Loretta was unemployed for 8 months. Her life had taken a turn for the worse. It wasn’t long until she had a “wake up call” and aimed to get her life back on track. A friend had recommended SELACO WDB, America’s Job Center in Cerritos and Loretta went to seek assistance in finding a job. She said it was the best decision she had made in her job search process.
SELACO WDB provided the funding needed for Loretta to take both the exam for the Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATC) and obtain her CATC III certification, which were both necessary to reach her goal to become a substance abuse counselor. In the meantime, she was able to obtain a part-time position as a Residential Tech in a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facility. It was not quite what she was looking for, but it was a job that sustained her until she could reach her goal.
Finally, after many applications and worn out shoes from hitting the pavement, Loretta found her dream job through networking via Social Media. A friend gave her a referral after she posted on Facebook that she was looking for work.
Loretta explained what happened next, “Once I received my CATC III certificate, I became a person with status. I took the opportunity to call the supervisor at Tarzana Treatment Centers to ask for an interview for the Counselor III position that was open. He gladly set up the interview process and within a month I was hired for the position.”
Loretta advises: “Stick with the program, take all the free courses offered, communicate with your case managers and SELACO staff about concerns or accomplishments. Ask for help and follow the suggestions offered. Lastly, attend the Firestone “Power Lunch” Job Club regularly just like I did.”
Michael is a veteran with a degree in Business from CSU Fullerton and was searching for work since August. A friend that he knew from church referred Michael to the SELACO WDB Cerritos America’s Job Center. When a Career Development Specialist (CDS) from the Cerritos AJCC contacted Michael, he was in the middle of completing a course in project management through Vet.Net.
After enrollment, Michael’s CDS Vivian, encouraged him to attend some of the job search workshops. However, each time a workshop was available, Michael ended up getting a job interview. His CDS provided plenty of career guidance, assistance and gave suggestions as to where Michael might want to apply.
Michael ended up finding a great job online through CalJobs. He stated that he had applied for the same company once before, but received a rejection email. After seeing a similar position offered by the same company, Michael revised his résumé, applied again and 4 interviews later, he was offered a position as the VP of Sales for an international manufacturer located in the City of Industry. His new job is paying more than what he made previously in his former job. Michael shared that he had a back-up plan, but added; “There are jobs out there and anyone can find them. You just have to put in the effort and the time.” Coincidentally, his new job starts right after his birthday, giving Michael more of a reason to celebrate.
Congratulations Michael and happy birthday!
In search of a better life, Adesanya came to California from Nigeria, South Africa 2 years ago where he had his own travel agency. Currently he was working 15 hour days driving for Uber and looking for a stable job. He had no health insurance, a wife and 4 children. He had work experience as a security guard, real estate agent, graphic designer, electrical engineer and as an accountant. The biggest challenge he had was not having enough information about the employment process. Adesanya received a referral from a friend after SELACO WDB helped his wife find a job.
Adesanya came to SELACO WDB in Cerritos for employment assistance and training. He was assigned a case manager, attended STEPS and the job search workshops. He searched for work everywhere while driving for Uber. Adesanya stated that it was SELACO who gave him adequate job search information and job search training.
While driving for Uber, Adesanya had passenger who was a 75 year old doctor from Washington who was in town for the Special Olympics. While conversing, the doctor passed on a job lead for Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories located in Pullman, WA. After the interview, Adesanya received a call back with a job offer. He was hired and started on December 14, 2015! Adesanya said, “SELACO changed my mindset positively. They helped me to believe more in myself. I discovered that I am unique.” When asked would he recommend SELACO WDB to others, he said, “Absolutely, Yes!” and advised, “Take full advantage of SELACO WDB by participating in all of the classes/training. Believe in yourself and also be patient. Be open to new ideas.”
In 2008, Tri attended the University of Hawaii using his GI Bill to get his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. After completing his education, he moved to the city of Lakewood with his family in April of 2015 and started searching for a job. Tri was not working while in school and had no knowledge of the industry or where to apply for jobs as a mechanical engineer right out of college.
Tri met Dadisi Elliott, Veteran representative at Norwalk EDD who referred him to SELACO WDB in Cerritos for job search assistance, job search workshops and career exploration. As a Marine, Tri had the mentality of always being faithful and he was determined to find a great job in engineering using his new degree.
Tri met Dadisi Elliott, Veteran representative at Norwalk EDD who referred him to SELACO WDB in Cerritos for job search assistance, job search workshops and career exploration. As a Marine, Tri had the mentality of always being faithful and he was determined to find a great job in engineering using his new degree.
Outcome and Benefits:
Tri met with Career Development Specialist, Vivian Hochschild at SELACO WDB Cerritos Job Center. She suggested that he attend the job search workshops and also mentioned a company in Paramount, CA where she had placed people in the past. Vivian encouraged Tri to look at the company’s website and also provided him with all the details about the company. He applied online and was offered a job as research and design engineer. He now has a new career with a company that has been in business for 56 years and is very involved with the community where they do business. Tri’s military experience and education prepared him for a successful path in his new career.
Shelly worked as an Administrative Director at Los Altos YMCA for 7 months prior to being laid off. She survived a 22 month layoff by working part-time at Weingart-Lakewood Family YMCA. In April 2015, Shelly was referred to SELACO-WIB from a YMCA member. The biggest challenge for Shelly was that temp agencies were not very helpful to her in her job search.
