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Reentry Works helps participant with life ‘on the outside’

JoseAs Jose’s time of incarceration at the East Mesa Reentry Facility was drawing to a close, he made the important decision to start preparing for life “on the outside” by coming to the East Mesa Second Chance Job Center, made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and collaboration between SDWP and the San Diego County Sheriff’s and Probation departments.

Jose took his Job Readiness Training (JRT) classes seriously, and with the help of Second Chance staff, devised a plan to get himself back on track.

After his release, Jose began applying for jobs in the food industry, customer service, retail, and warehousing. Jose applied to a variety of jobs to ensure he would land something right away.

While waiting to find that elusive first job, Jose enrolled in Second Chance’s JRT workshop at its Encanto office. From the first day of class when he was instructed by the teacher to refine his handshake, to the final day of class where he was complimented on his interview skills and professionalism, Jose experienced a transformation that led to increased self-esteem. He now had not only the job readiness skills, but the confidence to continue pursuing his hopes and dreams.

Jose soon landed a job in food service in the college area and has been employed at the same job for over three months. Jose says the best part about the job is “making customers smile.” In addition to working full-time, Jose also enrolled in classes at Southwestern Community College. In a matter of months, Jose made many positive changes in his life.

Jose is thankful to his family for their support and to Second Chance for helping him land his job and teaching him the skills to navigate the employment world. “Second Chance made a difference in my life. I never had a résumé before I came here and I never had a real job. I am thankful for the skills they taught me.” Jose recently recommended another Second Chance graduate to his employer, who was also hired.

Way to pay it forward, Jose.