IWI Recognizes LINCWorks Students’ Achievement

On Friday, the Metropolitan Community College Institute for Workforce Innovation honored over forty students who have successfully completed job training through the LINCWorks program.

Over 100 people, among them friends, family, instructors, and caseworkers, gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of students who have earned GEDs and technical certifications. 

MCC-Penn Valley President Dr. Joe Seabrooks, was the keynote speaker.  LINCWorks staff, including Brenda Michelson and Director Tom Jakopchek, also addressed students. 

Two students, Courtney Ford and Marla McCoy, addressed fellow graduates.  Ford gave a moving speech, wiping away tears as she expressed gratitude for the opportunity to start a career.  “Giving up is not an option,” said Ford.


Student speaker, Courtney Ford


McCoy, who was given a special award for perfect attendance, said, “I’m a forty-one year old single mother, and my biggest regret in life was not finishing high school.  Now I have my GED, and I’m so grateful for a future in the nursing industry.”

At the end of the ceremony, students surprised instructors with thank-you gifts, expressing their appreciation for all their guidance and support. 

Since February 2011, LINCWorks has partnered with IWI to get participants job training for high-demand careers in such fields as healthcare, customer service, and manufacturing.  In that time, over 150 students have received training and job placement assistance.  In addition to technical preparation, IWI provides employability skills training, connections to employers, and academic support.  

LINCWorks, an initiative of the Local Investment Commission, is a system of non-profit community partners and organizations that help individuals receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds get job placement and job training assistance. 

IWI and LINCWorks anticipate additional classes to run through June 2013, which will serve up to 60 additional students.

MCC and LINCWorks leadership (left to right): Dr. Manuel Solano, performance manager, IWI; Georgia Schmittling, continuing education coordinator, IWI; Brenda Michelson, LINCWorks; Barb Friedmann, sales manager, IWI; Tom Jakopchek, LINCWorks director