When Cynthia was laid off from her sales position of six years in 2009, she took work assisting accounts receivable staff on a limited basis. Impressed with her potential, Cynthia's employer suggested she consider an education in accounting. Cynthia realized, "I had the skills to get a job in accounting, but without the education, I wasn't considered for accounting positions." After doing some research, Cynthia discovered the Career Pathways program at Portland Community College. Her goal was to earn a Certificate of Completion in Accounting/Bookkeeping, but she found other benefits within the program.
"I was so nervous about setting up meetings with employers and trying to develop an internship, but the [Career Planning] class provided me with instruction and the extra push that I needed to make it happen. The employer presentations were extremely helpful and I used them as baby steps in trying out my new strategies for approaching employers." The Career Pathways program also helped Cynthia network more effectively, getting her an Accounting II position with her former employer who was impressed by her new educational credentials. Cynthia is pleased too. She notes, "My company will pay for more education after I have been on the job for six months. I plan to continue school, on a part-time basis to receive my Bachelor's in accounting while working."
Gilberto Muņoz, Health Care/Caregiving
Gilberto already knew he was interested in the care giving side of health care, but without a GED, he realized his job prospects were limited. Gilberto decided to return to school to finish his GED, and then began Health Care training. During his training, Gilberto accepted a caregiver internship with a program that provided home, support and other services to men with developmental disabilities and/or criminal backgrounds.
Gilberto's kind spirit, leadership qualities and his ability to learn quickly turned his internship into a real position, and he was hired at the end of his training. Impressed with his work, Gilberto's manager encouraged him to continue pursuing his education. Gilberto entered the Certified Nursing Assistant program, ready to continue building his career prospects in the exciting field of health care and social services.