Shelly came to SELACO WIB in Cerritos in April 2015. She was assigned a case manager, and attended job search workshops. She stated she was looking for full-time work in the construction industry. She was able to find what she was looking for and more. Shelly stated that SELACO WIB helped her revamp her résumé and provided positive and motivating workshops.
In May 2015, Shelly answered an ad for an Office Manager at Industrial High Voltage on Monster.com. Days later, she received a call that she had been offered the job. When asked would she recommend SELACO WIB to others, she said; “Of course!” When asked what advice she would give to current and new customers, she said; “Keep an open mind and learn as much as you can!” Shelly further stated; “SELACO WIB helped me with my résumé and helped me by being all around positive people! The workshops were helpful and gave me a chance to meet new people.”
Yolanda Otañez was a Manager Administrator for FedEx Services in El Segundo, CA. Yolanda was laid off on August 29, 2014 and remained unemployed for eight (8) months. The biggest challenge Yolanda faced in seeking employment was being overqualified and having too many people applying for one job. Yolanda stated that CDS, Anthony Sharp, helped her overcome her challenge by sending her job leads daily and always giving her encouragement.
In February 2015, Yolanda found SELACO WIB after receiving a referral from the EDD in Norwalk. She needed assistance in finding employment as an Executive Assistant. When asked what SELACO WIB did for her while she was enrolled, she said: “They provided job leads, training, and even assistance with gas and clothing.”
Yolanda searched for jobs online, networking with family and friends and the Cerritos Career Center. In April 2015, Yolanda applied for an Executive Assistant position at Su Casa sent to her by CDS, Anthony Sharp. After one interview, Yolanda received an offer for full-time employment as an Executive Assistant. When asked if she would recommend SELACO WIB to anyone, she responded: “Absolutely!” Yolanda advises new and returning customers to “Be patient! Be considerate to the SELACO WIB staff; they are here to help you!”
Federico was a Manufacturing Supervisor for Mirion Technologies, Inc. in Los Angeles, CA. Federico was laid off on February 2015 and remained unemployed for 12 months. The biggest challenge Federico faced in seeking employment was not having a complete resumé, and being employed for too long in one company.
In February 2015, Federico found SELACO WIB by accident while helping his cousin with obtaining information regarding disability benefits. What brought Federico to SELACO WIB was training and information on the Employment Development Department (EDD). Ultimately, he found what he was looking for and more. He said, “They provided inspiration, training, skills building, and individuals who are willing and happy to provide positive help.”
Federico searched for jobs on CalJobs, workshops, online, social media, friends, family, and networking with associates. In April 2015, while networking with family members, Federico heard about a Direct Sales position at Ganesh Machinery in Los Angeles/Orange County. After two interviews, Federico received an offer. When asked if he would recommend SELACO WIB to anyone, he responded emphatically: “Yes. Yes. Yes. I’m doing it now!” He advised new and returning job seekers; “Never, ever, ever give up. Keep building skills. Keep being positive. Learn and be open to change.”
Patrick was a Project Designer for JBI Interiors in Long Beach, CA. Patrick was laid off on February 2015 and remained unemployed for one month. The biggest challenge Patrick faced in seeking employment was trying to have the most current skill set that employers are looking for, and the cost and availability of courses.
Michelle worked as a Temp with Capitol Food Co. in Santa Fe Springs, CA for 6 months. Michelle survived a 3 ½ month layoff in the industry. In January 2015, Michelle received a notice at the EDD Norwalk Office and spoke with a Customer Service Representative, who provided her with more information on the program. In that same month, Michelle enrolled at SELACO-WIB.
Michelle came to SELACO WIB in Cerritos because of the training and workshops offered to enhance her job search and to prepare her for interviews. She was assigned a case manager, attended job search workshops and “Steps to Economic and Personal Success.” She stated that she looked for employment mostly online, driving around town, and networking with friends/agencies. The biggest challenge Michelle overcame was learning how to customize her résumé by matching the job description, writing cover letters and following up.
In February 2015, Michelle answered an ad for a Sales Assistant/Customer Service position with Brush Research Manufacturing in East Los Angeles, CA. She stated that she found full-time employment at a company with a positive support culture. Although it is not quite the salary she was seeking to start, she knows that with hard work she will achieve it. When asked would she recommend SELACO-WIB to others, she said; “Yes! They were extremely helpful. I tell everyone about the wonderful resources that are available through SELACO WIB. They showed me how simple it is to customize my résumé and how to promote myself. I learned how not to appear selfish, by including things that will benefit the company. Also, I learned great “Thank you note” tips! (Send or leave a thank you note immediately–before leaving the parking lot). I did that a few times and it was great! I didn’t have to worry about remembering to do it, and I was still in “interview mode”. That will be a permanent step in my interview process.”
Jennifer worked as a Customer Service Representative with Allstate Insurance for 4 years. Jennifer survived a 4 month layoff. In July 2014, Jennifer visited the EDD Norwalk Office and spoke with a Customer Service Representative, who provided her with more information on job search services. In that same month, Jennifer enrolled at SELACO-WIB.
Jennifer came to SELACO WIB in Cerritos in July 2014. She was assigned a case manager, attended job search workshops and “Steps to Economic and Personal Success.” She stated that she learned a lot from the Resume/Cover Letter workshop because it taught her that you cannot have one generic resume to fit all jobs. Jennifer attended Job Club on Fridays and kept working on her job search.
