Starting Again with Job Training

Laura Richardson had a tough couple of years. While dealing with health issues, she lost both her medical assistant certification and her job. Her path to recertification became more difficult when local programs turned her down, but Laura didn’t give up. “I was determined to get back in the medical field,” she says. “I didn’t let my health problems hold me down.” Things started looking up when a friend at church told her about TAP’s CareerForge program.

Laura’s Path

In partnership with Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, CareerForge trains adults in the Appalachian region for new careers. It offers certifications for nursing assistants, phlebotomists, and truck drivers. TAP’s career mentors offer guidance and support to CareerForge clients.

Eager to stay in the medical field, Laura chose to pursue a phlebotomy certification. Her career mentor, Katrina Caul, played a key role in getting Laura enrolled in the course.  “Katrina was very helpful. If she can’t help you, she’ll find somebody that can.”

Katrina’s encouragement also buoyed Laura during her time in CareerForge. Laura admits the program was challenging, but her determination and faith pushed her through. “My mom always taught me to keep my head up and keep pushing forward. Not to let anything hold you back.”

Pursuing Her Goals

Katrina remembers that Laura was determined to finish her certification and get back to doing what she loved. She studied hard, did well in class, and had clear goals.

Once she got her phlebotomy certification, Laura began her job search but found she lacked confidence in her interviewing skills. After practicing in mock interviews with Katrina, her renewed confidence landed her two job offers. She accepted a position as a patient care technician at a kidney care center.

But Laura didn’t stop there. While working her new job, she earned a certificate in dialysis. She plans to take her state board tests to become a certified dialysis technician later this year.

Encouraging Others

Laura is grateful for the program and for Katrina in particular. In fact, she was so pleased with the program that she encouraged her daughter to enroll. Her daughter is studying to earn her phlebotomy certification and wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps.

Laura’s advice to others? “You’re never too old to learn. If you have the mindset to do it, you can do it. Don’t let your age hold you back.”