2017 Individual Success Stories

Meet Toni Smith – Inglewood

Workforce Challenge:

Toni Smith, Inglewood resident and single mother was laid off from her job as a Marketing Director. 

Workforce solution: 

In hopes of finding services that would help her achieve her employment and training goals following her layoff, she attended an orientation the South Bay One-Stop Career Center – Inglewood hosted on July 2015. She was deemed eligible and enrolled for the Dislocated Worker Program.

Outcome and Benefits:

After completing career counseling sessions and working with her career counselor to develop an individual employment plan, Ms. Smith decided to pursue training at University of Western California. She completed a real estate course and is now a full time licensed Real Estate agent for Jazzed Realty Inc. in the Inglewood area. The nature of the industry is wage based plus commission.

Ms. Smith stated, “I make more money than ever, pursuing a career in real estate is the best thing to happen to my career.”

Meet Andrea Dean – Los Angeles

Workforce Challenge:

Andrea Dean, single mother of two boys, a nine and nineteen-year-old, was jobless and homeless at the time she was referred to the South Bay One-Stop Career Center – Inglewood for services. Taking care of her family was priority.

Workforce Solution:

Ms. Dean received assistance from her job developer, Ms. Irish, who met with her for job development sessions. The sessions included: resume development and building; mock interviewing preparation and job search. Ms. Dean received quality job leads on a weekly basis and was referred to several employers by Ms. Irish. She was interviewed for an Office Clerk position at Apothecary Pharmacy and started working on June 13, 216. Ms. Dean received housing assistance from Ms. 

Mackabee, a representative at Senior Employment Resources (SER) who contacted the Downtown Women’s Center and assisted Ms. Dean in finding her and her sons a home. She received a raise a month into the job and took on new responsibilities beyond office clerk.

Outcome and Benefits:

Ms. Dean was contacted for follow-up a year later on July 28, 2017. It was reported that Ms. Dean is still working for the same company and is running the office, by managing the payroll, accounting, billing, ordering, prescription orders and deliveries. Her nine-year-old son is in school and plays sports and her nineteen-year-old son is still working at the Double Tree and completed the OSHA training from the One-Stop’s We Build Program.

“I am very happy and grateful for Inglewood One-Stop for helping my family build a road to success and security,” Ms. Dean expressed.

Meet Nicole Reed – Inglewood

Workforce Challenge:

Nicole Reed worked as a Brokerage Customer Services Agent for WestRock recycle Division for five years until she was affected by a group lay off. She is a single parent of a son who will soon be attending college and of a daughter already in college. To make ends meet, Ms. Reed sought assistance at the South Bay One-Stop Career Center – Inglewood.

Workforce solution: 

Ms. Reed attended an Information Session at the South Bay One-Stop –Inglewood and was determined eligible for the Dislocated Worker program. She attended all the Blueprint Workshops for job seeking training, where afterwards she stated learning multiple new things about job searching.

The South Bay One-Stop provided Ms. Reed with job leads for her to apply for employment, one-on-one counseling with case management and job development; and attended monthly Career Pathways Circle meetings for networking with other job seekers and hear motivational speakers.

Outcome and Benefits:

Ms. Reed was assigned temporary work with Robert Half as a Data Entry Clerk. She worked with them for two months, until she found permanent employment with Hassett Express as an Operations Coordinator. Ms. Reed was referred to a Partner Agency “Dress for Success” to obtain interviewing clothes for jobs. The program provided Ms. Reed with a weeks’ worth of clothing to begin her new job.

Ms. Reed says, “the most important thing that you must have is patience. The most important thing I learned is, when one door closes, another will open. When the door opens be ready to receive the blessing that can be bestowed upon you.”

Meet Mary Scott – Redondo Beach

Workforce Challenge: 

Mary Scott, Redondo Beach resident and U.S. Navy Veteran, was laid off from her job as Editor in Chief, Lifestyle Editor, and Editorial Assistant for the Palos Verdes Peninsula News after 15 years due to a decline in the print media industry. Not being in the job market for almost 16 years, Ms. Scott knew she needed to learn about the new expectations of hiring managers and recruiters.

Workforce solution: 

Ms. Scott was familiar with the South Bay One-Stop Career Center – Torrance services from a previous layoff in the late 1990’s. As soon as she noticed the industry she was working for was losing jobs she outreached to the South Bay One-Stop Career Center – Torrance for services.

