2018 Individual Success Stories

Meet Ricardo Romero

Workforce Challenge:

Ricardo Romero was a quality assurance technician with an hourly wage of $28.00. Despite years of experience in the manufacturing sector, he had experienced difficulty in career advancement opportunities.

Workforce solution: 

Ricardo visited the South Bay One-Stop Business & Career Centers - Inglewood to establish ways to match his prior skills and develop career mobility strategies. Ricardo was enrolled in work-based training and up-skilling.

Outcome and Benefits:

Shortly after completing his coursework he successfully landed a position of Quality Inspector in February 2018 working for Virgin Orbit a company within the Virgin group with an hourly wage of $33.

“I am grateful for the programs and services received, but most importantly I have a
brighter outlook on my career and opportunities for upward mobility.”

Meet Nanci Lane

Workforce Challenge:

Nanci Lane, was laid off from ITT Technical Institute, where she had worked for 10 years. Previously, she was a domestic violence counselor for young adult students in school and advised them on academic and personal matters.

Workforce solution: 

She realized having computer skills was necessary and enrolled in the One-Stop Business & Career Centers - Torrance. Her career counselor facilitated her enrollment into an exceptional computer program through Loyola Marymount Extension.

Outcome and Benefits:

Ms. Lane successfully completed the program and is now Director of Career Services at Casa Loma College, a nonprofit career college.

“I’d tell anyone who is in need of career assistance or is making a career transition that the One-Stop is a wonderful resource. I have felt completely supported and I’m sure that my experience there contributed to helping me be where I am now!”

Meet Anthony Smith

Workforce Challenge:

Anthony Smith has held various entry-level positions in the construction and oil refinery industry over the years, however, he lacked safety certifications needed to obtain career mobility in his chosen occupation. As a result, the lack of certifications held him back.

Workforce solution: 

Anthony visited South Bay One-Stop Business & Career Centers - Inglewood in July 2018 and attended the Construction & Utilities Pathway Program orientation. He decided to pursue training through one of our I-TRAIN partners, Coastline Community College and Career Expansion, and completed the Core Competencies Construction Course.

Outcome and Benefits:

Shortly after completing his training, Anthony secured employment with Brand Energy Solutions as a Safety Technician/Red Hat with an hourly wage of $28.

“I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to utilize the services of South Bay One-Stop and so grateful they paid for my construction training with Career Expansion and Coastline Community College. The training and placement assistance I received changed my family and my life forever. I’m currently saving to purchase my first home.”

Meet Marta Caires

Workforce Challenge:

Marta Caires, had extensive work experience in the travel industry, but when the company where she worked for seven years laid her off, she realized her experience wasn’t enough to find a new job. Being unemployed led her to go back to school and shift careers in a demanded profession. She pursued Human Resources, applied to jobs, but now inexperienced in the field, she still wasn’t able to find employment.

Workforce solution: 

Marta reached out to the South Bay One-Stop Business & Career Centers - Torrance. Marta was guided in writing a resume and provided with valuable interview tips. She also received encouraging words from her case manager that reminded her of her work experience and the skills she had to offer.

Outcome and Benefits:

Marta felt confident during her interviews. She participated in a hiring event and was offered a job with Duty Free Shopping at LAX.

“I felt very positive as I was being guided by experienced professionals, who knew exactly
what I’ve been through and knew what I needed to do next.”

Meet Michael Fox

Workforce Challenge:

Michael Fox, a Non Destructive Testing technician for SpaceX, visited the South Bay One-Stop Business & Career Center - Inglewood in September 2017 for assistance in upscaling his skills.

Workforce solution: 

Michael was enrolled in a work-based training and up-skilling program to receive specialized competencies in liquid penetrant, radiographic, ultrasonic, or magnetic particle testing.

Outcome and Benefits:

Since completing his coursework in January 2018, Michael has also completed the Industrial Radiography Radiation Safety Personnel Certification from the American Society of Nondestructive Testing ASNT. As part of the SpaceX precision tube fabrication team, Michael has an hourly wage over $26.00 and continues to make important strides in his career path and anticipates continued growth within the company and the industry.

“This program has helped me advance in my career and has given me opportunities for cross training with other teams. I am an advocate for this program and want others to know that these opportunities are out there. I am very interested in giving
back to the community and want to help others pursue careers in NDT”

Meet Kandace Kuwahara

Workforce Challenge:

Kandace Kuwahara was laid off after working for Transamerica as a graphic artist for more than 14 years. She had difficulty finding employment and turned to the South Bay One-Stop Business & Career Centers - Gardena to find out about employment services.

