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Beverly Keathley

Beverly Keathley Adult Career Center Student Uses Training to Advancer Her Career

Beverly Keathley , Electronic Health Records, Class of: 2011
A few months ago, life was dealing Beverly Keathley some very bad cards.

"I was unemployed…my husband wasn't working much … I was discouraged," Keathley admitted.

But today, you could say that she has life wrapped around her finger.

That's because Keathley took advantage of wrap-around services offered by the JVS Adult Career Center to help her complete the 9-month Computerized Business Technologies training course in Electronic Health Records while also preparing her to earn a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certificate.

Keathley, who graduated from Lorain High School in 1979, was searching for work and learned about the JVS program through Lorain County's Employment netWork.

"I always wanted to work in the medical field and this program sounded interesting," said Keathley, who worked in customer service the past 20 years. "It was something new, something with a future."

The Electronic Health Records Program is a great career option for those who want to join the healthcare industry but prefer no hands-on care. The program prepares individuals to work as a medical secretary, with the added value of experience working with Electronic Health Records. With a 2014 mandate for all medical offices to keep electronic records, these jobs are projected to be one of the fastest growing career paths by the Department of Labor.

The wrap-around services that Keathley took advantage of included tutoring, job seeking/resume writing workshops, and job placement assistance.

"Now I have a terrific resume, something I know will attract an employer's attention," said Keathley, 50, who graduated from the JVS in 2011 and is gainfully employed. "But I also sharpened my interviewing skills and learned to 'dress for success.'"

Even better, Keathley qualified for a grant that paid for her education and opened new doors to employment as a physician's secretary assistant at The Center for Orthopedics in Sheffield, where she handles patient registration, checkout and data entry.

"I had no doubts about returning to school," the Oberlin resident said. "It was convenient. I knew that I needed to update my skills. I was excited. I wanted to succeed. I had to. It was a matter of survival."

That included balancing her schedule and working part-time while attending class four days a week to complete the nine-month program.

"I worked from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., and then headed to school, which began at 8am. I took a lot of cat naps," Keathley laughed.

As part of the Electronic Health Records curriculum, Keathley completed an internship in the records department at EMH Regional Medical Center, where she now also works part-time as a switchboard operator.

"I had my foot in the door thanks to the Adult Career Center and my Computerized Business Technologies teacher, Terri Brennan," Keathley said. "It was so much more than just a business class. Terri is compassionate, concerned, down to earth; an amazing woman who really stressed the importance of good communication and accuracy."

"I know that I could work full-time if I wanted to, but I love what I'm doing and the flexibility and variety of both my part-time jobs," she said. "I enjoy talking to people and I take pride in my work. And I know I would not have gotten these jobs without the wonderful support and assistance I received from the JVS Adult Career Center."
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