2016 Success Stories

Meet Virginia "Ginny" Owens - CARSON


Workforce Challenge: After the company she had worked at for nearly 30 years closed down and moved to Texas, single-mother Virginia (Ginny) Owens, 55, found herself unemployed and in an unfamiliar place.


Workforce Solution: Ms. Owens participated in the Transitional Subsidized Employment program after visiting the Carson Career Center and one of her assignments was working for the Norwalk Courthouse, an assignment she admitted later that she thoroughly enjoyed and hoped to go back to. After the courthouse assignment, Ms. Owens was working at SCAN Health Plan in Long Beach when she had to go home sick one day. Fate intervened when she received a call from her previous supervisor at the courthouse and was asked to go in for an interview.

Outcome and Benefits: Having done such an outstanding job at the Norwalk Courthouse during her time as a TSE participant, Ms. Owens was offered a full-time job and is now working as a Court Service Assistant 1.


“Thank you for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to work at the courthouse. I love my new job.”

Meet LaWanda Staten - GARDENA


Workforce Challenge: LaWanda Staten, 55, of Gardena, worked for Concorde Career College as the Regional Business Developer for approximately seven years. When Ms. Staten was suddenly laid off and she had a very difficult time finding steady employment to meet her needs. The Employment Development Department referred her to the Gardena One-Stop Business & Career Center to receive vocational training services and assistance with her job search.


Workforce Solution: Ms. Staten met with a career advisor and was informed that she was eligible to receive funding for training under the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act, Dislocated Worker Program. She enrolled in the Human Resources Management program at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Outcome and Benefits: Upon completion of her training, Ms. Staten was offered the Business Development Associate position at the Community Career Development in the City of Compton. Ms. Staten accepted the offer and began

working for the company in February 2016 with a starting pay of $44,000 annually and has since already received a pay increase to $48,000 annually


“I’m so grateful to all the Gardena staff that helped me during a tumultuous period in my life. They assisted me with brushing up on my interviewing skills and updating my resume and providing job leads. I had access to all types of resources to help me get back into the workforce! It truly is a one-stop shop to get everything you need in order to become employable!”

Meet Leonard Velez - HAWTHORNE


Workforce Challenge: Leonard Velez, 42, is a father of four young daughters. He was suddenly laid off from his job at Social Annex, a local software company, where he worked as a Service Director. Mr. Velez visited the Inglewood One-Stop Business & Career Center, seeking additional training in hopes of reentering the workforce. Mr. Velez attended a Workforce Innovation Opportunities Act (WIOA) information session, was deemed eligible and enrolled as a Dislocated Worker shortly thereafter.


Workforce Solution: Mr. Velez attended various workshops focusing on job preparation and career readiness services. He received information regarding training providers found on the Intrastate Training Resource and Information Network
(I-TRAIN). Mr. Velez was enrolled at New Horizons Computer Learning Centers of Southern California, where he obtained a Six Sigma Black Belt Certification, which focuses on techniques and tools for process improvements
with an emphasis on project management.

Outcome and Benefits: The Six Sigma Certification and his previous work experience helped Mr. Velez secure a Vice President of Sales position with Telemet America, a financial investment software company, where he earns a salary of $77,000.


"I couldn’t be happier with the One-Stop staff. The assistance I received was excellent and has led me on a solid career path.”

Meet Marie Bayro - HERMOSA BEACH


Workforce Challenge: Hermosa Beach resident, Marie Bayro, 38, had last worked as a Business Analyst for Entertainment Partners in 2015. She took a Family and Medical Leave of Absence last year in order to care for her father who was terminally ill. As her savings began to diminish, Ms. Bayro saw the need to re-enter the workforce. The experiences she went faced with her father left her determined to find “meaningful” employment as opposed to strictly
working for a paycheck.

Workforce Solution: Ms. Bayro visited the Torrance One-Stop where she found she was eligible for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) Adult Program. The staff at the One-Stop immediately helped her create a resume which highlighted her education, training and work experience. The staff began sending Ms. Bayro’s resume out to various companies and through interview workshops, she gained the confidence she needed to actively apply for other jobs on her own. It was not long before she was contacted for an interview.

Meet Christina Curnal - INGLEWOOD


Workforce Challenge: Christina Curnal, 29, of Inglewood was at a crossroads in her life where she was no longer content with simply working miscellaneous jobs. As a single parent of four young children, Ms. Curnal wanted to start a career with a company that would pay enough for her to be considered “head-of-household” and provide stability for her family. Ms. Curnal was mourning the recent loss of her father, further complicating her attempts at work stability.


Workforce Solution: The Inglewood One-Stop provided Ms. Curnal with all the resources she needed to succeed. Ms. Curnal was provided with resources for childcare, as well as a transportation allowance while earning income through the program.

