When Jaquana Bailey enrolled in the Centralina Workforce Development Board-funded WIA Youth program, (now WIOA NEXGEN) in 2014 through the Resource Development Center (RDC) in Stanly County, she was a single mother of a four year old son. After having her first child at the age of 15, she depended on others for childcare, transportation, and housing assistance, but yearned to find her own way to self-sufficiency. She was determined to find stability for her son and understood she had to be the one to provide it.
Over the course of the year, Bailey was very active in the youth program and attended numerous workshops and activities offered at RDC. Workshops included sessions on professional attire, phone manner, company dinner etiquette, communications skills, job search and resume assistance. From the start, Bailey knew what she wanted to do and had a time-frame in mind. She identified nursing as a potential career path but didn’t know how to begin her journey. Having worked in a manufacturing environment and at Walmart prior to enrolling in the youth program, she realized additional training and skills were necessary for the nursing field. Through RDC, Bailey sought the help of the WIA program to fund nursing certification courses at Stanly Community College.
In July 2014, Bailey completed Nurse Aide I and in August, she passed the state exam. By the end of 2014, Bailey enrolled and passed Medication Aide and Nurse Aide II courses. While taking classes and raising a child, Bailey managed to find employment as a Nurse Aide I employee at Trinity Place, an assisted living center in Albemarle, NC. Although Bailey had a heavy schedule, she also had a part-time job with a group home for autistic adults as a care giver on the weekends.
Today, Bailey is still employed at Trinity Place and has since found her own transportation and apartment for herself and young son. Moving forward, Bailey plans to go back to school this fall and enroll in the two-year nursing program at Stanly Community College. Bailey has overcome challenges and has proven to be a true success story not only for herself but also the entire WIOA NEXGEN youth program.
The Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Centralina Youth Council are proud of all of the WIOA NexGen youth participants. For more information regarding the WIOA NexGen Youth program, contact Centralina Workforce Development Board’s Youth Specialist, Solomon McAuley at firstname.lastname@example.org.