Student Success Story
Ka-Te-Dra Purifoy

Ka-Te-Dra Purifoy learned about the short-term training opportunities at Hawkeye Community College at a time in her life when she was searching for direction. Unemployed for nearly two years, she was at home recovering from a broken ankle and hoping to find a path to a high-paying, in-demand career. Hawkeye’s Minorities in Manufacturing program proved to be just what she needed.

The eight-week CNC Machining course provided Purifoy with the entry-level skills to become a general machinist or CNC operator, a job with starting wages ranging from $13 to $17 per hour.

“This class prepared me for everything I needed to know about CNC machine operation,” Purifoy said.

Two weeks after completing the course in September 2014, Purifoy was hired at Viking Pump in Cedar Falls. She began as an entry-level fork truck operator, moving up to shipping utility with a higher pay grade and more opportunities for advancement.

“I’m loving it,” she said. “It changed my life. I went from not knowing how to take care of myself and [pay] my bills, to not having to worry about it.”

She credits her short-term training at Hawkeye with giving her the skills and knowledge base to get a job at Viking Pump. She praises the instructors with giving her the confidence to pursue a career.

“If they hadn’t pushed me it wouldn’t have happened,” she said. “They changed my life.”

Now, instead of wondering how she’ll support her family, Purifoy is looking forward to growing her skills and following a career that she believes will last until retirement.

“It changed my life, that’s for sure,” Purifoy said. “If I can do it, anybody can do it.”