When Community Connection staff first met Jose he hadn’t worked for over ten years and had a very hard time being in a public setting. Jose was shy, introverted and had a hard time communicating. Although, he understood English he was very apprehensive to use it and primarily communicated in Spanish. Jose was eager to find employment and was very willing to participate in any vocational testing, work situational assessments, volunteering and any other pre-employment activities that would help him to be prepared to take on a job opportunity.
Jose began his employment journey by attending a support group at the Mariposa Wellness Center once a week. After attending the group for one month, he was ready to volunteer once a week at the Second Harvest Food Bank. After two months of weekly support groups, volunteer work, consistently taking medications, and meeting his employment specialist once a week, Jose was ready to seek gainful employment in the community.
Community Connection worked with Joes to develop an individualized plan of employment (IPE) with working as a Materials Handler position as the goal. This goal was based on Jose’s skills testing results and his preferences. With this employment goal in mind, the next step was to try small day-to-day temporary employment through Labor Ready as a step towards part-time permanent employment.
Through his volunteer job, he had re-learned how to set an early morning routine and arrive at work on time. He was also able to gain endurance that enabled him to work a 4 to 8 hour shift. Jose was on time for all his appointments and treated his volunteer work as a real job. He was then able to gain positive employment references from this placement. Jose was now more comfortable being in public and had improved communication skills.
When Jose moved on to work for Labor Ready, he was able to show up every morning at 6:00 a.m. He was given the opportunity to try different types of hands on employment (maintenance, construction clean up crew, landscaping, janitorial, sorting, and others). He was extremely hard working and consistent and soon started to receive employment requests trough Labor Ready. Jose was then ready for a six-month assignment working at a city recycling facility. He worked an average of 32 hours a week.
At the end of this assignment it was time to focus on finding permanent employment. Jose had previous experience working an Auto Detailer 10 years ago, and had now gained current transferable skills through his volunteer experiences, Labor Ready jobs and the City Recycling facility that he was now more marketable and job ready.
After developing a detailed resume specifically design to obtain an Auto Detailing job, with the support of his Employment Specialist, Jose visited every auto dealership in town to deliver his resume. After following up for a few months, Jose was offered a full-time job as an Auto Detailer for a Watsonville Chrysler dealership. Jose accepted the position and became one of the company’s best employees.
One year later Jose was laid off due to a lack of business at the dealership, but he did not give up. He immediately contacted Community Connection for support. Jose’s Employment Specialist was able to obtain outstanding employee recommendation letters that helped him to again find full-time employment at another local Automobile dealership. Jose continues to work 40 hours a week.
Jose was once a participant that wasn’t sure if he’d ever be able to work again. Now he is one of the best employees at The Watsonville Cadillac-Buick-GMC