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December 4, 2020

This year turned Heather Villegas’ life upside down. The unexpected loss of her husband as well as her job and health due to COVID-19 left her struggling to provide for her three children on her own. Hearing about the career centers On-the-Job Training was a turning point for her. Read on as Heather tells her story in her own words.

Four photo collage of Heather, her kids and husband
“My family: The bottom left is my husband and my son who passed away, Baby Hector passed 5/1 and Hector passed 5/16, six years apart 💔”

This year has by far been the hardest year of my life. From losing my job in March due to Covid, then my husband of 18 years passed away—almost six years to the date of our son passing away—leaving me with a one-, two- and 18-year-old. Then I myself contracted Covid in July and ended up being very sick. It’s been so very hard. There have been many nights that I wanted to give up. But giving up was not how I was raised nor was it an option now as a single mom. Heather V

With the economy already struggling and the fact that there was just no money to employ us, my old boss looked into so many options to a) get us back to work and b) keep us going before we lost it all. He told us about the career center’s On-the-Job Training. I applied, was approved and got a second shot to get back to work and try and make this work.

I’m currently back to work with a better position and am learning so much. I’m learning more of the back end of things and managing an office. I love how fast the process was and smooth it was to get back to work to provide for my children. My career agent Rachel has gone above and beyond to help with the process as well as providing so many resources to help as well.

I’m currently training as an office manager at AAA Medical Supply. Our company is wanting to open more stores throughout the U.S. to provide more patients with medical equipment to help with their needs and, God willing, I will be there to grow along with this company.

My best advice to those who are looking for a job is to not give up and soak up as much information you can through the process to not only better yourself but also your work skills.

My favorite experience is getting a chance to really see someone (Rachel) who truly cares about people and who helps to make their life better and is willing to help in any way. Unfortunately, a lot of people do the bare minimum in jobs and she definitely goes above and beyond to help. This program gives me a chance to be able to provide for my kids—and to me that is everything.

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