The One-Stop staff, particularly her counselor encouraged Ms. Scott while she was in search for her dream job. In the meantime, Ms. Scott had a part-time job to help her pay the bills. Her counselor worked with her by practicing mock interviews, reviewing her resume and cover letters. More importantly, Ms. Scott, reports to have received encouragement from her counselor in moments of despair.

Outcome and Benefits:

Two years after starting her journey, Ms. Scott landed a dream job. She secured a position as a Marketing Assistant with GPA Consulting in El Segundo. Her role with GPA Consulting is writing and editing project proposals and content for marketing materials such as staff bios, the company blog and company newsletter, and creates design and layout for marketing materials including presentation folders and brochures.

“Job-hunting is lonely and soul-sucking. Being at the One-Stop provided support and encouragement that really helped sustain my sanity during that time,” she said.

Meet Larchelle Gray - South LA

Workforce Challenge: 

Larchelle Gray, mother of a nineteen and four-year-old, found herself putting her education on pause due to financial difficulties. She was sending out an average of ten resumes per day and received no callbacks. Not having her professional license made finding a job challenging.

Workforce solution: 

As a financial resource, Ms. Gray requested CalWORKS services and was enrolled in the Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN), Job Club and Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) program in Carson. Instructors at Job Club assisted Ms. Gray to structure her resume in a way that employers would look at her resume differently.

After completing the TSE program, her counselor recommended her for a clerical position at the YWCA Greater Los Angeles, where she was able to work with at risk families as well as intimate partner violence victims. This intern position opened the doors for Ms. Gray to connect with 

employers in the field. She considered the internship to be one of her best experiences as it allowed her to do intakes and case management; which were activities in her background and field of interest. She also met with the VP of Communications and Business at the YWCA Greater Los Angeles (GLA).

Outcome and Benefits:

With the help of the Carson One-Stop Center, Ms. Gray was able to obtain employment and is currently working as a clinical specialist with Project STRIVE at the Nathanson Family Resilience Center in UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, a family based intervention for homeless and runaway youth. She reports to be grateful to Mr. Michael Seale at the Carson One-Stop Center and the TSE program. For those in a similar situation as her, she advises, “You’re never too old to learn, try to learn as much as you can and don’t give up, the services are there for you so make sure you commit to them 100%.”

Meet Jae Barton - Carson

Workforce Challenge: 

Jae Barton was a successful hardworking single parent of a four-year old boy. In October 2015, as she worked two jobs while continuing her quest to earn her PhD in Psychology, an opportunity arose to interview for a position within her chosen field. She accepted the offer and resigned her current jobs, but while being processed for the new position it was determined she didn’t have all the necessary qualifications to do the job after all, and as a result, did not get hired.

Suddenly she was out of work and no longer had medical coverage, which she needed to get treatment for her son. Jae applied for other work, but nothing developed.

 

Workforce solution: 

Jae went to the Department of Public Social Services office in Inglewood seeking help. It was there that she found out about the South Bay One-Stop Business & Career Center and its various services, including the Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) program.

Outcome and Benefits: 

Jae enrolled in the job development program and learned how to improve her resume and make it compatible with the current technology utilized by HR professionals. She was referred to the Carson One-Stop Center. Her case manager was very impressed with her resume and scheduled her for an interview with U.S. Vets, a nonprofit veteran’s assistance agency in Long Beach. She was selected for a position under the TSE program. After completing her on-the-job training, she was hired as a Treatment Liaison Case Manager and within a few months she received a promotion.

Later, Jae accepted a position with the State of California as a counselor and has earned a second M.S. degree in Psychology. She now has a stable income and is continuing her pursuit for a professional license.

“I have always run my life by my quote, ‘Determination does not entertain contemplation’, and because the staff at the one stop were both professional and caring, they never stopped believing in me, and they were committed to my success. I was determined to not let them down, because my success was their story. One must always remain humble, as you never know the infinite possibilities that life has plan for you, embrace the struggle there is so much to learn from life, only one way to go once you hit rock button! UP!!" Jae said.

Meet Ashley Tellez - Torrance 

Workforce Challenge: 

Ashley Tellez, single mother of one child, applied for numerous jobs and wasn’t receiving calls for interviews. Although she was grateful for the assistance the County provided her, it made being a single parent hard. Ashley wanted to be successful for her and her family so she turned to other resources in her community.