In October 2014, Jennifer answered an ad for a Legal Clerk position with ARS Legal Documents in Whittier, CA. She landed a face-to-face interview. Shortly after, Jennifer received the call that she had been offered the job. Although she did not obtain the job that she originally applied for, Jennifer is thrilled that she has a job that is paying her a nice wage with benefits. When asked would she recommend SELACO-WIB to others, she said: “Definitely!” When asked what advice she would give to current and new customers, she said: “Don’t disregard jobs you don’t think you are qualified for. If you analyze the job advertisement too much, you will miss out on a great opportunity.” Jennifer further stated that this was the best thing she could have done, which was come to SELACO-WIB and take the job readiness workshops. She realized that she is not the only one job searching and that everyone has a story.
Leslie became a single parent with two boys ages 5 and 6 when she separated from her husband of 10 years. With only clothes and a few items, Leslie and her boys moved into an extra room in Leslie’s parents house. She suffered financial hardship and emotional stress, but remained strong for her children until she made the decision to go back to school to get a new life and a new career.
Leslie put her job on hold, made a huge financial sacrifice, missed out on important events her children were involved with and enrolled herself into adult school, taking the Psychiatric Technician training. Leslie was unable to secure enough funds to complete her training, but did not want to drop from the program. She turned to SELACO WIB, referred by the school, for assistance so that she could complete her schooling and her career goals. SELACO WIB was also able to pay for the state licensing exam, fingerprinting and books necessary to complete the training and secure employment. After graduation, Leslie struggled to stay motivated, but her Case Manager continued to work with her, called her daily and had her attend Steps to Economic and Personal Success – a 3 day motivational seminar based in psychology, which changed her outlook on life. “This course helped me find my confidence, motivation and self-esteem to continue my job search.” With assistance she built a strong résumé and improved her interviewing skills. Another SELACO-WIB staff member, Sara, gave Leslie a job lead for a Psychiatric Technician position and Leslie interviewed the following day. Within 24 hours, she was offered a job opportunity.
Leslie accomplished her dream goal and was immediately hired as a Psychiatric Technician with a local agency. “None of this would have been possible without the help of SELACO WIB and especially my CDS, Jodie. Today I am a happy and successful woman who knows this is just the beginning to a brighter future. I would highly recommend SELACO WIB to any individual seeking employment. They not only will build your self-esteem with specialized courses, but have many resources to offer. The environment is always positive, friendly and encouraging. I am grateful to them forever.”
Raymond was a Sales Representative for U.S.D. Services in Cerritos, CA for a year and 3 months and was laid off in November of 2014. Following his layoff, he diligently searched for employment to avoid a gap in his employment history. While he job searched, he stated that he was not fully prepared, specifically his résumé not being up to par. He recognized this challenge, and knew he had to seek some help.
During the latter part of 2014, Raymond visited the Norwalk EDD office where he conducted his own independent job search. While job searching, he heard several announcements about the services offered at SELACO WIB. That was all the motivation Raymond needed to make a trip to SELACO WIB in Cerritos. Upon arrival, Raymond met with Paty, Customer Service Representative II who performed his intake and told him about the workshops and services. After enrolling, Raymond looked for support to help him improve his computer skills and his résumé. Ultimately, he gained more than he was hoping to receive. Raymond expressed that he enjoyed the workshops, job club, and networking with other job seekers. As a result, he became more confident..
In February 2014, Raymond answered an ad for a Driver-In Field at Pacific Western Container located in Santa Ana, CA. He informed the hiring manager that he was interested in a Customer Service Sales position. The hiring manager told him to forward his résumé. A week later, Raymond was offered a job as a Customer Service Inside Sales Representative. Raymond stated, “The workshops taught me everything with regard to how to job search, how to network for a job, Social Media, job interviewing, and thank you notes.” When asked if he would recommend SELACO WIB to anyone, he responded emphatically, “Oh yeah, very much.” Raymond also advised other job seekers; “Target the companies you want to work for, send your résumé, even if they are not hiring for a certain position. Attend the workshops and put in time. A job search is a job; you have got to put in the time to make it work.”
Nina worked as a Safety Administrator in Workers Compensation at Ottman’s Construction. Nina survived a trying 13-month layoff. In October 2013, Nina attended an AARP meeting facilitated by Vivian Hochschild who informed her about SELACO WIB. Days later, Nina enrolled at SELACO-WIB. When Nina first arrived at SELACO WIB, she was looking for assistance in learning different ways to job search, PathPoint Resources, and opportunities for training. Little did she know, there would be more in store.
Nina came to SELACO WIB in Cerritos in October 2013. She was assigned a case manager, attended job search workshops and Steps to Economic and Personal Success (STEPS). Nina attended Job Club on Fridays and kept working on her job search. Nina stated that her “a-ha” moment was in the STEPS seminar where she learned how to analyze how she does things. She learned that if a person does not change the way they have always done something they will always get the same result. In May 2014, Nina answered an ad on Indeed.com for a Safety Administrator at Griffith Construction located in Brea. She landed a face-to-face interview. A whole six months later, Nina received the call that she had been offered the job.
Nina stated; “Everyone is helpful and wants you to go back to work. The STEPS Workshop was fantastic. You have to practice what you are learning. You cannot just show up to SELACO WIB, leave and expect something to happen.” Nina emphasized that job seekers need to work with the staff and not expect them to do everything. She advised; “When you are in an interview, listen more and talk less. Give the answers you need to and listen. See it as it is an opportunity to meet and help others.”
