Adult Success Stories
Lucila worked for 20 years as a Medical Assistant, loved working for Kaiser, but was ready for the next step. She had always wanted to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse, but had been unable to afford the training required for licensing.
During a hiatus, Lucila decided to reach out to the America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) in the High Desert for assistance. Not only was she able to secure funding for training, Lucila also received job search assistance. After completing her training and becoming a Licensed Vocational Nurse, Lucila was hired by Beaver Medical as a temporary LVN, but on an ongoing basis for almost a year. She recently secured a permanent position as an LVN at Kaiser Permanente, which is where she dreamed of returning.
“I am so excited, I can’t believe this,” said Lucila. “This was always my goal, to return to Kaiser, which will give me benefits…I just wanted to tell you, that you made a difference in my life. Thank you again, you gave me a hope when I had none, and for making this possible and being my advocate to receive training.”
While he did not take his job at Costco for granted, Matthew Richardson realized that he needed to broaden his knowledge and skills in order to move up and support his growing family. Michael dreamed of a career as a mechanical technician, but lacked the certification and training to qualify and become marketable in that industry.
Mathew was interested in working for California Steel Industries (CSI), so when he learned about On-the-Job Training offered through the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board, he did not hesitate. Mathew is currently interning at CSI, and looking forward to a career as a millwright.
“The On-the-Job Training program made the Internship at California Steel Industries possible,” Matthew says.
Cindy Ovalle was a waitress for nine years, earning her bachelor’s degree during off hours and even squeezing in time to give back to the community through volunteer work. Then one day, the company she worked for closed its doors and she lost her job.
Cindy was unemployed for 7 months and losing hope. Then she remembered that a previous co-worker mentioned employment workshops offered through the Workforce Development Board. She contacted her local America’s Job Center of California in San Bernardino and met with Vanessa Valadez, Workforce Development Specialist.
“Vanessa really impacted my job search skills in a very positive way,” Cindy says. “From my cover letter, resume, references, sending templates, the resources were endless. She really outdid herself. She also scheduled a mock interview with me, where I received constructive feedback, which allowed me to succeed in my job search. I would still be unemployed, had I not come in. Vanessa showed me how to stand out from all the competition, and by following her advice, I succeeded. Success is only obtained if you seek to better yourself.”
Unable to find employment, Karina Marquez decided it was time to acquire new skills. A few years earlier, her husband had received the training he needed to secure a new job through a program offered by the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board.
Karina decided to get certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist, and was referred to the New Horizons Computer Learning Center. She completed her training and almost immediately received two job offers — one from Kaiser Permanente and the other from Pomona Valley Hospital.
“I believe that without this training, I would still be looking for employment, and in fact, both organizations were very impressed with the certification I received,” Karina says.
She says she could not have done it without the support of the team of advisors at the America’s Job Center of California. “Everyone in the office was not only very nice, but also very forthcoming with pertinent information that was very helpful to me, including the resume and interview workshops,” she says. “It was a real pleasure working with all the staff.”
Peter Andersen is a retired 69 year old veteran with over 20 years of experience as a probation officer for LA County. He is a very active senior, who is determined to work and stay involved with the community. He needed to supplement his retirement so he began looking for applicable jobs, but soon realized he needed some additional help in scouring today’s job market.
Peter was referred to the Workforce Investment Board for training and Veteran’s Assistance. The Workforce Investment Board provided Peter with personalized case management and career advice. He received resume assistance, job search workshops, job referrals, and vouchers for Live Scan.
Peter is now successfully employed full time as a Campus Monitor at a local high school within Snowline School District. He is especially thankful to his local Workforce Investment Board team for their assistance with computer usage and leading him to the Veteran’s Networking Club. Peter says the Workforce Investment Board, “helped me find a realistic career goal that suited my age and physical ability. I am so appreciative of the service I received. I am now able to maintain my household and look forward to an active lifestyle while easing into retirement.”
Patricia Odoh was laid off from her job as a medical billing specialist, “I was unemployed and my Unemployment Insurance benefits were running out. I had worked for a company for 13 years, when the company suddenly closed. I had never had any formal training, never attended college and did not have a certificate in medical billing. Although I had been performing the job functions, without the actual certificate, I was unemployable. I had an employer tell me that if I obtained the certification they would hire me.”