Workforce solution: 

Ashley went to the GAIN Program and began receiving employment assistance under the Job Club. At the end of the program she was enrolled in the Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) program and was placed at the Torrance One Stop as an Administrative Assistant.

Outcome and Benefits:

While in the TSE Program, Ashley was able to interview for a permanent full-time position at Molina Healthcare and was hired.

Ashley stated, "I am very grateful to have been part of the TSE program at the Torrance One Stop, they trusted me and saw things in me that I hid within myself. They were great people and the support I received from them was very helpful, I don't think I would be where I am today if it weren't for them, it was a bitter sweet feeling leaving the One Stop." 

Meet Charles Taylor - Carson

Workforce Challenge: 

Charles Taylor, a low income individual on Parole, living in a transitional housing program as required by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, sought employment services from the South Bay Business & Career Center - Inglewood.

Workforce solution: 

After attending an orientation, he was deemed eligible and subsequently enrolled in the WIOA adult program and co enrolled in the partner Reentry Program with Friends Outside Los Angeles.

After spending 12 years in state prison, the immediate need was to assist him with developing a career pathway plan to reach his desired employment objectives. After working with his case manager Gennifer Wecker, through various career counseling sessions, he was able to successfully develop an individual employment plan.

Outcome and Benefits: 

Mr. Taylor decided to pursue training at RWM Fiber Optics in Carson where he began his Fiber Optics Broadband Technician program. In three months he completed his training program, obtained industry recognized certifications, and successfully secured full-time employment with HP Communications, Inc. as a Cable/Fiber Optic Technician. He is earning $15 per hour base pay with regular overtime and bonuses resulting in an approximate $24 per hour wage. In less than six months following his release, Mr. Taylor has made a successful reentry into the community and is grateful for the services provided by the South Bay Business & Career Center- Inglewood. He is now gainfully employed, saving for his apartment, and intends to pursue additional career advancement opportunities within the Utilities sector.

Mr. Taylor expressed gratitude for all the assistance he received, “Thank You - You guys provided me with the tools I needed the most to jump start my career and to get to where I want to go.”

 

Meet Jalishia Clingmon - Torrance 

Workforce Challenge: 

Jalishia Clingmon, single mother of a daughter, attended a Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) orientation to expand her connections in search of employment.

Workforce solution: 

Jalishia’s personality was noticed immediately by job developers at the TSE orientation. As one of the job developers communicated with her, her personality stood out. She appeared to be a people person, which made placing her at the Torrance One Stop the perfect choice. Her case manager noted how great Jalishia was with the public as well as with other TSE participant’s that sought resume assistance and usage of the computer lab.

 

Outcome and Benefits:

One day Jalishia requested to take a day off to interview with Autism Spectrum Therapy but was unsure if she should go. She went and got the job. Working for them opened Jalishia’s doors and interest to pursue her Master’s in Education.

Jalishia stated, “Although I miss you guys so much, I am glad that I took this position. I am glad that everyone was so positive and nice to me. Now I know I would like to purse my Masters in Education.” 

Meet Katrina Arnold - Torrance

Workforce Challenge:

Katrina Arnold, mother and college student was unemployed and had to take a year off college to focus on getting a job to meet her own, and her family's needs. Unsure of finding a stable job she sought assistance at the Torrance One-Stop where she enrolled in the Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) program.

Workforce Solution:

Katrina was placed at the Torrance Chamber of Commerce. She interviewed for a position and was hired immediately. Her outgoing personality and public speaking skills were acknowledged as she excelled while being with Chamber. Katrina was concerned she would be out of a job as she was approaching her end date with the TSE program. She went on a few interviews and was pending a start date with another employer.

Outcome and Benefits:

Katrina was offered a full time position with the Chamber and they were willing to match her

starting pay rate. Shortly after finishing with TSE program she started as a full time employee.

Katrina stated, “the SBWIB has helped shape my life into a more promising future. Before I joined the TSE Program I just had a daughter and took a year off from college. Not sure on how to find a reasonable job or a job that will be long term until I entered the program. I worked at the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce for 10 months under the WIB pay. January of 2017 Donna Duperron the president & CEO of the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce hired me as her staff member. This was so amazing and heartwarming to me to say I work for an amazing and credible organization. If it weren't for the South Bay Workforce Investment Board I would have never been referred to the Chamber.”