Sally was laid off from All State Insurance Company after a year and 2 months. Prior that date she had been in the insurance industry for 23 years. She attended an appointment with the Employment Development Department (EDD) and was re-directed to SELACO-WIB as it was located near her residence in Lakewood, CA.
Sally gained an immense amount of information during her journey at SELACO-WIB. She knew she needed to revamp herself, and update her resume to ensure she had the qualifications for the job. She was assigned a case manager, attended job search workshops, and “Steps to Economic and Personal Success.” Despite her negative outlook towards her age, Sally persevered and consistently attended Job Club on Fridays, attended computer classes, and kept working effortlessly on her job search.
In October 2014, Sally answered an ad for a Customer Service Representative position with Cingular Staffing in the city of Fullerton, CA. She landed one interview and then a face-to-face interview. A week later, Sally received the call that she had been offered the job. When asked the role that SELACO-WIB played in her success, she stated: helped reassure myself, did not let me say no to myself, the classes/workshops helped a lot, the staff’s availability, and access to resources. When asked if she would recommend SELACO-WIB to anyone, she responded emphatically: “Oh, yes!” Sally also stated: “Never say no. Never say can’t. Make it yours and it will be.”
Laura N. was a development associate with over five years of fundraising experience. She originally went to SELACO WIB to get a typing test certificate for a job interview, but saw that WIA had much more to offer.
After receiving career counseling with a thorough assessment, Laura attended STEPS, a three-day seminar that helped pinpoint her focus regarding her job search. She then attended a résumé workshop that helped bring her résumé up-to-date. She also signed up for Graphic Design class at the ABC Adult School in Long Beach. Despite not having been in school for over a decade, She dove right in and learned a new skill. It was a tough 11 months with only her unemployment insurance check as income. Thankfully, she had SELACO WIB to assist her with coaching and encouragement.
“After demonstrating my skills, proving my abilities and learning a new, marketable skill, I secured employment with another local charity and am earning a good living. I am proof that with the assistance of WIB, adults of all ages and backgrounds have access to available resources to help in their job search. You are not alone.”
Jesse became underemployed as the economy started to wind down. Since he was in the construction industry making garage doors, he found himself out of work. He came to the SELACO WIB Career Center and was interested in becoming an EMT. He had experience volunteering at a hospital and knew he would be comfortable in this type of environment. He also knew that he wanted to help people but in a different way.
He was finally able to get training as an EMT through the SELACO WIB. He successfully completed his training in August of 2012 and continued to study and prepare for the national certification.
Jesse is now employed as an EMT working 3 days a week on 12 hour shifts. He is enjoying the challenge of his new career and also likes receiving a regular paycheck. He appreciates the help, assistance and guidance that he received from his case manager, training specialist and all the staff here at SELACO WIB.
Ramon had worked as a supervisor in the printing industry for over 25 years. Initially, he came to the SELACO WIB Career Center and told his Career Development Specialist (CDS) that he was having a lot of interviews at other printing companies. His CDS told him that he may want to make a career change since sadly, the printing industry is in decline and if he takes a job at another printing company, his hours may be reduced to part-time.
Ramon realized that this was the case and then explored upgrading his skills through WIA. He decided that there wasn’t a training that he was interested in. His CDS suggested that he change the focus to production/manufacturing. Ramon changed his résumé and attended the job search workshops offered at SELACO WIB including STEPS. Ramon and his CDS worked together to target companies in the Paramount and Santa Fe Springs area. He started going out each day visiting employers and meeting with them in person. Some days were good and he received a lot of positive feedback and other days he received none. Ramon didn’t give up. Through his persistence and his 60 second commercial he was able to land a new job at a growing company in the packaging industry.
Within 3 months he will be promoted to a supervisor. Ramon had to take a huge pay cut, but with his skills and his positive attitude he will move up the corporate ladder very quickly.
Michael has been in the engineering field for over 15 years. He was unemployed for 13 months after being laid off as a Project Manager at Wahlco, a global environmental company in Santa Ana. He came to the Southeast Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board (SELACO WDB) after receiving his Unemployment Insurance (UI) letter from the Employment Development Department (EDD). After unsuccessfully looking for Jobs only on the Internet, Michael decided to learn better ways of finding his next job. Even with a BA Degree in Engineering, his biggest challenge was that he did not know how to answer interview questions effectively. He had received at least 10 job interviews from online applications, but sadly received not a single job offer.
The SELACO WDB staff helped Michael prepare a professional résumé and coached him on how to answer difficult interview questions. SELACO WDB also funded his Project Management Professional Bootcamp training and exam at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) College of Continuing Education. Michael commented, “Getting my certificate really helped build my confidence during my interviews.” After attending the job search workshops, he discovered that most jobs (80%) are found through networking, not the Internet.
Michael started networking with friends and contacted a previous employer. Because the company was so busy with quite a number of projects, they contacted Michael and offered him a position. Michael is now working as a Principal Mechanical Engineer at Parsons, an engineering and consulting firm in Pasadena. He advises, “Always stay positive. Your current situation is only temporary and you will eventually find a new job if you have the correct attitude and prepare. Use what SELACO provides.”
Nicholas “Nicco” was unemployed for 21 months. He lost his job as a Front Desk Manager when he realized he needed to move forward with his career goals. He looked for jobs as an Administrative Assistant, Front Desk Coordinator and Client Services, but had difficulty because he needed to add to and upgrade his skills in Accounting, Bookkeeping and Microsoft Office. Nico went to EDD and was referred to SELACO WDB in Cerritos
Nicco was assigned a case manager and qualified for training. He completed his 5 months of training in Accounting, Bookkeeping & Auditing services, at the Larson’s Training Center of Santa Fe Springs as a straight “A” student and earned a Certificate for Computerized Accounting.
