For the past few months, KRA Corporation’s other News venue, the Monthly Spotlight!, featured a series of articles on the Power of Partnership. Several KRA/partner relationships were highlighted…those with businesses, civic organizations, colleges/universities, community agencies, etc. However the one partnership not addressed…is the one between a KRA Career Agent and a KRA jobseeker-customer.
This special relationship, forged sometimes with more than one Career Agent, can last 5 weeks, 5 months, or even 5 years…however long it takes for a customer to get onto the right career path.
Gloria Gil McKeown, 46 and married with one step-son, immigrated to the USA from Colombia, SA in 2000. She first enrolled in the KRA/SCWorks Career Center Program in May of 2008. At that time, she was interested in…and eligible for…an Associate’s Degree in Registered Nursing (RN) offered by Horry Georgetown Technical College (HGTC).
With financial support provided through the WIA Adult Workers Program, McKeown registered and began taking pre-requisite courses for the RN degree; she was on her way! However, the further down the path she traveled, the more she realized the life of an RN was not for her. So, after more than 2 years of study, she returned to KRA to re-assess her interests and to consider other options in the medical field.
According to Joseph Watson, KRA Career Agent, “When Gloria returned in January of 2011, she was re-assigned me, and together we examined her situation and began working on a revised Individual Employment Plan. During our guidance and planning sessions, it came to light that she really wanted to stay in the medical field, to work with people, to help people.
Through researching other positions, and courses of study available at HGTC, she decided she was better suited for a career in Physical Therapy.” But, inherent in that decision was “good” news and “not-so-good” news.
Watson continued, “The good news was that pre-requisites for the Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) course were just about the same as those for the RN course, which she had just about completed. The not-so-good news was that a WIA customer is allowed just one course of study, so we had to seek special permission from the WIA Administrator to switch her major. Our request met with success!
Gloria was accepted into the PTA program in June of 2010, and graduated from HGTC with an Associate’s Degree in Physical Therapy Assistance in December of 2011.” At that time, Watson and McKeown started work-readiness sessions, including resume preparation, interviewing skills, and job-search techniques.
While following up on job leads, McKeown took and passed the State PTA Certification/Licensing exam, and in July 2012, accepted an on-call PTA position at a local hospital at $26.00 an hour!
Watson concluded, “As a 9-month follow-up, I checked in with Gloria and though still in an on-call capacity, she is working 40 hours-a-week on a rather steady basis. She fully realizes that the longer she works on-call, the more experience she gains, which puts her in a better position for a permanent job with the hospital, or even another medical facility, when a permanent position becomes available. It appears she is really happy with her decision to switch careers, and I’m pleased that KRA was able to assist and support her in that decision.”