WIOA Dislocated Worker Program – Pa Gnia

Pa Gnia Lee lives in Wausau with her husband and children. She worked as an Accounting Supervisor for a local company for nearly six and a half years when the company closed. Pa Gnia came to the Marathon County Job Center searching for assistance. She connected with Career Planner, Bob Bauer, of LETC and enrolled in the WIOA Dislocated Worker Program in August of 2017. As they were working through the WIOA application and career assessment, Pa Gnia’s skills and abilities were identified. Her assessment showed a strong interest in advancing her education in the Accounting field. Pa Gnia had an associate degree in Business Management that she had completed several years ago. Despite Pa Gnia’s associate degree and the skills she learned while in her previous position, she found that many of the Accounting positions required a bachelor’s degree. Together Pa Gnia and Bob began developing a plan for re-employment.
Pa Gnia discovered that some colleges did not accept some of her previously earned credits. This was very important to Pa Gnia since it would affect her plans to complete the training in the shortest time. She also did not want to retake courses. Pa Gnia was very aware of her timeline and household expenses. Pa Gnia also identified upfront the resources she would need to be successful. Those resources included Unemployment Insurance, federal financial aid, scholarships, and assistance from the WIOA Dislocated Worker Program. Pa Gnia got right to work exploring her training options. She chose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Upper Iowa University. Upper Iowa University was willing to accept many of her credits from her previous degree. The school was in Wausau and the classes were offered at times that would work around her family responsibilities, as well as her part-time employment. Pa Gnia worked very hard throughout her education and made the Dean’s list. Pa Gnia graduated “Cum Laude Meritum” (cum laude meritum – grade point average at least 3.70) in August 2019.
After completing her bachelor’s degree, Pa Gnia began working in a temporary position that gave her additional experience and a job offer. Today, Pa Gnia is working for Graebel Companies as an Accountant. In this role, she works an average of 50 hours a week and oversees many of the daily transactions in the accounting department.
Throughout her entire journey to complete her training program, Pa Gnia remained positive and focused on her goals to find employment as an Accountant. There were several times throughout this journey that she and her family had to adapt and overcome unplanned financial setbacks. Pa Gnia did not let these unplanned events prevent her from obtaining her degree and securing full-time employment. She is earning more than she did with her dislocation employer. Pa Gnia now has the career she wanted and the income to support herself and her family.
Bob Bauer will not forget Pa Gnia’s attention to detail when it came to the WIOA requirements, and her willingness to be flexible. Bob wants us to know that Pa Gnia has the right demeanor, teamwork skills and strong work ethic to be a great asset for her company.
Congratulations, Pa Gnia Lee!



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