Nicco stated, “It has been quite a journey since I began my professional re-calibration at SELACO Workforce Development Board. Through the focused structure and guided discipline in career development – SELACO WDB, and your team of expert professional craftsmen & women – Have DONE IT! At SELACO WDB, it was impressed upon me that a little thing called a ‘Thank you’ card, could in fact, be a make or break deal. Well, I can officially attest to BE, the proof in that pudding!” After an extremely exciting and anticipation building, over the phone interview – the employer stated to Nicco’s agency representative that they were going to re-think the requisition description, and perhaps go in a different direction. Nicco explained his next step in the process, “That very day, I implemented the SELACO ‘Thank You’ card magic; getting it sent out to the company and the contact that day, and at that moment. Once received, there was a quick call to me from the employer – praising me for going the extra mile; and a quick and scary panel-of-four interview that followed. Three days later… I am an employed, future alumni of the Christie Digital family!”
Nicco is officially employed with one of the careers of his dreams! He implemented the tools, tricks, and trade wisdom that his case manager, Jodie Kresl and the SELACO family provided and he was able to land a Customer Care Coordination position at a starting rate of twenty dollars per hour, full-time & with lots of benefits. Nicco secured employment with Christie Digital (founded in 1929) –an innovative foundation for stage and screen (shared experience presentations) throughout the world. He added, “They’re only 10 minutes from my home – Can you believe it?”
Nicco expressed his genuine gratitude when he stated, “It is seriously all thanks to YOU, your truly-stellar team, the stars at Larson’s, and my own personal drive to pursue-pursue-pursue. They say looking for a job “is a full time job”… well, it is. And ‘Thank You’ cards are the Golden Ticket to the journey of your dreams!”
Partho was laid off after working in Cost Estimation and Business Analysis for Edison International for 2 years and 7 months. For a total of 26 months afterwards, Partho remained unemployed. He wanted to get back to work and spent time looking online for jobs and for assistance. Partho felt like his age was a problem and the fact that he did not have the exact qualifications for many of the job listings that he saw.
While surfing the Internet, Partho found SELACO WDB in Cerritos, and made an appointment. He needed assistance to find a job in finance or Business Analysis in Middle Management or a Residual Contributor. He was assigned a case manager, attended Steps to Economic and Personal Success (STEPS) and the job search workshops. SELACO WDB helped Partho overcome his challenge by providing him with the tools and resources to organize his job search. STEPS also helped Partho identify and change certain attitudes that kept him from succeeding.
Partho conducted a fierce job search on various sites, such as Head Hunter, Print Ads, Monster, etc. While searching, he accepted a temporary job as a Timekeeper from an on-site job recruitment held SELACO WDB. After completing his skills enhancement training through SELACO WDB, the next job Partho accepted was working as a Project Coordinator for Phillips66 Refinery that he found on the web. While working at the refinery, Partho received a phone call from the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Farmers and Merchants Bank located in Cerritos, CA. After speaking with the COO, Partho received an offer for an Business Analyst position. He happily accepted the position and started in November 2015. When asked what SELACO WDB did to help, Partho enthusiastically answered; “They offered workshops for self-improvement and for job search.” Partho strongly recommends SELACO WDB to others and advises other job seekers to “Attend the workshops and definitely integrate STEPS into your life.”
Myra was tired of moving from one retail job to another and sought job placement assistance. The Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) referred Mayra to the America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) in Norwalk. Mayra became a participant in the Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) program through Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN) and began her temporary work experience assignment as a Front Desk Receptionist for the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) in December 2016. Mayra was without a permanent job for a total of 8 months. Her biggest challenge in seeking employment was her lack of self-confidence. She felt unprepared and intimidated by panel interviews.
During the 3 months as a TSE participant, Mayra searched for jobs online, attended direct hire events at the Southeast Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board (SELACO WDB) America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC) and at the LACOE in Downey. Mayra’s SELACO WDB Career Development Specialist (CDS), Sara helped her to overcome her interview fears. Mayra explained, “She told me to take a deep breath, calm down, be yourself, be confident and answer each question truthfully.” Sara emailed Mayra a flyer for a Wells Fargo direct hire event hosted by SELACO WDB America’s Job Center in Norwalk. Mayra dressed for success, brought her résumé, and attended the direct hire recruitment. This time, she was prepared to interview.
After Wells Fargo interviewed all of the candidates, Mayra was offered a job as an Operation Processor II. “I was looking for a permanent job and eventually found a job with stability and growth!” She happily stated. Mayra added, “Take advantage of what the America’s Job Center has to offer. Use all of the tools and resources that they have. If you don’t try, you will never know.”
Mayra’s success story also demonstrates the power of partnership. When agencies work together and integrate services, the outcome benefits all.
Congratulations Mayra, on your new career path!
Manuel worked at Windows Network Discovery as a Principal Software Engineer for 4 years and 2 months. He was laid off and was unemployed for 15 months. Manuel participated in a program paid for by his employer to help him push through his layoff. He followed the advice given to him from a colleague who referred him to SELACO WDB. The biggest challenge that Manuel faced was that his skills were outdated and he was unable to work with the newer software technologies and platforms.
