Many people are not aware that the Patrick County Adult Education and Virginia Workforce Center provides a wide range of services to help them find a job, complete their education, or gain valuable training certifications.
The Center, located in Stuart at 103 W. Blue Ridge Street, features professional staff that administers a wide range of services at no cost.
Ashley Perdue is a recent beneficiary of the services available locally.
Perdue came into the Patrick County Adult Education and Virginia Workforce Center to get her GED and receive workforce services. A high school dropout and single mother of two, Perdue had never had a job. Workforce Center staff enrolled her in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act program, which can provide funding for training, work experiences, and supportive services to help individuals reach their goals.
Sheri Montgomery, case manager of the Virginia Workforce Center, worked with Perdue to set her goals and objectives, and outline a plan for how to reach those goals.
“Ashley was always very eager to learn and move forward in reaching her goals and to obtain self-sufficient employment so that she could take care of her children,” a release from the center states.
Perdue’s first goal was to obtain her GED, and the Patrick County Adult Education Program worked with her to upgrade her reading, math, language arts and social studies skills to get her prepared to pass her GED exam.
“Leigh Ann Hazelwood, with PC Adult Education, worked with me conscientiously and regularly encouraged me to keep working until I obtained my GED,” said Perdue, who received her GED on November 3, 2016. Earning her GED was something she had long desired, and it built her confidence to move forward with her career plans.
Once Perdue attained her GED, she received an incentive for reaching the milestone through her participation in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. She also attended Work Readiness Workshops at the Virginia Workforce Center in Patrick County, and received an incentive for attending those workshops as well.
To prepare Perdue for employment, Workforce Center staff helped her with interview preparation, job searches, and resume development. Virginia Workforce Staff worked with her until she was ready to start interviewing. My Friends Closet provided three interview outfits. This, coupled with her newfound confidence as a result of earning her GED and gaining experience with interviewing, led Perdue to take the next step and begin searching for employment.
Wanda Whitlow, manager/business service representative of Virginia Workforce Center, started working with employers to find an appropriate employment opportunity. Whitlow thought Perdue was “an excellent candidate for the Work Experience Program,” to get her foot in the door at a business, gain employment and workforce related skills, Whitlow said of the program that provides an opportunity for individuals to gain valuable, paid work experience with local employers at no cost to the employer.
Whitlow talked to David Freeman, owner/operator of Mid-Atlantic Textile Company LLC, about the program, and asked if he was interested in working with Perdue. Freeman was willing to give her an opportunity at gaining employment with his company, according to the release.
Perdue successfully completed the Work Experience, and is currently employed with Mid-Atlantic Textile Company LLC. She loves her job and appreciates the opportunity Freeman gave to a young, single mother of two. Perdue still has goals set for herself and her family’s lives, and is encouraged to achieve those goals.
Patrick County Adult Education and Virginia Workforce Center is very proud of Perdue’s accomplishments. The center also looks forward to seeing what the future holds for her and her children.
“I have never received any greater support or confidence in myself before meeting Mrs. Hazelwood, Mrs. Montgomery and Mrs. Whitlow and I am so thankful for their help,” Perdue said.
If interested in services or additional information about the Workforce Center, call Whitlow at 276-694-6542.
(Editor’s note: The Workforce Center in Patrick County has more than a few success stories. The agency has decided to share two. The first involves a participant in the Youth Program. The Adult Program will be featured in a future edition.)