and passed my state exam, I already have a job lined up as a nurse as soon as I receive my license information in the mail. Whenever I come in contact with individuals who like to ask me questions about nursing and who they can go to for help, I always tell them how grateful and thankful I am for Workforce Investment Solutions and that’s the direction they should head in first for all the resources they need if they’re able to qualify for the program.”
“I, Georgina Byars, wanted to attend the Medical Assistance program at Midwest Technical Institute in Springfield, IL, and Workforce Investment made it happen. They provided me with assistance with Tuition/books/fees. I thought it was going to be easy to get involved with Workforce Investments only to find out I had to make an appointment with a career planner, get an assessment and testing such as TABE test to qualify. I went on to Illinois work Net to the resume workshop and I had tutoring also I watched the job board and searched for jobs. I got to know a lot of staff members at Workforce, and they all made me feel comfortable and was willing to assist me as needed.
I finally got in the Medical Assistance program in 2019 and I graduated in 2020. This was during the time COVID-19 affected the world, I was able to go to St. Mary’s Hospital for my externship and was allowed to finish and I was offered a position when my externship was over. I was very happy knowing I would have a job after finishing. Well, I decided to go and take the exam only to find out COVID-19 had closed places down not allowing the testing center to let the students take the exam. Then St. Mary’s Hospital started putting their staff on furlough and was not hiring.
I decided to wait until they started hiring and I also stopped studying for the exam at the same time. It’s like I put everything on hold or maybe I figured I can study later or maybe I thought I no longer needed to study because I probably would remember the material. I was wrong. Finally, time went by, and I was able to take the exam. I hate to say this, but I failed the exam. I was very disappointed I had to call Sherrie M. and explain to her that I failed the exam.
Sherrie M. was always there to assist. It didn’t matter whether it was related to the program or personal problems, she has been there for me because this has been a journey for me. Sherrie had confidence in me because she encouraged me to continue to study and be ready for the next exam. I appreciated her so much at this time because I was embarrassed more than anything, but she told me ‘You got this.’ It took a while for me to get it back together. I started studying and focusing on my obligation to Workforce Investment. After going through this, I then had to have surgery on my thyroid. Boy this threw another loop in my studying and retaking the exam at this time.
I am sorry to say, I didn’t call Sherrie and tell her I wasn’t able to take the exam, embarrassed again. Sherrie called me and asked how my progress was going. I had to tell her I was ill and had to have surgery. She stated she understood. She made me feel she was so secure about me making it through this program and passing the exam. It took some time for me to pass my exam and find a job. In July of 2022 I passed the exam and In January 2023 I finally got a job as Certified Medical Assistant.
If it wasn’t for the promptness and caring of Sherrie M. I know I would not be where I am now. This was a journey. I thank Workforce Investment for hiring staff that are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty (Especially Sherrie M.).
Thank you, Sherrie M.
“I am so thankful for the help I was able to receive from Workforce. I would not have made it through the program without all the encouragement and financial help. I was able to actually buckle down and focus on studying and passing my classes. To be able to actually focus and learn was awesome.
I was really scared, but they prepared me for my NCLEX. That is why I was able to pass. That is how Workforce helped me prepare; Sherrie was great. She helped me with everything I needed and asked of her.
Another reason I did not have to worry about anything is because I have a wonderful finance and he took a better paying job in Peoria, IL so he would be able to cover all of the household expenses. When I applied for school, I lived in Decatur thirty minutes away from the school, but now I am an hour away from the school after relocating. Roughly a couple months into the program, gas went up to almost five dollars a gallon, so the gas vouchers that I received helped expeditiously and it was to the point where I was almost mostly dependent on them.
I did not have too many issues that I had to deal with, but they would hold our books till the last minute or over charge us a bit for things nothing but that was too major.
I try to be honest and the best person that I can be so there is not one thing that I feel I myself can say negatively about this program, the only thing that was asked of is that I communicate once a month and send in and sign the proper paperwork and the program will pay for everything that has to do with school, childcare, gas, and uniforms, etc. No person in their right mind would mess that up. I took every opportunity the program offered me and look at me now, I am an LPN. The study program Uworld was pricey, but I appreciated tis resource as it aided in my passing grade, it really helped so much. It was really a relief to not have to worry about paying for necessities needed for school while in school.”
