MARINETTE (NBC 26) — As high school seniors get ready to submit college applications, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program is reminding students that if they’re interested in exploring careers, there is help and support available.
For Emma Kowalski, a nursing school student, there’s nothing she rather do than learn to be the best healthcare worker she can possibly be.
“I had a very sick grandpa who was in and out of the ICUs and seeing the care and compassion, and that was pre-COVID, seeing the care and compassion. I want to be that for somebody,” Kowalski said.
She said it’s thanks to the WIOA program that helped her explore careers and gain the mentorship needed.
“It’s definitely awesome, they break down everything with you. I have a few friends who also use WIOA and we all use something different from it. Whether them helping you decide what kind of career field or what you need, if it’s going through credit or deciding what kind of budget you need to have,” Kowalski said.
But it’s not just young people taking advantage of WIOA. Megan Cahill, a WIOA career services specialist, said older people looking to start a second career are also utilizing the program.
“That 16-60 range we’re getting a lot from each age group in that,” said Cahill.
Recently, the program also launched virtual reality courses, a way to immerse students to explore a variety of professions.
“There is manufacturing skilled trades, you can learn how to do an oil change which is really cool. Basic skills like that,” said Brittany Jaworski, a WIOA Career Service Specialist.
As WIOA works to strengthen and improve our workforce, Kowalski said she’s grateful for the program in helping her achieve her educational goals.
“It's weird to think that I’m here now, but they prepped me for it. I have no idea what else I’d be doing but I’m completely content,” said Jaworski.
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