Workforce solution: 

Kandace received assistance with vocational training to enhance her skills. She asked if she could enroll in the Real Estate Principles, Practice and Property Management course at the University of Western California. Her goal was to enhance her skills and get into the workforce to become gainfully employed again.

Outcome and Benefits:

After earning her certificate, Kandace received job search and resume writing assistance. Not long after, she secured a job as a graphic artist with Bobit Business Media in Torrance earning; and has opportunities for professional growth within the company. She is also continuing her real estate principles and practices training.

“It has been a wonderful and rewarding experience working with the Gardena One-stop
staff. They have outstanding services and I felt supported the entire time.”

Meet Leslie Harris II

Workforce Challenge:

Leslie Harris II joined the military shortly after High School with limited knowledge and understanding about the civilian workforce. He is a Post 9/11 Veteran having served in the United States Army as a patriot missile operator.  Since his separation from the military, Mr. Harris has held various entry-level positions in the construction industry specifically in the areas of carpentry.  As a Patriot Missile Operator he was responsible for conducting preventive maintenance checks and service vehicles, and operating a 10-ton crane. In combat situations, he was responsible for loading guided missiles and assisting with tactical overlays, including mapping, reconnaissance, and selecting positions.  Additionally, he was responsible for supervision of soldiers and providing technical guidance. Despite his extensive military training and leadership capabilities, he had limited knowledge about the civilian workforce, career exploration concepts, and essential career mobility strategies.

Workforce solution: 

Mr. Harris visited South Bay Business and Career Centers- Inglewood and attended the Construction

and Utilities Pathway Program (CUPP) orientation. During his initial visits to South Bay Business and Career Centers- Inglewood, the immediate goal was to establish the most effective way to match his military skills and experience to meaningful civilian occupations in Construction. 

Outcome and Benefits:

Mr. Harris attended orientation, deemed eligible, and subsequently enrolled in the Dislocated Worker Program under the 25% Special Assistance Grant.   After completing career counseling sessions, completing Blueprint for Workplace Success. and working with his CUPP career counselor to develop an individual employment and a construction career pathway plan, Mr. Harris was sponsored into the local Carpenters Union and dispatched to Kiewit and the Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park project in the city of Inglewood in January 2018 as a Carpenter Apprentice with an hourly wage of approximately $31.00.

He is grateful for the assistance and direction received from South Bay Business and Career Centers- Inglewood and the CUPP program.

“Being in the Carpentry trade has been such a blessing for me and my family.  Working at the Inglewood stadium has helped me learn a vast array of skills. I am thankful that the one stop helped me get a job and helped me continue on my career path.  As an Army Veteran, construction is a perfect fit. It is no-nonsense, hard work, and integrity.  These are simple values are easy for me to accomplish due to my military background.   I would strongly encourage any Veteran to consider a career in construction.  Leaving the military was a hard step for me.  When I was discharged, I didn’t know up from down. The construction industry saved me from failure.  Thanks again for the support”

Meet Noel Moore

Workforce Challenge:

Redondo Beach resident Noel Moore, age 47, had been out of work for more than seven months after getting laid off from a nonprofit organization called Stepping Stones which had lost its funding. She was close to exhausting her unemployment benefits. Though she had extensive experience in social service work, she couldn’t find employment in that field.

Workforce solution: 

Noel found out from a friend about the services offered at the Torrance One-Stop Business and Career Center and during her first visit was processed into the system and began receiving training in job search skills, resume writing and interviewing techniques. She was enrolled in the On-the-Job Training program.

Outcome and Benefits:

After five months, Noel interviewed for the position of Drug Court Counselor at the Asian American Drug Abuse Program in Inglewood and was hired in May 2018.

Meet Drake Finley

Workforce Challenge:

Drake Finley, forty-seven-year-old veteran, applied for unemployment services (IU). Trying to get back to the workforce he reached out for the veteran services through the Employment Development Department (EDD) as stated through his IU.

Workforce solution: 

Mr. Finley was given an assessment to create a career plan. The assistance he received from the Torrance One-Stop staff was uplifting, he reports it giving him the continued confidence he needed to master his interviews.

Outcome and Benefits:

Mr. Finley received veteran assistance funds for a new suite, he used it for two interviews and was offered 

each job. As Mr. Finley states, “I’m sure they didn’t offer me [the job] based on the suite I wore, but I am sure it didn’t hurt. When your confidence is high, people feel that energy.”