Manuel came to SELACO WDB in Cerritos for employment assistance and training. He was assigned a case manager, attended STEPS and the job search workshops. He stated that he found veteran programs that he qualified for: mental attitude control, job seminars/recruitments and met employment professionals who became family. Manual looked for work on LinkedIn, CalJobs, jobs.gov, CareerBuilder, Zip recruiter, Indeed.com, Google searches, Meetup.com, Job Club, newspapers, etc. SELACO WDB helped Manuel overcome his challenge by introducing him to the staff from local community colleges who encouraged him to leverage priority of services for veterans. These connections resulted in an easy enrollment process where he is now going on 3 semesters of invaluable continuing education.
Manuel received a call from a recruiter who matched his profile on Career Builder for a Contractor position for Compunnel Talent Agency. After the call, Manuel received a call back stating that he was hired! Manuel stated, “SELACO WDB helped me with everything related to finding job; getting hired with a successful interview; and keeping the job by acquiring the necessary skills. Also, the SELACO WDB team members all worked as a coordinated team to give me hope and purpose – they wrapped me in a professional grade protective blanket.” When asked would he recommend SELACO WDB to others, he said: “Yes, definitely! SELACO is a deep underground shelter for those who have been left jobless by the hurricanes of layoffs and outsourcing.”
Rod was a successful telemarketer for 3 years at Triton Imaging Systems until he had an auto accident that disabled both of his legs in 2009. In July 2016, the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) referred Rod to the Southeast Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board where he enrolled with the America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) in Cerritos.
Rod was looking for a position as a Marketer/Customer Service Representative, but the only work experience he had in the last 7 years was volunteering for an Interfaith Community Organization (ICO) during the past 3 months. Rod looked for work on the Internet, attended a Sears direct-hire recruitment and received job leads from AJCC staff. His biggest challenge was not having the tools to conduct an effective job search.
Rod attended the Job Search Workshops and the 3-day motivational seminar entitled, Steps to Economic and Personal Success (STEPS). He was also a regular at the Friday Job Club at the AJCC, Cerritos. His counselors helped prepare his résumé, practiced interviewing and offered regular guidance and support. Rod was passionate about improving his computer skills too and obtained a used laptop from his church so he could practice. He also dedicated time to his health and exercised to strengthen his legs. Rod diligently rode the bus to interviews, sometimes spending hours traveling with his walker just to find out that he was not the right fit.
After many months and 10 interviews with various companies, Rod finally received a job offer from the Small Business Growth Alliance in Irvine as a Business Consultant Assistant, a company he had applied for via Indeed.com. “Go to all of the job search workshops and see your counselor. Learn as much as you can.” Rod stated. “I learned so much and that prepared me for my interviews. Thank you to all the staff.”
Pamela worked as a Graduate Employment Specialist for Concorde Career College in Garden Grove, CA for 3 months. Pamela survived an 8 month layoff in the industry. In January 2015, Pamela received a notice from the Norwalk EDD Office and spoke with a Customer Service Representative, who provided her with more information on their program and services. In that same month, Pamela enrolled with the SELACO-WDB.
Pamela came to SELACO WDB Cerritos America’s Job Center for training and employment assistance. She was assigned a case manager and attended job search workshops. She stated that she looked for employment everywhere, mostly in LA County and the Inland Empire. The biggest challenge Pamela overcame was staying motivated.
In August 2015, Pamela answered an ad on LinkedIn for a Marketing Manager position with St. Vincent IPA (Physicians Data Trust) in Cerritos, CA. After the interview, Pamela received a call back stating that she was hired! When asked how the Job Center helped her overcome her workforce challenge, she answered, “CDS Anthony Sharp kept giving viable job leads.” When asked, “What did the Cerritos Job Center do for her? Pamela answered, “They provided me with a customized resumé that led me to finding employment.” When asked would she recommend SELACO WDB to others, she responded, “Yes!” Pamela also shares this advice to other job seekers; “Do not give up. When one door closes another one will open.”
Teri worked as a Sales Associate at Pier I Imports in the city of Carson, CA for 2 months. Teri survived a 6 month layoff. Teri was conducting a Google search and found SELACO WIB. The biggest challenge Teri had was finding employment within her field of experience..
Teri came to SELACO WIB in Cerritos in February 2015. She was assigned a case manager, attended job search workshops and “Steps to Economic and Personal Success.” She stated she was looking for career advice and employment. She was able to find what she was looking for and much more! Teri stated that SELACO WIB was great at providing the information that she needed to build an online profile, as well as, provided valuable insight to the many networking options available. Teri stated that SELACO WIB provided her the following: Career assessment, social media networking courses, job leads, networking leads, career profile building, coaching, guidance and self-sufficiency for career and lifestyle goals.
In March 2014, Teri answered an ad for a Receptionist at OCI Sitwell on Craigslist. Teri interviewed for the position and then received a call that she had been offered the job. When asked would she recommend SELACO WIB to others, she said, “Absolutely!” When asked what advice she would give to current and new customers, she said, “I would advise they attend the many courses available, and keep in contact with their Case Manager.”
Monique worked as a Site Supervisor of her own Business, International Learning Links, Inc. in the city of Bellflower, CA for 11 years prior to its closure. Monique survived a 3 month layoff. In September 2014, Monique arrived at SELACO-WIB and spoke with a former SELACO-WIB employee who encouraged her to join the program. The biggest challenge Monique had was preparing her cover letter and résumé.
