As partners in Washington state’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network, the Employment Security Department helps people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job.
Every week, we spotlight a different Power of a Job success story. This week, we bring you Jose Munoz, a justice-involved job seeker, who was helped on his journey by Lupe Sanchez, Ashley Olsen and Jim Bowling from WorkSource Wenatchee Valley. At WorkSource, Jose’s determination and goalsetting helped him succeed. As Jim noted, WorkSource is not fishing for people, it is teaching people how to fish, and Jose grabbed a pole and started fishing right away.
We hope you enjoy this week’s installment. Here is their story:
Jose Munoz: My name’s Jose.
Lupe Sanchez: I am Lupe Sanchez and I work for OIC (Opportunities Industrialization Center) of Washington National Farmworker Jobs Program.
Ashley Olson: My name is Ashley Olson and I work for WorkSource Wenatchee Valley.
Jim Bowling: I’m Jim Bowling Skillsource Wenatchee.
Jose: These are the people who really helped me get ahead and who changed my life. I was released in July and got to the area in August I knew I needed a job. So I just came into WorkSource and got in touch with Ashley who helped me get a resume going and immediately she asked, “What do you want to do?” I knew I wanted to get my CDL (commercial drivers license) back because, to me, that’s really, really important. My dad has a company already set out for me to, in a sense, takeover, so we got in touch with Lupe and she told me what I needed to do in order to get qualified.
Lupe: So, Jose had worked in agriculture, but it was a long time ago. I let him know about our eligibility guidelines and what he needed to do. When he came to me, he was on a mission; he had a goal. I loved that about him. When we spoke about eligibility, the agricultural part came in and soon after Ashley helped him attain a job within the agricultural sector, so he could qualify for our services.
Ashley: It was really exciting to meet with Jose because he came in and right away said, “I need a job.” The first thing I talk with job seekers about is just taking a time out. Tell me about what you’ve done, tell me about, if there were no barriers in your world, what you would want to do, and let’s try to design a plan to get there. Through his hard work and determination, we were able to piece every little bit together to get him exactly where he wanted to be.
Jose: So, when I knew I wanted to get my CDL, Lupe told me that her program only had enough funds for half. That’s when she sent me to Mr. Bowling at Skillsource and I qualified for Jim’s program initially, and upon getting my job, I qualified for Lupe’s program. That’s when I kind of unqualified for Jim’s program. [laughter]
Jim: Yes, right. Yeah! It was a process, right? [laughter]
Jose: There were several steps for me, so it kind of threw me a little bit at first. But I just knew, I have to do it.
Jim: I think I think that right there sums up Jose and what it’s been like serving him and working with him. He’s had a lot of barriers put in front of him and he keeps coming back. I was thinking about you last night, as I was driving and I thought, every single thing that we asked Jose to do – he didn’t only do it, he did it well. He did it in a timely manner and with a great attitude. In this business, it’s not fishing for people, its teaching people how to fish, and he grabbed that pole and started fishing right away. It’s been a pleasure working with him. It’s really fun to see people not only get what they want, but to overcome adversity while they’re doing it. It’s just a pleasure working with you, man. You set the bar really high for all of our other customers; you really did.
Jose: All I know is, every time I walked into WorkSource, every time I walked into Skillsource, every time I came to OIC, the first thing I heard was, “How’s it going? Man, you’re doing it! Wow!” I mean, as far as I’m concerned, they were the ones helping me out, you know? I was the one getting encouragement. I didn’t have family, nobody, no support system over here. All my support system was over the phone and then immediately when I walked in through the doors, they’re just like, “You’re doing good; you’re doing good” and I’m like, “Thanks!”
Jim: That’s kind of the epitome of what the one stop is, going back and forth between WorkSource partners. Knowing who can do what, to ultimately get to the same goal: Employment.
Ashley: I think the other cool part about Jose is every time he comes in, he’s like “I told someone else about you!” One time, he actually was sitting on the bus and got the guy on the bus next to him through the door with him. He said, “You need to talk to these people.” So not only is Jose an incredible advocate for himself, but he’s someone who is paying it forward in so many different ways and I’m just honored to work with you, man.
Jose: How can I not when you guys just helped me out, you know? I mean, as far as I’m concerned, I’m a very unemployable person, as far as my background goes and you guys helped me. You know, if you guys can do it for me, you can do it for someone else.
Jim: Along those lines, Jose, now I don’t know if you understand how powerful that is for us working with other people who may be in a similar situation. Of course, we don’t use names or anything, but we can say, this gentleman did it, so I don’t want to hear excuses.
Lupe: Yeah, exactly yeah you’ve been a great example.
Jose: Seriously. Let’s just keep going keep going forward, you don’t want to go backwards, only forward. And with this kind of help, how can you not, you know? You can do it every time.
Ashley and Jim: And you did it!
Jose: I got a job! I got my CDL!
Ashley: The highlight of this is that he went to school to get his CDL and then got hired by the truck-driving school to work there, because he impressed them so much! So this is a success story all around, in so many different ways. I couldn’t be happier to be able to work with Jose and our incredible partners in our workforce development area.
Jose: My goal has been accomplished. I got my CDL. I’m driving trucks. I love driving trucks. I got a business loan and, at the moment, I’m working for the CDL school, which is awesome.
As a partner in Washington’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network, the Employment Security Department helps people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job. We also work with businesses, which are Powered by Jobs, to help them find employees.
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