Mother Who Worked Full-Time Job While Earning Nursing Degree Named Award Winner by the RPC

The logo for the Illinois Workforce Partnership

A local mother of two who worked a full-time job while earning her college degree is one of this year’s winners of the Illinois Workforce Partnership (IWP) Individual Achievement Award. The RPC’s Workforce Innovation Board recognized Kristy Conner of Chebanse for the award that celebrates the accomplishments of a job seeker customer who sought assistance to achieve his or her goals.

Conner is a recent graduate of Kankakee Community College, where she earned an associate degree in Registered Nursing. She originally came to the RPC’s Workforce Development program to seek financial support before her classes began in the Spring of 2017. The program was able to assist her with books, tuition, mileage reimbursement, and supplies while she was working towards her degree and holding down a job in the home healthcare industry at the same time. She now works for Independence Plus, a home healthcare agency out of Oak Brook, Illinois, where she cares for children and young adults.

“Kristy took pride in her education and was not afraid to ask questions or advocate for herself,” says Teri Tincher, a career planner who worked with Conner at the RPC Workforce Development program’s Iroquois County office in Watseka. “Our assistance was necessary and reassuring to her. She now has stability and the confidence to choose a position where she enjoys her work. It was a joy to help her reach her goal.”

The IWP Individual Achievement Award is given to individuals who participated in a Title I Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program, such as the Job Search Resource Room, the Adult Services or Dislocated Worker Programs, On-the-Job Training, and more.

Conner’s selection was based primarily on her dedicated efforts in acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Other criteria include the individual finding employment, the individual’s perseverance and dedication being evidenced by his or her accomplishments in attaining goals, and the individual exhibiting certain attributes that make him or her a role model for others.

The RPC’s Workforce Innovation Board addresses the employment and training needs of economically disadvantaged and dislocated workers in Local Workforce Innovation Area 17, which includes Champaign, Douglas, Ford, Iroquois, and Piatt Counties. It is one of 22 local boards across the state of Illinois, each of which will send an IWP Individual Achievement Award winner to be honored at a luncheon on September 12, 2019, at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield. The RPC’s Board selected Conner as most deserving of the award from a group of six nominees.

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