Patricia was referred to the Workforce Investment Board through her local unemployment office.
The Workforce Investment Board assisted her with the funding to obtain training and the necessary certification to gain a position as a Billing Specialist. This was very important for Patricia, as she says, “Without the funding, I would not have been able to pay for the training.”
Patricia is proud that she successfully completed her training and is now employed. She applied for, and accepted, a position in New York to be closer to her granddaughter. “The WIB gave me a future at 44 years old. I was getting scared when my unemployment benefits were running out and I couldn’t find a job. The education was what I needed for the second phase of my life and to start a new career in a new place. I am very grateful to this program.”
Gail Kenyon came to the Workforce Investment Board in August of 2012, hoping to find employment after being laid off from BAE Systems located in Ontario, California. The company had relocated to New Hampshire, which was a terrible blow especially because it coincided with her divorce. Officially a single, unemployed mother of three, she was forced to move back in with her parents.
Gail attended an orientation at the WIB’s America’s Job Center of California where she was assigned an advisor who helped her through the whole process. Although she has an MBA/BA, Gail was applying for jobs that required a Contracts Management Certification. After intensive researching of vocational education schools, job searches, and workshops, Gail finally was enrolled at the University of Irvine Extension with Workforce Investment Board funding and received her Certificate of Completion in June of 2013.
Gail’s advisor kept in touch and continued to assist in her job search until Gail successfully gained employment in Bloomfield, Colorado with Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation as a Contracts Manager. She is now earning $64.90 per hour, including benefits. Gail is thankful for the opportunity to work at a great paying job in a position that she enjoys, as well as for all the support and encouragement she received from her Workforce Investment Board advisor.
Rosa Sanchez left her last employer in 2008 to be a stay at home mom and had not worked since. When her child became of school-age, she started actively searching for employment, but had been unsuccessful in securing a job.
Rosa’s boyfriend had attended a Workforce Investment Board workshop and received a flyer which he passed on to Rosa. She was able to use the services available in the resource room to create a resume and submit applications. She also received information about other services the Workforce Investment Board program offers and ended up receiving other supportive services to help in her job search.
Rosa was able to create a better resume that helped her market herself effectively and get hired with Cardenas Markets as a Pastry Cashier. Rosa is extremely grateful for the services provided by the Workforce Investment Board, stating, “This program helped me a lot with hope and to see that there is help even when you are completely down.”
Venus Fleetwood has overcome many challenges in her life, and she thanks the Workforce Investment Board for helping her through. “I nearly lost my kids and I barely graduated from high school,” she says. “My life was almost gone due to drugs, until I went to a foster home. I realized that I needed to clean up and build a career in order to care for my children.”
A social worker informed Venus of the career services offered by the Workforce Investment Board that would help her become a registered nurse. The America’s Job Centers of California staff provided Venus with tools, taught her study habits, and taught her how to properly fill out a job application. She received alcohol and drug education, which has continued to support her as she lives drug-free.
The center’s staff helped her apply for and gain a position with Premier Medical Transportation. She is also finishing her courses to become a registered nurse. “I received much more help than I expected and I appreciate it more than ever,” says Venus. “My family looks up to me for staying in this program and I am proud to be able to support my children.”
Venus is now attending San Bernardino Valley College, her drug use is in the past, and she has her kids back in her life. She is looking forward to becoming a registered nurse so she can help others live healthy lives.
Ana Vazquez was terminated from her job and had been unemployed for two months. After several interviews, she could not find a job and needed help.
Ana attended workshops at the America’s Job Centers of California, operated by the Workforce Investment Board. She found them very helpful, especially a workshop that offered mock interview practice. Her mentor, Riccardo Canova, took the time to go over her answers to interview questions and offer feedback. He also assisted with her resume and cover letter, which improved her marketability.
Ana says the services she received through the Workforce Investment Board helped her to improve her skills in interviews and increase her confidence. “I received a lot of support and motivation from Riccardo.” The biggest hurdle was her nervousness during interviews, and Riccardo helped her become relaxed and confident in her interviews. Ana’s newfound interviewing skills helped her to become employed as a clinical therapist.