When Linn State Technical College’s Grant Lead, Nancy Wiley observed the college’s MoHealthWINs Introduction to Maintenance program, she discovered quite a bit more than she expected. With a combination of classroom training from instructor Bo West and guided hands-on experience, the students worked enthusiastically to master the basic skills needed to install, repair, and maintain a variety of equipment and inventory in healthcare facilities. They asked good questions and picked up the lessons adeptly, each eager to become ‘work ready’ for a job in the high-demand field, some weary from periods of unemployment.
While this is a noteworthy but not uncommon scenario, what intrigued Nancy is the way the students turned the class into life-changing experiences. William and Brenda, for example, have been a couple for many years, and wanted to go through the experience together. With the instructor’s ok, they are dual enrolled in two programs of study and attend MoHealthWINs classes four nights a week. Their son also enrolled, as did his friend. This way the family can see each other in action, be study partners and work toward building a better and more solid future together. More than gaining work skills for themselves, they wanted to demonstrate them to loved ones, as a collective improvement.
Terry and Chris are also students in the Introduction to Maintenance class. Though they come from different backgrounds and different life experiences, they found common ground through the Grant initiative, each bringing valuable experience and work ethic to the class, encouraging each other along. After the hands-on project of constructing a wall from the ground up, each participant gained confidence as well as knowledge. Terry found a way to take his entire wall home to share with his family. “They will be very proud of this,” he said with a smile.
Nancy, shown below, has been working with the Linn State’s Grant programs, MoHealthWINs and MoManufacturingWINs, since their launch in 2011 and 2012. She’s worked on the technical side of program design, budgeting, recruitment, employer partnerships, and compliance with federal requirements. Along with Linn State instructors Janet and Melva, Nancy helped integrate contextualized instruction in conjunction with hands-on projects, a type of educational innovation fostered by the initiatives. But while there are many different perspectives, requirements, and projects needed to launch a program of study through MoHealthWINs, Nancy still has a heart for the immeasurable human impact of these programs.
“We are very proud of each and every Grant participant,” she said. “For some, these programs serve as the first taste of success that can make a more productive and positive future for people and communities. I am just fortunate to be able to witness these miracles firsthand.”
Find more about Linn State’s Grant programs at http://www.linnstate.edu/business/MoHealthWins.php or http://www.linnstate.edu/business/MoManufacturingWins.php or by calling Nancy at 573-897-5181.