Carrie Kelley

carrie-kellyLanglade County Short-Term Program Fund

Residents and employers in Langlade County, one of the poorest counties in Wisconsin, face some tough hurdles. Many residents cannot afford the secondary education needed to qualify them for better-paying jobs, and the lack of well-trained employees is leaving local companies without the workforce they need to grow and prosper.

Thanks to Langlade Hospital, those barriers are being broken. Since 2006, it has supported the NTC Foundation's Langlade County Short-Term Program Fund by matching fifty cents of every dollar contributed, up to $3000 a year. The fund awards grants up to $500 to qualifying students. There were 38 grant recipients in 2008.

Since short-term programs do not meet the requirements for traditional financial aid or scholarships, the grant money provides much-needed assistance with tuition, books, uniforms, testing fees, background checks and class materials.

Originally established by another local company in 2003, the fund has awarded more than $68,500 in financial aid to 206 Langlade County residents since its inception. The majority of those students have been enrolled in the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program.

One of those students was Carrie Kelly from Antigo, who earned her CNA certificate in 2005. "It's not easy to get a job in a small town," she stated. "The grant was helpful because we have three children, had just moved back to the area, and didn't have the finances for me to go to school. I needed that help to give me a boost."

Dave Schneider, Executive Director of Langlade Hospital, said supporting the Langlade County Short-Term Program fund is important for the area's prosperity. "We know that in the future having a strong workforce is going to be a challenge. This program gives us a step up on what the future will hold by encouraging people to pursue their education locally and their employment locally. It's been very beneficial and we plan to continue to support it."

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