Monique came to SELACO WIB in Cerritos in September 2014. She was assigned a case manager, attended job search workshops and “Steps to Economic and Personal Success.” She stated that she was looking for a career change. She was able to find what she was looking for and much more! Monique stated that Career Development Specialists (CDS) Anthony Sharp and Vivian Hochschild helped her to prepare an awesome cover letter and résumé, and that they were always supportive! SELACO-WIB nallowed Monique to stay within her past career, but encouraged her to remain open to obtaining a job that she would love!
In September 2014, Monique took a part-time job at Sears as a cashier to keep her busy while she continued her search for full-time permanent employment. In March 2014, CDS Anthony Sharp, provided Monique with a job lead for a Career Services Advisor at American Career College in Anaheim, CA. Monique interviewed for the position weeks later and then received a call that she had been offered the job. Monique was elated that she found her dream job. When asked would she recommend SELACO-WIB to others, she said; “I have referred job seekers and will continue to refer them!” When asked what advice she would give to current and new customers, she said: “Continue to stay focused on your goal of obtaining a job/career. Keep in contact with your Case Manager (don’t just disappear). Use the information that the employees of SELACO-WIB offer. When or if you begin to feel depressed, speak to yourself, use encouraging words, and come out of it (Stay in “boot camp” with yourself), and be diligent in your job search.”
Cheri worked as a Project Coordinator with AT&T for 14 years. Cheri survived a 3 year layoff in the industry in addition to other physical challenges. In May 2014, Cheri arrived at the EDD Norwalk Office and spoke with Cheterra Nelson, a Customer Service Representative, who provided her with more information on the program. In late June 2014, Cheri enrolled at SELACO-WIB. It was a tough time for Cheri during enrollment as she had suffered a broken foot, a mother in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and had just completed two major surgeries. There were others around her who said that she should give up and consider herself disabled. Cheri was determined not to allow the negative talk penetrate her thoughts and get her off course. She made up in her mind that her dream job was out there, and kept the vision that she would be a college professor.
As a participant in the SELACO WIB America’s Job Center, Cheri was assigned a Career Development Specialist, attended job search workshops and “Steps to Economic and Personal Success.” She changed her thought process and self-talk from negative to positive, started hanging around rich minded individuals, and found the determination to push forward, despite her physical challenges. Cheri attended Job Club on Fridays and kept working on her job search.
In August 2014, Cheri answered an ad on Indeed.com for an Adjunct Faculty position with Westwood College in the City of Los Angeles. She landed one interview and then a face-to-face interview. Shortly after, Cheri received the job offer. Cheri is thrilled that she has the job of her dreams, her mom is out of ICU and her physical health is improving. Cheri is evidence that with a positive mind set and outlook on life, despite what it looks like, you can and will persevere.
Augustine was a Project Specialist for IQ Air North America in La Mirada, CA. Upon hearing that he was going to be laid off in December 2014, Augustine began job searching in July 2014. During his job search, Augustine wasn’t having much luck and finally decided that he needed professional assistance in finding a new career. The biggest challenge he faced was a lack of confidence in his skills. He wasn’t sure that he was knowledgeable or qualified enough for the type of jobs he was interested in. In September 2014, Augustine’s hours were reduced.
During the latter part of 2014, he found out about SELACO WIB when he started looking online for career counseling services. He stated that there were lots of blogs and individuals that advertised career counseling services, but the cost of the services was outrageous. SELACO WIB offered the same services free-of-charge and was located close to where he lived. Augustine was underemployed for three months and unemployed for one month.
In January 2015, Augustine answered an ad on Craigslist for an Environmental Specialist at Associated Environmental Management located in Pasadena, CA. He landed a face-to-face interview. A week later, Augustine received an offer for the position. He said, “SELACO-WIB helped me figure out my strengths and weaknesses and identify how I could show my value to prospective employers. The job search workshops were instrumental in helping me to gain confidence and know that I could find a new career and be successful in my new position.” He also added, “I would definitely refer job seekers to SELACO WIB. Everyone I met was very helpful and the support offered was above and beyond what I expected.” When asked what did you learn while at SELACO WIB, Augustine replied, “I learned to show my value and skills by example rather than just listing duties I had previously performed in other positions. This really helped me to focus on my transferable skills and develop a strategy for finding jobs with similar skill sets. I also learned how to properly prepare for interviews. Without the “Time to Shine” class it would have been very difficult for me to interview successfully.” Augustine further stated that, “Anthony was very helpful. His enthusiasm for teaching was very evident and it showed in how he engaged us all during his workshops. Keep up the good work!”
Daniel was a General Manager with over twenty years of experience in the manufacturing industry and was laid off from his job due to downsizing. He originally came to SELACO WIB to inquire about Unemployment Insurance benefits, but learned that SELACO WIB had much more to offer. After learning about career counseling, the Job search workshops, and the Steps to Economic and Personal Success (STEPS) seminar, he was eager to get started.
Daniel’s first plan of action was to attend the job search workshops. What proved most helpful to Daniel were the résumé and Interview workshops. In addition, Daniel enrolled in the MS Word and Excel computer courses that were available to him at SELACO WIB. “Bonnie and Bob from Cerritos College are terrific instructors. I recommend the computer courses to all SELACO WIB customers.” Daniel attended the three-day seminar entitled, STEPS. “I had heard so much about the STEPS program, but I did not exactly know what the seminar entailed. What an eye-opener! In my opinion STEPS is a must for all job seekers. The curriculum not only helped me pinpoint my focus towards my job search, it also challenged me to ‘change my mind’ towards choosing a new way of approaching my life course as well as a suitable career path.”