Meet Kamika Franklin - San Fernando 

Workforce Challenge:

Kamika Franklin, 35, mother of two young children, ages five and one, enrolled with North East Work Source Center on January 2017 under the Enhanced Transitional Subsidized Employment (E-TSE) Program. Upon enrollment Ms. Franklin disclosed she was homeless.

Workforce Solution:

Ms. Franklin was referred to Dress 4 Success and Blueprint Training, an accelerated job readiness curriculum to help her with job preparation. Ms. Franklin completed her Blueprint Training successfully and started her assignment in a Paid Work Experience position for Goodwill in the Workforce Career Development. There she worked hand-in-hand with Ms. Fabiola, Program Supervisor.

Outcome and Benefits:

After Ms. Fabiola worked with Ms. Franklin, she was very impressed with the quality of her work. She advised her to apply for a Job Coach position that was open. Ms. Franklin applied, was

interviewed and offered the Job Coach Position.  Her Career Adviser stated being very happy that Ms. Franklin got the opportunity to work for Goodwill where she can transform lives through the power of work.

“I’m very grateful for the E-TSE program because it helped me gain more knowledge and experience, and find a job,” Ms. Franklin said.

Meet LaPorche Barley - Marina Del Rey

Workforce Challenge:

LaPorche Barley, a 27 year old single mother, was on public assistance, homeless  and unable to find employment. Due to her hardship she had to stop her education and turned to her local GAIN office to learn about options regarding employment and going back to school.  Not long after, LaPorche was told about the TSE program.

Workforce Solution:

She eagerly applied for the TSE program and despite not being accepted after her first employer interview, she was offered a second chance with the JVSLA Worksource Center in Marina Del Rey. LaPorche impressed the interviewer with her enthusiasm and was offered a TSE position in the Business Services section.

Though she began working with the mindset that she would need to continue seeking other full time employment beyond the TSE assignment, LaPorche began job shadowing co-workers at the center and quickly learned procedures and what services they provided to the public while realizing the sense of appreciation others had for her.

Outcome and Benefits:

Based on her performance and previous education background in business administration, she was hired full time at the conclusion of her TSE assignment with a starting salary of $15/hour.

LaPorche summarizes her success with a paraphrase of a Sidney Greenberg quote. “A successful man [woman] is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him [her].”

“I interpret this as saying that no matter who tries to stop your growth in life, use the negative as a positive,” she concluded.   

 

Meet Remedios Barrera - Los Angeles

Workforce Challenge:

Remedios Barrera, 29, is a single parent of two young children. Before entering the Enhanced Transitional Subsidized Employment (E-TSE) program Remedios was homeless living in a shelter with her children.

Workforce Solution:

Remedios sought recovery from substance abuse and wanted to re-enter the workforce to better herself for her family. She is receiving assistance from CHIRLA and El Nido Family Center and is currently working at the non-profit organization UAW-Labor Employment and Training Corporation, which manages South Los Angeles Work Source Center.

Outcome and Benefits:

Remedios moved easily into her position providing clerical and customer services support. Her supervisor reports that she is an outstanding employee.

"The E-TSE Program is truly an amazing experience. Through the program I was able to re-enter the workforce, using my previous experience and getting hands-on training in a job setting where I feel comfortable.  It allows me to re-learn how to perform in a work environment and how to handle stress, manage my time, and communicate well with others.  It also gives me the opportunity to connect with resources that will help me with permanent housing.  As someone who is coming off the streets, this program is helping me to achieve a better life for me and my family."

Meet Sayed Aminzai - Boyle Heights

 

Workforce Challenge:

41 year old Sayed Aminzai along with his wife and four children emigrated to the U.S. from their native Afghanistan in January 2016. They eventually settled in Covina, Ca, and he began searching for employment while attending classes at Mt. San Antonio College. Realizing that his nominal financial aid wasn’t sufficient to sustain their household, Mr. Aminzai began job searching.

Workforce Solution:

Mr. Aminzai found out about the International Institute of Los Angeles in Boyle Heights where he enrolled in the GAIN program and learned about the Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) program. Having previously served as the CEO of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, and then as Translator/Publication Manager for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Afghanistan, his case worker was able to match up his skill set with a number of potential employers who utilize TSE applicants.