“When I first lost my previous job, I instantly questioned what career I wanted to pursue next and what kind of career would actually make me happy. Factory jobs was out of the question so I was thinking to myself maybe an office job would best suit me. A week later I went and visited Midwest Technical Institute to tour their facility. Dental Assisting instantly stood out to me so I signed up that day. A friend of mine later told me about Illinois work net center and how that program helper her get through school so I started making phone calls to see how I could fill out an application to get approved. Within two weeks and after 8 hours of filling out paperwork, James was able to help me get signed up for school through the Illinois work net program.
I would say the hardest part about the dental assistance program were the tests during the first 3 weeks of school! I studied non stop from the time I got out of school until I went to sleep on top of taking care of my 2 little kids. Thankfully all of the hard work paid off and I got A’s on all my tests. I was so proud of myself because I was doubting myself so much before I started school and all of this fear was for nothing. Another obstacle was the amount of homework in place in order to stay on top of everything. After graduating I realized I have the motivation to go back to school in the future to further my education in the dental field.
Without the help of the WIA program I would not have been able to afford to attend school or get back and forth to school every day. I am so thankful for how much James has helped me and the encouragement he has given me! I couldn’t have asked for a better case worker and I really do mean that. He worked long hours to make sure my paperwork was completely finished in just a short amount of time before school started. He even helped me with the application process. I had so many questions about how to fill out certain areas and he was extremely patient with me. I feel like the WIA program has helped so many people get through school and it is such an amazing program out there. And last but not least, I passed my radiology and infection control tests so I am now a dental assistant working with a very hard-working team doing what I love. This entire experience was so worth it and I would do it all over again.”
“Hello. My name is Amy Upton. I just completed the LPN program at Capital Area School of Practical Nursing Class 129 in Springfield, IL. I am currently a Medical Assistant working at Memorial Urgent Care. I also have my CNA; worked at an assisted living facility for 3 years before getting my MA. I wanted to get my nursing degree to further my education and give my boys the life they deserve. Also, to show my boys that hard work pays off ending with a great career.
I started the program in August of 2021 due to graduate in May of 2022. I fell on ice in January 2021 and broke my leg; not being able to complete the program. I had to return in 2nd quarter, April 2021, with Class 130. I was nervous to return and debated not going back. I was frustrated and disappointed in myself for not being able to be in my original class; but I returned and busted my way through the program!
I used all the resources that were available to me throughout the program: WIOA, CASPN student services, online programs, etc. I made great friends and had great study partners. It seemed like all I did was study for 7 months when I returned! WIOA and CASPN both were instrumental in my completion of the program. My class and clinical instructors were helpful, encouraging, and always there if we needed something. I had a meltdown at a clinical rotation in front of my instructor and she was amazing at helping me. By the end of the rotation, I felt I was going to be a better nurse and learned so much from her.
I graduated the program December 16th, 2022. I took my LPN state board test on January 18th, 2023 and PASSED! I am an official Licensed Practical Nurse. My plans for being a nurse are to find a great job in the psych field in some aspect; and also eventually become a home health nurse to help take care of my step-dad who has dementia that is worsening.
I am thankful for CASPN and WIOA both. Without either of them, I would not be able to live out my dream of being a nurse!”
“To me, Workforce Investment Solutions meant a dream I never thought I would achieve! At 42 my life was turned upside down when my husband’s plant was shut down and after being a stay-at-home mom for 20+ years, I needed to find a job. I applied to multiple places, but as I had very little work experience, nowhere wanted to hire me. I was referred to Workforce by several people who successfully completed the program as well. Workforce not only assisted me with tuition and books, but also gas to get to and from school. I enrolled at Midwest Technical Institute for Medical Assisting. During school they purchased me a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, and other materials to help me be successful! Through the nine months of the program, financial support was not the only support I received. I also received great emotional support by celebrating my successes.
The program I went through taught me phlebotomy, medical law, psychology, and pharmacology. I also learned vitals and patient communication. I was required to be CPR certified, which was part of tuition. It was a fast-paced, hands-on course with practical real-world training at the end. I was able to do my 225 hours of Externship at a Dermatologist’s office in Springfield. I had to take a national certification exam which I passed with a 607 out of 800.
