Sarah Jorgensen: A tactical approach to serving the community

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As students stride by Sarah Jorgensen (Information Specialist/Office Assistant 2000) in Centre Core,
the clothes one of them is wearing catches her eye. “Those came from our store,” she says with a smile. “They are so comfortable.”

The student was wearing a uniform purchased at Lethbridge Tactical, the business Jorgensen opened in 2012. For students in the college’s Emergency Medical Technician and other programs, the start of the semester isn’t complete without a trip to Jorgensen’s northside store.

As Carole Mickey (Office Assistant 1987), program assistant in the Centre for Health and Wellness, explains, back-to-school supplies for first responder students include a uniform, duty boots and a duty belt. And the college directs them to Lethbridge Tactical to find everything they need. “Many of them pick up other items too,” says Mickey, “their flashlights, multi-tools, weatherproof notebooks and other tidbits. She also supplies for many of the first responders in the region.”

Jorgensen’s journey to entrepreneurship came in a roundabout way – although the college played key roles at many points of the trip. Right after high school, she briefly enrolled before leaving to work at the mall. It didn’t take her long to realize she wanted more out of her professional life, so she researched and realized that the college’s Office administration program would lead to a “real job” in just a year.

“And it did,” she says. “I was immediately hired for reception work and worked at a number of different office jobs. I was working as a receptionist at a legal office when I was promoted to a legal assistant, and I caught the legal bug and took a few Criminal Justice courses in 2004.”

Jorgensen says while she was glad to have good work, as time passed she began looking for something that was more of a calling. “I always had an idea for a business I wanted to do,” she explains. “My husband (Shaun Jorgensen, Criminal Justice 2004) was working in law enforcement and I knew there was a need for this industry. So when G.I. Jen’s closed, I jumped on it” and opened Lethbridge Tactical. The business was a runner-up in the 2012 Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge and has been growing steadily since.

Jorgensen has returned to the college again, enrolling in Business Administration – Marketing classes in January to “learn more and bring it back to the business and grow more.” And while Jorgensen says she has enjoyed all of the different courses she has taken, she looks back to her Office Administration program as a vital one for her success over the years. “That one program just got to me,” she says. “It was the right program for me at the right time. It got me into the work force. And it gave me the opportunity to go.”

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