Student Profile – Tandy Perkins Program Creates Opportunity for Dislocated Worker

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After a job loss, Tandy Perkins was determined to enroll at Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) and begin a different career that offered a more solid future. The Laboratory Science Technician program at the Calmar campus immediately caught her attention.

“I was a dislocated worker and had an opportunity to come back to college,” Perkins said, whose earlier college education focused on the health information technology and medical lab technician fields. “I was one of 302 people who were laid off at Featherlite in 2009 and had to find something else. The job stability of the Laboratory Science Technician program at NICC piqued my interest.”

The former Featherlite welder is making a dramatic career shift to the world of science and chemistry because employers need workers who possess a strong science background. Although some of her science courses are more difficult, NICC instructors and staff members are helping her get a better grasp of the material. The extra assistance available at NICC for adult learners also makes a huge difference in her academic success, she added.

“I think NICC instructors are all very approachable and helpful. The Learning Center on campus is awesome. I’ve attended other community colleges and their staff wouldn’t always help you. Here, if the Learning Center staff hasn’t taught a particular subject, they will take the time to learn it and then help students,” she said.

Tandy and her husband, Tony, live in Elma.

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