Tonya Basham Gibson, Hawesville native, is Director of MedCertify and is very excited about the partnership with Green River Area District Development (GRADD) in Owensboro and Kentucky Career Center (KCC)-Green River to bring an excellent opportunity for unemployed residents in 4 counties, including Hancock, to receive free training, schooling and job placement via the $1.8 million Skills 2 Succeed Grant.
GRADD developed the Skills 2 Succeed Grant and the Department of Labor approved it. MedCertify is in complete partnership with GRADD and KCC-Green River and the monies will help with training and employment needs mainly for unemployed and under employed.
Tonya is Regional Director of Workforce & Military Development at MedCertify and works from her home in North Carolina. The mission of MedCertify, she said, “is to eliminate barriers to gainful employment by creating career pathways in the high demand sectors. We strive to create generational change in the community by delivering flexible online programs in the Allied Health, IT, Business and Logistics fields. MedCertify programs are designed to get you prepared for your new career in as little as 16 weeks.”
“With Hancock County,” Tonya said, “it is an area that has been challenged with workforce needs. With this they are going to be able to get $5,000 for employment and training needs. I spoke with Kim Estes (Director of the Hancock County Career Center) and she is putting this information out there as well, on the career center website and FB page.
It is for unemployed or those experiencing employment challenges. We have 38 different programs that they will be eligible for, in Medical, IT, Business and Logistics fields. We have a Zoom classroom, so they can do the class in a Zoom session, and they can also go to the KY Career Center and do their classes there. They have the ability to be able to login to their computer system there and use the Wi-Fi, so they can go to the center and do their coursework there, if they don’t have good internet at home.”
The Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) Program, for example, Tonya said goes 100% at your own pace, you would receive a laptop and the program is nationally certified. “We also assist with career placement,” she said. “We are working hand-in-hand with the KCC-Green River to assist with placement into jobs and that’s with any of our programs.”
Virtual Info Sessions – Wednesdays with Lunch n’ Learn
There will be virtual information sessions on Wednesdays at the Hancock County Career Center and KCC-Green River with the Lunch n’ Learn event. “We are offering a $20 Door Dash Card for anybody who attends,” Tonya said. These sessions began this Wednesday, March 8th and will continue every Wednesday. You can go to the Hancock County Career Center, the KCC-Green River, or online on Zoom. Go to the website to click on the Zoom link: kccgreenriver.com.
“I feel so proud to be able to offer this to my home town and to be able to help my community in furthering their education and their skills for employment,” Tonya said. “I’m here to create generational change within my community. I have built this department from the ground up and my focus has been the Green River area because that is my home town. Everything that we do here – we don’t receive any funds from consumers.
All of our programs are covered by grants and by funding so that our participants and students don’t have to pay anything to go through these programs. We are, literally, creating generational change through career pathways. This grant is available to help individuals – with all the layoffs with Century – this is going to phenomenally help. I’m in contact with the union president of Century to get this word out to their employees and to their people who have experienced these layoffs.”
She said she wants to make sure that those affected by the layoffs know that there is help out there. She has 3 brothers who lost their jobs with Century. “They found other positions, but my family was still affected,” she said. “I am super excited about being able to offer these programs. A lot of this is going to be for career changers – people who want to transition into something else, or for those staring a career. I am most excited about the CMA Programs and our IT programs – information, technology, security programs.”
Tonya is originally from Hawesville and graduated from HCHS in 2000. She is the daughter of Gerald & Kris Basham, of Hawesville, and Gina & Buddy Winkler, of Tell City. She and her husband, Grant, live in North Carolina. He is from Tell City, and a United States Marine Corps Veteran. They are blessed with 4 children: Caitlyn, Braeden, Thomas and Arthur.
The eligibility requirements are: you are drawing unemployment, or you have been unemployed 12 consecutive weeks or more, or you have been unemployed for 14 of the last 27 weeks, or you are unemployed with a sporadic work history, or you are unemployed with no job history and looking for employment, or you are unemployed with a significant barrier to employment (utilizing government benefits, homeless, living in a sober living facility, individuals who are justice-involved, low-income, or other documented barriers determined by hour Career Coach).
The services offered, succinctly, are: training assistance – up to $5,000 per year, for up to 3 years, to obtain an associate’s degree or credential in a high demand sector; a career coach works with you for intensive job search assistance and building or tweaking your resume and cover letter to ensure/secure employment; paid work experience – their business service consultant works with your career coach for job placement and they work directly with the employer and provide them monetary incentive to hire you; short in-person or online workshops provided to assist you in resume preparation, interviewing practice, or guidance managing money; and a free WorkKeys Test provided with Applied Math, Workplace Documents and Graphic Literacy. They offer one hundred percent support in your job search through personalized assistance from a trained career coach.
By Jennifer Wimmer