After raising her son to adulthood, Michelle Campbell decided it was time to focus on her own career passions. The aspiring nurse had long known she wanted to work in the healthcare field, but having her only child at 19 meant she had to focus on taking care of him.
Campbell, who lives in Winchester, spent of most of her working life in warehousing and manufacturing, saying she has driven “every kind of forklift you can imagine.” She enrolled in classes at Laurel Ridge Community College a couple of years ago knowing that working full-time while attending class part-time meant it might take a while to make her dreams a reality.
One day while on campus, she picked up a magazine that highlighted the G3 (Get Skilled, Get a Job, Get Ahead) program. Qualifying Virginia residents enrolled in programs for the most in-demand industries – early childhood education, healthcare, information technology, public safety and skilled trades – can see any remaining tuition dollars not already covered by scholarships and other financial assistance paid for through the G3 program.
“I wanted to do something in the medical field that was kind of a quick way of being able to change it up,” Campbell said.
She enrolled in Laurel Ridge Community College Workforce Solutions’ Certified Clinical Medical Assistant program, and added the Certified Phlebotomy Technician program to make herself even more marketable.
“I liked that my program was so hands-on,” she said. “I think that the Workforce Solutions classes are a really good idea for someone who doesn’t really want to go to college for a long time, or wants to get into some type of career like right now.”
Before Campbell had even finished her programs, she had multiple job offers. She is excited to begin her job at a medical practice in Winchester where she will be working as a medical assistant for adults three days a week, and for pediatric patients two days a week.
Campbell expects to earn her associate degree in 2025 and then hopes to apply to nursing school.
Learn more about the medical assistant program at laurelridgeworkforce.com/CMA, and the phlebotomy program at laurelridgeworkforce.com/PT. For more details about G3 program and whether you may be eligible, visit laurelridge.edu/G3.
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.