QUINCY -- With a flick of her wrist, Lindsay Hoebing signed a Work Ready Pledge to work at Blessing Hospital as a registered nurse at Wednesday's Career Launch Signing Day. The event, which was attended by family, friends and various city officials, was sponsored by John Wood Community College, Quincy Area Vocational and Technical Center and Great River Economic Development Foundation.
Hoebing was one of seven local residents to participate in the event. Other students were Gage Breuer, who signed with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM); Nicole Kraft, who signed with Blessing Hospital; Karen Fay McIntosh, who signed with Quincy Medical Group; Riley Evans and Kyle Foster, who both signed with Sharkey Transportation; and Alec Kline, who signed with Forklift of Liberty.
GREDF's Director of Workforce Development Angela Caldwell said she was excited to see young adults start new chapters in their careers.
"This is very exciting, especially since we have so many open positions in Quincy in the career and technical field," Caldwell said. "Just to know that these young people are committing to staying in Quincy for a year, or five years, or 10 years, or 20 years, is exciting. We need people here. We need people who have the skills and desire to do these jobs."
Among the occupations represented were surgical technologist, certified medical assistant and diesel mechanic.
Hoebing said she decided to participate in the program to celebrate changes in her life.
"In 2014, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer," said Hoebing, who was working as a maintenance electrician at Caterpillar in Decatur. Hoebing said she left that position in order to return to Quincy to support her mother.
"I worked a couple of different jobs in the community, but I just didn't feel the same fulfilling passion that I had before," Hoebing said.
A conversation with her husband encouraged her in 2015 to make a career change and become a registered nurse.
"I guess I decided to participate today in hopes of maybe bringing some awareness to the community," Hoebing said. "For me, I am a nontraditional student, so I hope that people will see that it was not just your typical teenager up there signing. Maybe, I will inspire someone else to pursue their dreams, no matter where they are in their life. I know I took a crazy path to get here, and it was scary. It really was, but it is definitely worth it."
Both Hoebing and Caldwell said they hoped the event would grow and would become a new tradition.
"I want this to be a chance to really celebrate what our young people are doing," Caldwell said.
She added that she hoped the event would encourage other young Quincy residents to seek local employment.
"I hope they will see this ceremony on television and that it will make them pause," Caldwell said. "I hope it will make them seek out information about jobs and will help them decide to stay in Quincy."