Outcome and Benefits: After the first month of participating in the Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) program she was scheduled for an interview with the South Bay Workforce Board (SBWIB) for a position as an MIS Administrative Assistant for the Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN) Unit. Two months after entering the TSE program, Ms. Curnal was offered a full-time position at the SBWIB head office.


“All of the resources I was provided helped me tremendously with the job opportunity I was offered. I am appreciative of the opportunity and thankful to have been selected as the top candidate for such a prestigious company. The staff has been fully supportive in my transition and continues to encourage me on a daily basis. I now have a career and will continue to advance with all the knowledge I have acquired. The One-Stop has been my bridge to success!”

Meet Shameka Moten - INGLEWOOD


Workforce Challenge: Shameka Moten is a 31-year-old, single mother to an 11-year-old son, who was a DPSS Gain Participant who qualified to be a part of the Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) program. She found it challenging to find gainful employment in the bookkeeping industry in which she was trained for and interested in. She went to the Inglewood One-Stop Business & Career Center to participate in the TSE Program and was amazed at the amount of resources and opportunities that were available to her.


Workforce Solution: Originally placed as a clerical intern at the Inglewood One-Stop Business & Career Center, but after showing great improvement and diligence, Ms. Moten was placed at the Inglewood Airport Area Chamber of Commerce where she completed her commitment to the TSE Program. The Inglewood Airport Area Chamber of Commerce decided to hire her permanently as a Bookkeeping Assistant.

Outcome and Benefits: At her current location she is learning the accounting program “QuickBooks,” which provides her with additional skills to make her competitive in today’s workforce. Ms. Moten continues to work at the Inglewood Airport Area Chamber of Commerce and has advanced through promotion into the position of Office Manager with an increase in her salary. With supportive services like clothing and transportation she was able to attain the job training and experience that would enable her to compete in today’s workforce. She continues to excel in her position and has collaborated on many projects in partnership with the South Bay Workforce Investment Board and the Inglewood One-Stop Business & Career Center.

“If you push for the best, they (the One-Stop staff) are there to help. They won’t give up on you, so don’t give up on yourself.”

Meet Karla P. Barba-Mora - LAWNDALE


Workforce Challenge: Karla P. Barba-Mora, 39, of Lawndale, worked as a Marketing Manager for Aerovias de Mexico SA de CV at LAX when she was terminated in April 2013. Her husband had also recently been laid off from his job so the
couple found themselves having to rely on unemployment insurance and public assistance to provide for their family. Facing financial hardships, Mrs. Barba-Mora decided to attend a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) information session at the Inglewood One-Stop in search of assistance. Mrs. Barba-Mora expressed an aspiration to one day own her own beauty shop, but she would first need to obtain her license as a cosmetologist.

Workforce Solution: Mrs. Barba-Mora successfully completed all program requirements and during her one on one appointment with her case manager, was deemed eligible to receive funding for training under the WIOA Adult Program. She was very excited because she knew she would be able to achieve her first short term goal- obtaining her

cosmetology license. Mrs. Barba-Mora navigated the list of approved vocational schools on I-TRAIN and selected the
International Academy of Cosmetology located in South Gate, CA.

Outcome and Benefits: Upon completion of her classroom training, Mrs. Barba-Mora worked alongside the job development team at Inglewood One Stop and regularly attended the Career Pathways Circle sessions to find employment. After numerous applications and job leads, she interviewed with Intermex Wire Transfer LLC and received a position as a marketing field specialist in order to address her immediate living expense needs. In addition, she is working on building her clientele as a cosmetologist and plans on renting a location of her own in the future.

"I’m grateful to have fulltime employment with medical benefits. I’m thankful for programs like WIOA and all the services provided by
Inglewood One Stop in assisting my re-entering the workforce."

Meet Sogigie Sherfa - LOMITA


Workforce Challenge: Sogigie Sherfa, 18, of Lomita, a recent graduate of Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, was seeking a part time employment opportunity. She came to Torrance One-Stop to inquire about the summer program, which provides first time work experience (clerical/recreational/maintenance/child care) assignments to youth ages 14-24 in various city government or community based organization settings. Youth will go through 20 hours of personal enrichment training and later are placed at work sites to work an average of 100 hours.

Workforce Solution: The City of Lomita was in need of a mature individual with basic computer and office skills and Ms. Sherfa came to mind. The One-Stop Staff set up an interview for her with City Clerk, Sandra Medina, and was offered the position.