Career development specialist Sara, gave Daniel a job fair flyer and advised him to attend. “Sara told me that going to job fairs can make a difference, even if they are not hiring on the spot. Employers observe the way you present yourself and how well you prepare your resumé.” Daniel received a call the next day from one of the companies he met at the job fair. They asked him to come in for a job interview the very next day. “I got the job in matter of 3 days! I also want to give a special thanks to Anthony and Celeste for all of their encouragement and support.” Daniel was hired as a design engineer for a manufacturing firm in Carson, CA.
Adrienne worked as a Medicare Secondary Payer Member Account Coordinator with Caremore Healthplan/Wellpoint, Inc. for 4 1/2 years. Adrienne survived an 8 month layoff. On June 2, 2014, Adrienne arrived at SELACO-WIB and spoke with a Customer Service Representative, who provided her with more information on the program. In that same month, Adrienne enrolled at SELACO-WIB.
Adrienne was assigned a SELACO WIB case manager, attended job search workshops and “Steps to Economic and Personal Success.” She stated that she learned a lot, specifically the STEPS workshop that spoke to her about her scotomas, comfort zone areas, and the influence of others who tell you that you do not have much value. Adrienne added that she was able to accept the fact the she was in control and by faith, she was able to overcome that challenge and negativity. Ultimately, she embraced a “must do” and “can do” attitude. Adrienne attended Job Club on Fridays, the TRENDSS Workshops, upgraded her computer skills, and diligently worked on her job search 40 hours a week.
On November 5, 2014, Adrienne answered an ad for an Expedited Case Setup Coordinator position with United Health Group in Cypress, CA. She landed a phone interview on November 20th. Shortly after, Adrienne received the call that she had been offered the job. Adrienne made a counter offer and officially accepted the position on February 6, 2015. When asked would she recommend SELACO-WIB to others, she said: “Absolutely!” When asked what advice she would give to current and new customers, she said: “Job seekers have to be persistent, disciplined and focused. For me, coming here on a daily basis gave me the mindset of being at work. I was able to make phone calls to employers while attending workshops and it felt like a work environment. Having this type of environment to conduct my job search eliminated pity parties and distractions. I was able to see other success stories prior to becoming one myself, which gave me hope. They say it takes a village to raise a child. In my case, it took a village to support and encourage me, to not give up. DON’T GIVE UP!”
Nikki attended a Regional Occupation Program (ROP) in high school, which landed her a work experience assignment at Old Navy. At the end of her job, she transitioned to Camp Max in the Summer of 2008 where she worked with kids whose families were separated and undergoing challenges. Later, she returned to school to pursue her educational goals. Since 2009, Nikki had been in job transition figuring out her next direction. During this time, she was also taking care of her grandmother and working seasonal retail positions
During the latter part of 2010, Nikki had a conversation with a friend. Little did Nikki know that little chat would lead her to enroll at SELACO-WIB. She was assigned a case manager, attended job search workshops, and “Steps to Economic and Personal Success.” Nikki consistently attended Job Club on Fridays and kept working on her job search.
In September 2014, Nikki answered an ad for an On-call Cafeteria Aide position with El Rancho School District in the city of Pico Rivera. She landed one interview and then a face-to-face interview. A month later, Nikki received the call that she had been offered the job. When asked the role that SELACO-WIB played in her success, she stated; “SELACO WIB helped increase my confidence. The encouragement from Career Development Specialist Anthony Sharp, kept me on track, increased my knowledge of how to tailor my resumé to fit the job that I was applying for and how to expand my skill set in other areas. I also enhanced my job interviewing skills, and rekindled my ability/passion for cooking.” When asked if she would recommend SELACO-WIB, Nikki responded emphatically; “Heck, yes!” To those who are new to job search and to experienced job seekers, Nikki advises; “If one door closes, another will open. Just because you get turned down from one interview does not mean that you cannot get another one. Don’t give up.”
After being laid off from a job he held for fifteen years, Frank jumped into the search for a new position, but made many mistakes in marketing himself to employers. With no prior experience conducting a job search, Frank looked for jobs online and emailed out a résumé packed with a laundry list of his qualifications. When no interviews appeared, Frank felt like a failure. He had been a model employee for years and thought that his work ethic and qualifications should be apparent from his résumé.
At the SELACO WIB in Cerritos, Frank enrolled in workshops given to sharpen his job search skills. He learned how to customize his résumé, write an effective cover letter, manage his job search more efficiently and prepare for a job interview.He also attended a 3-day seminar called Steps to Economic and Personal Success (STEPS) that is designed to help jobseekers think positively and understand their personal strengths. From his workshops, Frank was surprised to learn that 80% of all available jobs are never advertised. This hidden job market is accessed through networking, and Frank set out to tell everyone he knew that he was in the market for a new job. When he renewed contact with a supervisor he had many years ago, Frank received a referral to an open position that had yet to be advertised.
Frank used his new job search skills to prepare for his interview. “I knew that I could not afford to leave any stone unturned when it came to making me stand out from the crowd,” he said. After the interview, Frank received a call. They were very interested in him and offered to upgrade the pay. Frank accepted the offer. He is now employed and actually looks forward to Mondays. Frank shared the following feedback with the workforce office: “I credit the SELACO WIB for teaching me to put my best foot forward and helping me to shine in the process.”