GO Careers started in 2016 and is a collaborative program modeled on the highly successful GO Fame program utilizing a “work and learn” format. This year the courses are being offered virtually — while retaining the cohort environment and live instructor interface.
The program is run by the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation, the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and Owensboro Community and Technical College.
An advantage of the GO Careers program is its accelerated degree path to an Associate in Applied Science degree in Business Administration.
The degree can be completed attending class two mornings a week online, from a desk or home. Students will graduate in five semesters and the degree is transfer-ready, if students are interested in earning a bachelor’s degree.
The next GO Careers cohort begins in September and will graduate in the spring of 2022.
Ashley Cline is a student who earned her degree in the very first cohort of GO Careers when she was an administrative assistant to David Little, executive vice president of consumer banking and business operations at U.S. Bank.
“GO Careers was intriguing for us from the beginning and we could apply the same development program for financial services as we saw was successful in manufacturing,” she said. “Our read three years in has been a definitive yes. We remain focused on developing future leaders in our operations and GO Careers blends the job success and development with the educational knowledge and experience to build our leaders right here in Owensboro.”
Completing the degree gave Cline her academic credentials and confidence to take advantage of new opportunities.
“GO Careers is a very unique program that’s beneficial to those who want to develop their skill set,” she said. “Being able to work and go to school at the same time worked out great. It proved to be challenging at first, but after the first semester, it got a lot better. I knew what was expected of me and put forth the same effort as I did with my job. The amount of support received from my family, friends, co-workers, OCTC and instructors made all the difference in the world. It was hard work but honestly, it was well worth it to me.”
Cline is still with U.S. Bank and is currently a business operations analyst.
The program helps companies interested in skilling up great employees, dislocated workers looking for a new career path, parents who are unsure about their children’s school situation, or anyone interested in completing a business degree.
Madison Silvert, president of the Malcolm Bryant Corporation, said their mission is literally their people.
“We have found few tools as valuable in providing confidence, knowledge and purpose for our team members as GO Careers,” he said. “It is a life-changing experience for our team members, improving not only their value to us as an organization, but their value to themselves.”
Students will attend classes virtually, and there are some independent online courses throughout the program. Students are assigned a success coach that works with the cohort throughout the program and helps them navigate college entrance requirements, and any academic or personal issues along the way.
The GO Careers program has been successful with 56 students who have completed the program, boasting a 96% retention rate and an average GPA of 3.6.