ELKINS, W.Va. – A Randolph County adult education program celebrated its first graduating class Tuesday morning in Elkins.

The Randolph County Housing Authority began its quest to bring adult educational opportunities to Elkins a couple of years ago. The Authority teamed up with the Chamber of Commerce to develop the Randolph County Workforce Development Collaborative.

Fourteen graduates began taking classes in August at the Randolph County Learning Center and are now certified as Clinical Medical Assistants. Most of the students are adults and said they are looking forward to beginning their new careers in the healthcare industry.

“I was a graphic designer for ten years and then I lost my job because of COVID, and they had this opening, so I took it, and it was awesome,” said Destiny Phillips, a certified Clinical Medical Assistant. “I never thought I would like to be in Phlebotomy but I love it.”

“I was just speaking with a student today and she was just waiting for her certificate to show because she is going to have a job now in the healthcare industry here locally,” said Program Manager Jennifer Griggs. “And that’s really what this program was about is to allow people who are currently working, who have family and kids, to take community college classes in healthcare so that they will be able to improve their situation, get a higher paying job.”

Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College provides the classes for the Randolph County Learning Center in Elkins.