After leaving the military in the 80’s, Jonathan Ball worked as a trainer and manager in the civilian workforce for nearly 25 years. Unfortunately, in August 2010, his career took a sharp turn and Jonathan was laid off. He was left to redefine his career path.
With thoughtful evaluation of his skills and the local labor market, Jonathan determined he needed a career with more stability but he lacked a certification or license in a high demand field.
“I didn’t want to be laid off again,” says Jonathan. “I wondered ‘What can I do where I will have a job?’ Healthcare.”
As an honorably discharged veteran, Jonathan knew he possibly qualified for educational benefits but was unsure what and how. Being a man of action, however, he did not waste any time. Just weeks after his layoff, Jonathan learned how he could utilize the Hazelwood Act to earn a healthcare related degree and began taking courses at Austin Community College.
Upon completion of his prerequisite courses for an Associate’s Degree in Nursing, Jonathan enrolled in the WIA program through Workforce Solutions Capital Area and began working with his career counselor Barbara Emokpaire. As the Hazelwood Act was covering his tuition, WIA helped cover the supplemental costs of going to school, including books, scrubs, and gas.
“I would encourage anyone looking to go to school to explore all of their options,” says Jonathan. “With Hazelwood and WIA, I essentially had a free education.”
Able to focus on his coursework rather than how it would all be paid for, Jonathan graduated in December 2012 and shortly after began working for a leading local hospital system. In June 2013, he completed his internship period and received a pay raise and title promotion to staff nurse.
“I’m not where I was before the layoff,” says Jonathan, “but I’m stable and I’m getting there.”
Jonathan would like to give back and is willing to assist people looking for advice regarding success in the ACC nursing program. If you would like to speak with him, please submit request at www.wfscapitalarea.com/Contact.
About the WIA Program
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program is a no-cost employment program designed to give job seekers the support and/or skills training they need to find a job. Specifically, WIA can provide:About the WIA Program
- Job search assistance
- Child care assistance while in training
- Transportation assistance
- Interview clothing and uniforms
- Tools needed for your new job
- Funding for basic skills and occupational training
For more information about the program and eligibility, please visit www.wfscapitalarea.com.