Women in IT program graduates honored

July 1, 2021 sdawkins Blog

DSC 0076PELL CITY – Six graduates of Jefferson State’s Women in IT program were honored during a ceremony June 29 at Pell City First United Methodist Church.

The graduates were Sara Cote, Jennifer Ensley, Jenny Fahey, Randi Jones, Tianna Kay and Kandace Towery.

Thanks to program partner The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, class participants received scholarships to cover registration fees, computer learning access codes, and even transportation and child care expenses.

Other partners included St. Clair County Head Start and Pell City FUMC, with additional support from Auburn Extension, Alabama Career Center, UAB IT Department, JSCC Career Center and the JSCC Police Department.

Jefferson State Success Coach Christine McLain welcomed those at the event, including the graduates’ family members.

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“I’m proud to say that I’m part of the program,” McLain said. “I’m proud that I’ve gotten to know these hard-working and devoted mothers.”

Guin Robinson, associate dean of economic development, said the women are serving as positive role models for their children.

“What you’ve done is not easy,” Robinson said. “We could not be prouder. This is just the beginning of what you can and will accomplish.”

McLain, instructor Steven Gillespie, and Workforce Education Director Leah Bigbee presented the graduates with certificates, including those earned for Basic Computer Skills, IT Help Desk certification and Job Readiness Training.

The program provided basic computer training and taught IT skills needed to work as a computer user support specialist.

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Comprehensive support services provided for participants included a career coach who helped the participants beginning with registration, served as a point of contact during the course, and then conducted mock interviews to hone job-seeking skills and connected graduates with employers.

Soft skills such as goal setting and time management were taught alongside the IT material.

Participants were required to: be a single mother living in St. Clair County, meet income requirements, and have obtained a high school diploma or GED.