Re-Entering the Workforce Through FastForward

There are many different hardships that prevent a person from working. In 2009, Heather lost her job due to health issues. As her health improved, but her 401K and savings declined, she needed to find a way to re-enter the workforce.

To boost her career chances in the IT field, Heather had previously taken a free course with CompTIA A+ but did not pass the software certification exam.

“I went to an employment center, and they were really pushing a program at a local four-year university. However, I found out they didn’t really have the support I was looking for,” Heather said. “I asked if they have study groups, they said ‘no.’ I asked if they help pay for the exam or if there is financial aid, they said ‘no.’ There seemed to be little follow up after the conclusion of classes. I felt like this was not the program for me.”

Later, Heather looked into the CompTIA A+ training through FastForward at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC).

“Everyone in the class was focused. The teachers were helpful. We were able to obtain Powerpoint slides and study tools, too,” she said. “NVCC included the exam fee in the tuition price, which is a great value. Thanks to the support I got at NVCC, I passed the exams on the first try.”

Heather is no stranger to higher education.  She received her undergraduate degree at a top university and earned a variety of certifications at five additional institutions. Through all of these experiences, the coursework and instructors at NVCC left the most lasting impression.

Heather has earned three CompTIA certifications: A+, Network+ and Security+. Currently, she is working on gaining field experience through a corporate internship and she credits FastForward for helping her to get back onto her feet and into the workforce.

“There was no other way I could afford this program without FastForward. The Fast Forward staff members were terrific and responsive,” she said. “I hope people take advantage of this program – I know I’ll get a job because of it. Working with FastForward has been an amazing experience.”

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