Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Workforce WednesdayChristine Hadley was on food stamps for five years when the youngest of her four children started school. She decided it was the right time to go back to work and was thrilled to learn she could take advantage of the SNAP E&T project at Thomas Nelson Community College to obtain new skills to enter the workforce.

“Things were starting to look up,” said Hadley. “I’d been interested in computers for a while so the CompTia A+ [credentialing program] and a job in information technology was a dream come true.”

The SNAP E&T project is the result of a grant to the state from the Department of Agriculture. It is part of a national research study involving ten states. The purpose of that grant is to provide current food stamp recipients with the opportunity to obtain vocational skills that the student can use to obtain jobs paying livable or family wages, thus eliminating the need for assistance.

Hadley

Hadley took the SNAP E&T pilot classes (services include instruction/assistance to obtain a digital literacy certificate, soft skills instruction, interview tips and resume assistance as well as help obtaining a GED for those in need) Monday – Friday from 9-1 p.m. while her kids were in school and then studied in CompTia A+ courses in the evening. She loved her instructors and passed all of her certification tests.

It look Hadley only three months (July-September) to complete her classes and have a credential in-hand. She began attending job fairs and it did not take long before she had a $15 an hour full-time job offer with benefits included.

“Because of my age, I was finding it hard to get a job at 50”, said Christine. “When this opportunity came, it was like a door finally opened. Being a stay at home mom for five years and having to start again was kind of depressing.” Christine was quick to add, “The people at TNCC have been very nice. The instructors were always helpful, gave out their emails and phone numbers and they would get back to you in a timely manner.”

Christine looks forward to starting her new career in information technology when her new job begins this June.

To learn more about the SNAP E&T project, please contact Jenny Carter, director of workforce partnerships and projects, Virginia Community College System at jcarter@vccs.edu or (804) 819-1689.

Achristopher@vccs.edu'

Amanda Christopher

Amanda Christopher is a graduate of Hollins University and Virginia Commonwealth University. A native of the DC metro area, Amanda worked in public relations for the American Red Cross before joining the Virginia Community College System as the Workforce Communications Coordinator.

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