Outcome and Benefits: While at City Clerk’s office, Ms. Sherfa learned how to archive City documents, learned to

operate the switchboard system and occasionally interacted with City officials. Ms. Sherfa was appreciative of the opportunity she was given. She was grateful for the exposure she received and is now knowledgeable in how a government entity functions. She is taking this experience with her on her new journey as a college student at the University of California Berkley where she is majoring in Humanities and Community Service and with the hours worked this summer is able to pay for some of the expenses of college.

"I appreciate all that the One-Stop has done to help me with increasing my work skills. I hope to continue to make my parents proud."

Meet Bryan Durnan - MANHATTAN BEACH

Workforce Challenge: Bryan Duran, 31, married and father of two young children under the age of two, is a resident of Hermosa Beach and had been working for CVS as a Loss Prevention Supervisor for more than four years before he was suddenly let go. After six months of unemployment, Mr. Duran decided it was time to seek help in his job search.


Workforce Solution: Mr. Duran began his road back to stable employment when he entered the Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) program after visiting the Carson Career Center. Mr. Duran admitted that one of the biggest challenges for him was not being able to earn what he needed to make to support his family.

Outcome and Benefits: Mr. Duran completed the TSE program at the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce and was then hired on full-time as an Office Coordinator. Mr. Duran was recently promoted to Operations Coordinator and hopes to continue moving up the corporate ladder.

The (One-Stop) staff was a great help with everything including sending me updates on available jobs. He definitely made my time in the program a great experience. I am looking forward to advancing in this new career.

Meet Deidre Gustavson - REDONDO BEACH


Workforce Challenge: Deidre Gustavson, 52, from Redondo Beach, was laid off from Mattel in El Segundo where she worked as a Project Engineer for 10 years. The company was facing financial hardship. Ms. Gustavson went to the Inglewood One-Stop to gain new skills from training in order to reenter the workforce. Ms. Gustavson attended a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) information session, deemed eligible and enrolled as a Dislocated Worker shortly thereafter.


Workforce Solution: During the time Ms. Gustavson attended various workshops and received information regarding training providers found on the Intrastate Training Resource and Information Network (I-TRAIN), she was placed at UCLA Extension where she obtained a Certificate in Sustainability. The Certificate in Sustainability focuses on combining academics with real-life application in renewable energies and sustainable practices.

Outcome and Benefits: Ms. Gustavson’s certification, along with her existing experience allowed her to secure employment as a Cost Engineer in the toy development department with Hasbro Inc. She is presently earning $60/hour.

"I am very happy and satisfied with all the services and training that Ireceived from the Inglewood One-Stop’s staff. I hope to continue myeducation and further my career.”

Meet Misty Torres - REDONDO BEACH


Workforce Challenge: Misty Torres, 33, of Redondo Beach, had worked as a phlebotomist for the past nine years and was laid off in 2015. Without a job or immediate prospects, Ms. Torres was struggling to make ends meet. Mother of two, her situation became more challenging when she gained temporary custody of her sister’s two children. With four children to care for, Ms. Torres was more eager and motivated than ever to find a good paying job with insurance benefits.


Workforce Solution: Ms. Torres came into the Torrance One-Stop ready to find employment. Upon meeting with the case manager, Ms. Torres found she was eligible for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) Adult Program. The One-Stop immediately assisted her in updating her resume which highlighted all the work experience and skills she had accumulated within her nine years of employment.

Outcome and Benefits: With a fresh resume, Ms. Torres began applying for the positions presented to her by the Torrance One-Stop. Ms. Torres was offered a position as Laboratory Technician doing phlebotomy work at St. John’s

Hospital. She negotiated her pay to $24 hourly and was given an excellent health package.

"The assistance I received in updating my resume was very important in helping me land my present job. I’m extremely satisfied with the outcome and thank the One-Stop staff.”

Meet Cierra Washington - TORRANCE


Workforce Challenge: Cierra Washington, 30, is a mother of a two-year-old, who had been working for Crossfire Marketing Group, a company that was contracted with IGS Energy. When Crossfire lost its contract with IGS Energy, Ms. Washington found herself out of a job. With a young child at home, Ms. Washington knew she had no time to waste in finding another job to sustain her and her young child.


Workforce Solution: Ms. Washington remembered a previous stint of assistance from the South Bay One-Stop - Inglewood had landed her employment so she decided to go back to see if she might have the same result. At the Inglewood One-Stop she met with a job developer who arranged an interview for her the very next day.

Outcome and Benefits: Ms. Washington is now an Administrative Assistant for the South Bay Environmental Services Center and enjoys the daily professional interactions, as well as the stability and security of a full-time job.

"Now I’m receiving so much knowledge on environmental programs and ways to preserve the environment. I’m also working with Councilmembers and other elected officials such as Mayors and Senators. I’m looking forward to what the future holds for me in this new career path."