Outcome and Benefits:

One of which was the nonprofit Human-I-T which provides refurbished technology, digital literacy and vocational training to individuals and other nonprofit groups. Mr. Aminzai was interviewed and offered a job at the firm’s Commerce facility. At the conclusion of his TSE assignment, he was hired full time as the Logistics Manager.

“I am very appreciative for the support I received from the GAIN staff and the TSE program,” he noted.

Meet Amy Hoang - Torrance

 

Workforce Challenge:

Amy Hoang, 26, and a single parent with a seven-year old son, needed full time employment after graduating from El Camino College with a business management degree.

Workforce Solution:

Amy was enrolled in the TSE Program through the Torrance One Stop Business & Career Center. Her case worker referred her to the Priority Import Export Services Company near LAX in June and after a successful interview, she was selected to train for a position in the Customs Clearance Processing Section. 

Outcome and Benefits:

Amy quickly mastered the required software that is necessary to utilize the U.S. Customs Database and was offered full time employment in October as the Assistant to the Customs Clearance Processing Manager.

“I am very pleased with my employer and very blessed to have had the help of the Torrance One Stop Center staff,” she said.

 

Meet David Quintin - Pasadena

 

Workforce Challenge:

David Quintin, 52, married with a teenage son, was out of work for a year due to corporate downsizing that closed his facility and resulted in the layoff of all employees. He had worked for the east coast based vitamin manufacturing firm as a procurement specialist.

Workforce Solution:

David’s wife worked part time and was enrolled in an employment program called the Greater Avenues for Independence.  She urged him to look into it and that‘s when he found out about the many no cost services and classes available through local One Stop Worksource Center. David entered into the Job Club Program through the Foothill Worksource Employment Center in Pasadena and gained valuable networking skills. He was also assisted in streamlining his lengthy resume to make him more employable. His caseworker referred him to potential employers for interviews and he was hired by a nonprofit organization called, 'Outward Bound Adventures' to fill an office administrator position under the Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) Program last June.

Outcome and Benefits:

When David finishes his TSE training program in March 2017, the non-profit company intends to hire him full time as a Deputy Director with a significant increase in responsibilities and salary.

“The Job Club gave me valuable resources and job preparation skills, especially in the area of resume writing. I appreciate their dedication to helping people like me get back into the workforce,” he said.

 

Meet Elizabeth Riofrio 

 

Workforce Challenge:

Elizabeth Riofrio, a single parent of five children, was a recent college graduate and prepared to enter the workforce and start a career when life events changed dramatically and she found herself dependent on public assistance.

Workforce Solution:

She enrolled in her local GAIN center and acquired job preparation skills through the JOB Club Program. Upon completion of her training she was referred to the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE) and after her first interview with an employment service representative, she 

regained her self-confidence and eagerly pursued job leads that were presented.

Outcome and Benefits:

Elizabeth interviewed with Catholic Charities of Los Angeles in September 2016 and was offered a position under the TSE program in the Client Resources Section. She quickly made a favorable impression and was hired as a Client Resources Coordinator full time in January 2017 at a rate of $17/hour.

“Not only did the PACE staff help me find the perfect employment opportunity but they also helped me with clothing so I could look presentable on my first day of work,” she said.

Meet Selenia Hernandez - Gardena

 

Workforce Challenge:

Selenia Hernandez, 24, and single parent of two children, re-settled from Las Vegas, Nevada, back to the South Bay so she could get her mother’s assistance while looking for full-time employment. Having only a high school diploma she knew she needed to acquire some training and job search skills.

Workforce Solution:

Selenia enrolled in the Job Club Program at her local GAIN center and soon found out about the Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) program. She was referred to the Gardena One Stop Center for an interview and was selected to enter into an eight month paid position as an office assistant.

Outcome and Benefits:

Throughout Selena’s 8 month training period, she had impressed the center’s management enough that she was hired at the Gardena One Stop full time as an Administrative Assistant.

“The One Stop Center staff members were totally supportive of me and gave me the opportunity to succeed. All the hard work I have done at the center and the patience I had paid off,” Selenia said.

S O U T H   B A Y   W O R K F O R C E                                           I N V E S T M E N T   B O A R D

A WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT BOARD

South Bay Workforce Investment Board
11539 Hawthorne Blvd., 5th Floor Hawthorne, CA 90250
Phone: (310) 970-7700
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This WIOA Title 1 financially assisted program or activity is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities

by calling in advance to CRS 1-800-735-2922 or 310-680-3700.