My career planner was Sherrie Manney. She is amazing at what she does. I believe the process from the day I filled out the application to and actually starting school was less than a month! She made every step as easy as possible. She stayed in contact with me for the whole nine months, encouraging me and cheering me on. If there was anything I needed to help me in the class, she was right there to get it approved as fast as she could. Anyone who is thinking about going back to school, I highly recommend them to go in and talk to Sherrie. I tell them she will be straightforward and do whatever she can to make it happen.
Since finishing the program, I put in resumes and interviewed at Springfield Clinic, Decatur Memorial, St. Mary’s and SIU. I was offered a position at Memorial in Orthopedics, Springfield Clinic and SIU surgery. I accepted the position at SIU surgery and will start February 20th. I am very excited to begin the next step of my journey! I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to be able to provide for my family. I will have health insurance and life insurance, as well as the opportunity to continue with schooling.
Without the aid of Workforce I would not have been able to afford to go to school. The opportunities that I have been given have opened a whole new world to my family and me. I cannot wait to find out where the next step takes me. Anyone who asks me for advice when at a crossroads, I will always recommend Workforce first.”
“My name is Quachee Parson and I will speak briefly on what Workforce Investment Solutions means to me. Workforce has enabled me to attend Capital Area School of Nursing in Springfield, Illinois. Without the financial assistance from Workforce it would have been impossible for me to go. The assistance that I received even paid for my out of pocket child care expenses and gas to and from school. My Case Manager is Sherrie Manney. She was very professional and encouraging. She made sure that I stayed on track with everything from grades to turning in all my paperwork in a timely fashion. At times I got frustrated but having someone who is by the book was a very good thing for me. The services that were provided that were most helpful to me were tuition, books, supplies and fees assistance, child care assistance, tutoring, gas assistance. They even provided me with U-World which is an NCLEX prep program. I definitely recommend Workforce Investment Solutions to people all the time! Especially the ones that I know are really serious about wanting to go further with their own education. I am very fortunate to have several different jobs waiting on me. I have three offers from three nursing homes here in Decatur. I also have an offer from a Home Health Agency to provide private one on one care in the patients’ home. The options are now endless and I’m so thankful to have been blessed enough to be chosen for this opportunity. This is a life changing for anyone willing to put in the hard work and dedication. The only other thing I could ask for is help with schooling for my RN. Graduating this LPN program is a huge accomplishment. My mother passed away 8 days after graduation which also happened to be Christmas Eve. Ironically when we received our ATT (authorization to test) the only date left available was 01/28 which is the day after my mom’s birthday. I picked it because it was the first available by the time I logged on but my heart was so heavy. I didn’t do a lot of studying due to me grieving still but I knew I would pass on the first attempt. I knew that I was going to make my mother proud and I did. So again I want to say thank you all so much for the opportunity!”
“Workforce Investment Solutions is the equivalent meaning of helping hand. I have always had a dream to become for as long as I could remember. Some things in life don’t go as planned. I was torn between continuing working a full-time job as a CNA for seven years and providing for my family or going to nursing full time at Capital Area School of Nursing. Then I came across Workforce Investment Solutions, in which I met my excellent case manager Ms. Sherrie Manney, and she explained to me all the assistance they could offer to help me achieve my goals.
With the fate of this program, multiple levels of assistance and resources, I put my financial worries aside and took on my goal of attending a nursing school. The WIOA program provides coverage for tuition, books and weekly gas vouchers for the travel from Decatur to Springfield for class. One of the most helpful resources the program offered was child care expenses. Throughout the school year I had frequent check ins with my case manager. She called to see how I was doing in school and if I needed anything she could assist me with to take the stress off of achieving my goals. Even all the way to my last days of schooling I was offered assistance with expenses for my nursing hat and pin for graduation. And if you achieve that goal of graduation, Ms. Sherrie was calling to say congratulations but also giving another helping hand in expenses for UWORLD and testing fees to ensure I pass my NCLEX. After one failed attempt of my NCLEX, I was ready to give up, but she wasn’t going to let me. She would call to check on me, extend my UWORLD and encouraged me to take this on because this dream belonged to me.
I would highly recommend this program for anyone who wants to start a new career or achieve a new goal and needs some assistance. Spread the word of this excellent help this program has to offer, encourage them, motivate them if they feel it’s too late. It’s never too late at any age of life. Don’t be afraid to start over and never be afraid to ask for help. There is help out there waiting for you. Always pray and manifest, a dream is a beautiful thought but achieving a goal is a lifetime.
