Success Stories

Brittany Begley


Brittany Begley was a high school graduate attending Mountain Empire Community College taking classes to obtain her LPN when she enrolled in the WIOA program.

The WIOA program was able to assist Brittany with NCLEX, State Board fees and travel to/from college classes. While enrolled in the program Brittany obtained a Silver Career Readiness Certificate and participated in Career Academy where she obtained First Aid/CPR certifications as well as a 4-hour class in Bloodborne Pathogens.

She had no work experience prior to participating in a work experience with Clinch River Health Service. Brittany has now successfully completed an internship with Clinch River Health Service and as of 12/03/15 is employed full-time as an LPN with benefits making $10.67 an hour.


Shondi Caldwell


Shondi Caldwell was referred to the WIA Youth program operated by People Incorporated by her Mountain Empire Community College nursing instructor because she needed assistance to complete her education and to obtain training related employment.

Through the WIA Youth program, Shondi earned a silver career readiness certificate, and she received the financial assistance needed to fund the cost of her board of nursing examination fee. Shondi earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing and received staff-assisted job search through the WIA Youth program.

She is now employed full-time as a registered nurse at Pikeville Medical Center at a liveable wage of $19.78 per hour! Shondi is appreciative of the opportunities provided to her through the WIA youth program.


Michaela was enrolled in WIA November 2013, where she was a junior at Honaker High School. She attended Leadership Development and Job Readiness Workshops to increase her knowledge of soft skills needed to be prepared for today’s workforce.

In 2014, Michaela participated in the summer employment activity, working at Pizza Plus in Honaker. After completing the summer activity, Pizza Plus hired Michaela part-time. Michaela graduated from Honaker High School May 2015. She plans to continue her education and is enrolled in online classes, part-time, at SWCC for the summer semester. She is still working at Pizza Plus.

During enrollment, Michaela received a bronze Career Readiness Certificate. At enrollment, Michaela was reading at just above a 7th-grade level. In January 2015, she reassessed and was reading at a college level. Michaela also received incentives for attaining goals during enrollment.

Selena Miles-Cain Selena Miles-Cain enrolled in the WIA youth program as a parenting youth in need of additional assistance to complete her education. As a parent of three young children, Selena knew the income she received from her part-time employment and public assistance would not be enough to provide for her family.

With a strong desire to enter the healthcare profession full time, Selena inquired about the LPN program at the Lee County Career and Technical Center. Unfortunately, there was no financial aid available for Selena to pay for her training costs. However, through a referral to the WIA Youth program operated by People Incorporated, Selena was able to obtain the funding needed through the Southwest Virginia Workforce Investment Board to assist her in paying for her training expenses.

Not only was Selena able to obtain funding from the WIA Youth program for the required tuition and books, she was also able to receive the financial assistance needed to pay for childcare so she could attend training. Selena worked tirelessly and rarely missed any school or clinical hours even though she was a parent. Selena earned a Virginia Career Readiness Certificate and increased her work readiness skills through leadership development opportunities.

Selena graduated from Lee County Career and Technical Center with an A average and passed the LPN examination in Spring 2013. She has entered full-time training related employment as a licensed practical nurse at Nova Health and Rehab and earns a wage of $15.00 per hour in addition to benefits.

Fueled by a desire to see others grow professionally in the way that she has, Selena addressed state legislators at the State Legislative Budget Hearings to advocate for continued WIA funding to help other individuals build their futures.

“Thanks workforce for helping make my dreams for me and my kids come true” – Selena Miles-Cain

Tamera Beth Ball Gibbs

“WIA helped me in so many ways throughout nursing school. Ms. Debi Matney went above and beyond to assist me, and I couldn’t have done it without the help and encouragement she provided. I was able to start my dream job as an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse about a month ago and I am so proud of what I have accomplished.

Most recently, Tamera received the honorable Virginia Henderson Award. This award is given to Registered Nursing students at the SWCC Booth Center who excel in both academics and clinicals.

Tamera recently graduated with an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nursing in May 2014 from Southwest Virginia Community College. She also recently passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX). She currently resides in Hurley, Virginia and is employed by Buchanan General Hospital.

“I cannot say how valuable it was for me to have someone advocating for my success. Thanks WIA!”-Tamera Beth Ball Gibbs