The advice Mr. Finley would give others in his position as he states, “Seek and you shall find and use the resource you have at your disposal, all of them. Torrance staff did have my best interest at heart.”

Meet Robert Smith

Workforce Challenge:

El Segundo Resident, Robert S. Smith visited South Bay Business and Career Centers- Inglewood in April 2017 only a few weeks after receiving his separation orders from the United States Army.  Retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel after 31 years of service and despite his extensive military career and leadership capabilities, he was unaware of the various resources available to him during his transition into the civilian workforce. Understanding his military rank was a major component of developing the most effective career pathway strategies for him. A Lieutenant Colonel generally serves as a Battalion Commander of a battalion consisting of 300 to 1,000 soldiers or serves as an Executive Officer or Staff Officer in a variety of high-level units or command posts. Because of the tremendous amount of responsibility attached to this rank, candidates receive promotions to these positions based on their level of experience and the leadership qualities they've displayed during their careers.

Workforce solution: 

Considering his imminent separation from the Army in the upcoming months, the immediate goal was to establish the most effective way to match his military skills, education, and experience to meanigful

civilian occupations.  Upon his enrollment into the Dislocated Worker Program under the 25% Special Assistance grant he began working with his case manager through a comprehensive assessment of education, skills, military experience and abilities that would lead to successfully developing an individual employment plan.  Mr. Smith decided to pursue a Project Management Professional Certification at Career Development Solutions in May 2017. This advanced, project oriented program includes a Project Management Profession PMI approved course along with training for a Six Sigma Lean Black Belt designed for professionals with five or more years of experience as a project manager.   Mr. Smith’s respected military career and leadership capabilities made him an ideal candidate for this WIOA funded Occupational Skills Certificate. He successfully completed his certification in June 2017 prior to his retirement from the Army in August 2017. 

Outcome and Benefits:

Providing appropriate career services to Mr. Smith prior to his separation created an important segue for his subsequent transition into to civilian labor force. Since his separation from the Army, he is now gainfully employed as program analyst for El Segundo based SAIC. Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) is a premier technology integrator in the technical, engineering, intelligence, and enterprise information technology markets with approximately 15,000 employees worldwide.  He expresses his gratitude for the services received and shares some of the challenges he faced during his transition from the military and offers words of advice for those in transition. 

 “The best advice for transitioning personnel is networking, networking, networking for unfortunately I didn’t have that luxury and it affected me greatly, but I will state that you guys  put your best foot forward and kept me informed of all available opportunities” 

Meet Patricia Goode

Workforce Challenge:

Patricia Goode, Manhattan Beach resident, was laid off from her job as an Assistant Program Director with Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems in El Segundo in November 2013. She had a clearance and many years of engineering experience, her thought was finding a job wouldn’t be too hard. 

Workforce solution: 

Being laid off lead Patricia to seek services like the Torrance One-Stop Business & Career Centers and Right Management. She enrolled with the Torrance One-Stop Business & Career Centers and got assigned a career counselor who challenged her to think differently. The One-Stop offered her Project/Program Management training at UCLA Extension, it gave her a credential to showcase with her experience and extended her unemployment period while she completed her certificate.

Outcome and Benefits:

Having the certificate showed her commitment to improving herself and updating her skills while

she was applying for jobs in four years. Patricia is now a Project and Systems Engineer at the Aerospace Corporation.

“Make a job of finding work. Keep getting up each day like you are going to work. Network by going to job fairs. Volunteer. Try a weekly group focused on finding work like Monday Morning Starters in Manhattan Beach. Have a plan outlined and follow the plan. Update your LinkedIn profile regularly. Develop an elevator speech. Develop a list of companies you want to work with and educate yourself about those companies.”

Meet Frank Martin

Workforce Challenge:

Frank G. Martin, a low income individual living in a transitional housing program as required by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) was referred to South Bay Business and Career Centers - Inglewood by his Parole agent for employment and training services in early September 2017. Since his release in 2016, after serving a 20-year sentence, Mr. Martin has struggled with long periods of unemployment due to his limited work experience.

 

Mr. Martin attended an orientation in September 2017 where he disclosed having served in the United States Navy prior to his incarceration. Mr. Martin was deemed eligible and subsequently enrolled in the WIOA adult program, co enrolled in the Veterans Employment-Related Assistance Program (VEAP) and in the Reentry program with Friends Outside Los Angeles. 