With the help of this program, my dedication, and God’s will, I can say I’m officially a nurse. I will continue to work at my long term facility but will be getting promoted from CNA to LPN, a new beginning moving up the ladder. This fall I will be continuing my education to get my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and I will be asking and taking advantage of any help this program has to offer. Overall, this program is awesome. Don’t miss your blessing. It’s waiting for you!!”
“My name is Dayna Rebelsky. I am 26 years old. I am a mother of 4 children; ages 9, 7, 3, & 2. I have worked in healthcare for 8 years now. Phlebotomy was just the beginning of my healthcare career, and it is where I fell in love with caring for others in their time of need. Gaining my Phlebotomy certification in 2015 enabled me to provide for my family. I truly enjoy learning new skills and knowledge. In 2019, I decided to continue my education to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. I graduated and started working as a CNA and Phlebotomist while completing prerequisite classes at Richland Community College for their nursing program.
In 2021, I applied for the ADN program at Richland. However, I was waitlisted as I did not have all prerequisites completed. A friend informed me about the Capital Area School of Practical Nursing. CASPN is a 9-month accredited program that enables graduates to take the NCLEX-PN. Instead of a whole year off of school, I decided to apply to CASPN. I am so very thankful that I did! I learned an abundance of knowledge and skills. I graduated 12/16/2022. I took my NCLEX-PN 01/17/2023. To my surprise, I passed in 76 questions!
WIOA was a huge help with making it possible for me to go to school full time in Springfield, IL. They covered gas reimbursement, supplies, books, uniforms, and the tuition as well! I am very thankful for WIOA and Sherrie Manney who was my case manager. Sherrie was quick to respond to my questions and explained what was expected of me. I will forever suggest WIOA to anyone who is considering furthering their education and/or career.
I currently still work as a phlebotomist at DMH while I am waiting for my license to be issued. I have accepted an LPN position at Decatur Memorial Hospital in the CVU ICU unit. I am very excited as I also was accepted into the ADN/Bridge program at Richland Community College!”
– Dayna Rebelsky
“Workforce more than exceeded my expectations. Not only did they assist in the cost of tuition and books, but they also helped to cover the cost of daycare, the cost of gas to and from school, and any supplies and uniforms that were required for school as well. Not only did this assistance make it possible for me to continue with my education, but it also helped to give my daughter and I somewhat of a normal life back while I completed the program as well.”
“I went to MTI Tech School for my medical assistant and graduated in December of 2019 even when I felt like giving up the WIOA program and my family was there to motivate me and keep me going and I really appreciate them for that I honestly don’t think I would’ve made it this far without the program. I would highly recommend the program to anyone. No it’s not easy but anybody can make it through it.”
“I sought out Workforce Investments to help me pay for my degree. Workforce Investments gave me the peace of mind that my tuition and supplies for the program were paid for. Workforce made getting my degree and the best start to my career possible!!”
“Henry says that Workforce Investment Solutions means HOPE, because that’s what it gave him at a time where he wasn’t sure what was ahead for his future. The emotional support and encouragement from his Career Planner always came at a time when he needed it most and helped him with all that life threw at him. With the assistance from Workforce Investment Solutions, he now has skills for a successful career and is able to earn a self sufficient wage.”
“Aida applied for Workforce Investment Solutions services, was selected and enrolled in the Accelerated Training in Manufacturing (ATIM) program and subsequently the NEG Manufacturing Sector Based training grant. Aida was able to take training courses including the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) certificates, OHSA 30, numerous CNC courses, welding courses, and other manufacturing engineering courses at Richland Community College. Aida is on track to complete her Engineering Tech Degree in December 2017 and is thankful for the assistance she received from Workforce Investment Solutions.”
“In May 2016, Phillip was able to obtain employment as draftsman/junior project engineer at Green Valley Manufacturing, Inc, Mt. Zion, IL. Workforce Investment Solutions worked with Green Valley’s plant manager to create an On-The-Job Training (OJT) contract where Phillip would learn new training skills every 60 days for the next six months. The OJT program was structured where training goals were detailed for the six months. Every two months, when new skills were obtained, there was a monetary raise.”
“Workforce Investment Solutions means that I have a support system – financially, educationally, emotionally – to be successful in my career field. Workforce Investment Solutions allowed me to be free of the financial barrier regarding books, uniforms, supplies, etc.”