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Profiles
Profiles
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13
C
ollege & Career Navigators Cherie Fisher
and Nancy Quinn spend every day helping
displaced workers re-enter the workforce
by connecting them to the resources they need
to succeed.
"We are a bridge for our clients," said Quinn.
"We help them find the best path from where
they are in their careers, to where they want
to be. That can include guiding them to one
of MCC's programs, or to other programs or
resources outside of Middlesex."
The College & Career Navigator program
originally started in 2012 as part of the
Massachusetts Community Colleges &
Workforce Development Transformation
Agenda. This innovative initiative was
funded by a $20 million Trade Adjustment
Assistance Community College and Career
Training (TAACCT) Grant from the U.S.
Department of Labor, Employment &
Training Administration.
After a successful two years, the program
and its two full-time positions is now
incorporated into the college and operating
through the Office of Admissions.
Quinn and Fisher split their time between
their offices on the Lowell campus, and one of
three local career centers: The Career Place in
Woburn, Career Source in Cambridge, and the
Career Center of Lowell.
"Many of our clients come in panic-stricken
because they were unexpectedly laid off and
they need to pay bills and put food on the
table," said Quinn. "We help connect them to
the resources to do exactly that."
The College & Career Navigators work on a
case-by-case basis, listening and connecting
each unemployed or under-employed individual
with the resources they need to get back to
work. They help provide a smooth transition
into an educational setting, including
supporting students through the application
and financial aid process. They also help
familiarize students with support services,
such as tutoring, advising and disability
services. They even provide referrals to other
community resources inside and outside the
college that can enhance student success.
Quinn and Fisher often suggest one of MCC's
credit or noncredit certificate programs, which
offer many students a quick and efficient way
to get the education and hands-on training
they need to get back to work immediately.
"Your level of experience in a particular field
may be great, but workers in today's economy
are finding they need the credentials to back it
up," said Quinn. "I've had people with a Ph.D.
enroll in a certificate program," she added.
"We don't really have a typical client," said
Fisher. "We help so many different types of
people veterans home from deployment who
are wondering what's next. We have helped
mothers who want to return to the workforce
after raising their children, employees looking
to upgrade their skills to stay current in their
industries, and those who have been working
for a long time but who suddenly find
themselves in need of a job, but don't know
where to begin."
Suddenly out of work and in need of a job
is exactly the situation Julia Finley, of
Watertown, found herself in when she began
College & Career Navigators
Helping the Community
Get Back To Work
College and Career Navigators Cherie Fisher (left) and Nancy Quinn work with clients looking to
re-enter the workforce.
"Your level of experience in a particular field
may be great, but workers in today's economy
are finding they need the credentials to back
it up ... I've had people with a Ph.D. enroll in
a certificate program."
Nancy Quinn
College and Career Navigator
Student Success