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Hats off to Employment Services of Weld County GED Grads

Posted on 01/25/2018
Hats off to Employment Services of Weld County GED GradsLast week marked a triumphant celebration for Employment Services of Weld County (ESWC) GED graduates. GED (General Equivalency Development) tests are a group of four subject tests which, when passed, provide certification that the test-taker has United States high school-level academic skills. Passing the GED test gives those who do not complete high school the opportunity to earn their High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma.

Ranging in ages from 16 to 59, the diverse 2017 graduating class included 93 HSE recipients from Weld County programs such as Employment First, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and both the Adult and Youth Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act. Opening remarks were delivered by ESWC Division Head Tami Grant, and Rich Werner, President and CEO of Upstate Colorado was the guest speaker for the event’s 21 attending graduates.

With their family and friends cheering them on from the crowd, each graduate walked up to receive their certificate and a handshake from the Weld County Workforce Development Board Chair, Dave Thompson, as their name was called. Once certificates were handed out, the class switched their tassels in unison from right to left, signifying their accomplishment.

One particular graduate received special recognition from her Weld County peers: Angel Velazquez, security guard for the Department of Human Services (DHS). After being in the Armored Guard Service for several years, Velazquez found herself unemployed. She came to ESWC seeking to earn her HSE diploma, as not having graduated from high school was hindering her from obtaining gainful employment. Velazquez enrolled in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Dislocated Worker Program, and ESWC staff helped her navigate through the HSE training program. During several months of training, she passed all but one of her tests. During this time, Velazquez obtained full-time employment as a security guard for DHS, and with the conflict of her schedule, was not able to complete her HSE. Over the next 12 months, Velazquez was determined to pass her final test, so she enrolled in night classes at the community college. She successfully gained her HSE and continues full-time employment to this day.

“We are so proud of our 2017 graduates, and of Angel especially,” said Commissioner Mike Freeman, Coordinator for DHS. “You have all worked so hard to earn this diploma, and I hope you are as proud of yourselves as your families are of you today. Good luck, and go get ‘em, grads!”
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