Workforce solution: 

Due to his limited work history, the immediate need was to assist him with developing a career pathway plan to reach his desired employment objectives. Mr. Martin was immediately referred to 

AJCC co-located staff – EDD Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialist to maximize his employment goals and to access additional coordinated Wagner Peyser resources and services.

After working with his case manager through a comprehensive assessment, he was able to successfully develop an individual employment plan. Mr. Martin decided to pursue VEAP funded occupational skills training at RWM Fiber Optics in the city of Carson where he began his Fiber Optics Broadband Technician program in late September, 2017.

Outcome and Benefits:

He successfully completed his training program in March 2018, obtained industry recognized certifications, and successfully secured full-time employment with El Segundo based, Outsource Inc. as a Fiber Node Technician. In less than a year following his program enrollment, Mr. Martin has made a successful reentry into the community. He is now gainfully employed, and intends to pursue additional career advancement opportunities within the Construction and Utilities sector.

“I am grateful for the opportunities ahead of me thanks to the One Stop and all the wonderful help they have provided me along the way.”

Meet Gloria Fernandez

Workforce Challenge:

Gloria Fernandez, mother of two daughters from South Los Angeles, made the brave decision to leave a violent relationship. Then after for four years she struggled, last year she was evicted from her home after the landlord’s dog had bitten her mother, mother-in-law and daughter’s father. With no funds, no job and homeless, Ms. Fernandez moved to a small bedroom with her two daughters. Before moving out, in February, she had received an appointment letter from Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN). After reviewing her needs she was quickly accepted for services.

Workforce solution: 

Ms. Fernandez was signed up for the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (MAOF), where she was able to apply for low income housing while her daughters were in school and day care. She was informed about the Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) program and signed up. She met with her case manager in March, who later that week informed her about a position to be her assistant at the UAW-LETX office. Although the commute was far, Ms. Fernandez took the job.

Outcome and Benefits:

In April, Ms. Fernandez and her daughters moved to their own apartment. In May, she purchased her own car. After being in the program, she was hired at HOPICS, and worked for two months until she received a new job opportunity. Ms. Fernandez was informed her previous case manager had taken another job, making her position available. Ms. Fernandez is now a TSE Program Case Manager for UAW-LETC.

“I thank god every day for all the opportunities and blessings I have received. I am grateful for the TSE program for helping individuals like myself to learn, grow and succeed in life.”

Meet Dennis – Redondo Beach

Workforce Challenge:

Dennis, a 28-year old native of Raleigh, North Carolina, came to California and settled in Redondo Beach in 2013. He gained employment as a building maintenance technician and porter for Alliance Residential, a real estate property management firm in Santa Monica. But in 2016 company downsizing resulted in him being laid off.

Workforce solution: 

After researching his options for a couple months while drawing unemployment, Dennis decided to visit the

Torrance One-Stop Business & Career Center in hopes of gaining some vocational training. He had previously earned his CompTIA A+ certificate and hoped to work in the computer field someday. The One-Stop counselor helped Dennis develop a plan to transition into the IT field and enrolled him in computer certification classes through ABCO Technology in Los Angeles.

Outcome and Benefits:

Following his graduation from ABCO, Dennis obtained his Cisco CCNA certification in March 2017 and a few months later was hired by EPIQ Systems in Century City as a Computer Technical Support Specialist nearly doubling his previous salary of $12.75/hr to $23/hr.

"The ongoing support I received from the One-Stop Center staff in updating my resume and with job leads and interview coaching was extremely valuable in helping me succeed in my job search."

Meet Edward Mares – Torrance

Workforce Challenge:

26-year-old Edward Mares had a very limited work history with his last position being in retail as a seasonal hire. He was attending classes at Cal State University Long Beach working towards getting his BA degree in Computer Engineering.  He submitted his resume for a machinist position at L-3 Communications in Torrance but was informed he didn’t have enough experience. 

Workforce solution: 

L-3 Communications had worked with the Torrance One-Stop Center several times in filling positions and reached out to the One-Stop Center to see if Edward might be eligible for a paid OJT work contract. The One-Stop Center reviewed Edward’s light machinery experience history he gained from college classes and was able to qualify him for the WIOA OJT program.

Outcome and Benefits:

Edward successfully completed the three-month OJT and was hired for a full time position by L-3 as a Machinist Precision B.

Edward is grateful for the help he received from the Torrance One-Stop Center staff in qualifying him for the OJT training and thanks L3 Technologies for giving him the opportunity to succeed.

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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© 2019 by South Bay Workforce Investment Board. All rights reserved.

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.