Mario Becerra is a Program Specialist with the San Diego Workforce Partnership. Here he describes his role, discusses what he likes best about working in workforce development and shares one of his proudest professional moments.
Tell us about your role at SDWP.
There are a lot of moving parts to my role, which is split between my office and the community. I engage and collaborate with businesses, community stakeholders and behavioral health employment staff with the overarching goal of strengthening partnerships and expanding employment opportunities for people with lived experience of mental health challenges. To name a few, I provide trainings and technical consulting for employment staff, as well as convene focus groups and the monthly Work Well Committee meetings. I also convene employer socials, focus groups and trainings for people with mental health challenges who are interested in employment. In addition to my community work, I provide contract oversight, management and budget preparation. I feel my role is unique and I am privileged for the opportunity to assist our community because employment makes a difference!
What do you like best about working in workforce development?
I like the creation, design and implementation of new, innovative ideas that are put to work in the community and lead to meaningful and gainful employment, while also meeting the workforce demands of employers. Also, being part of creating a stronger workforce and systematically linking employers, community providers and job seekers to employment opportunities for positive outcomes. I am privileged to work with a diverse and amazing group of workforce professionals!
What professional moment or project are you most proud of?
It was receiving kudos from my supervisor for work I accomplished shortly after being hired at SDWP. I hit the ground running with a successful first training for over 70 employment staff from about 29 behavioral health programs, to my first successful employer social at the Friend to Friend Clubhouse. My supervisor said it was our best social ever for the Supported Employment contract with six employers and 25 attendees. And then, a few months later, kudos from my director in an all staff meeting about my work on the project and complimenting my internal and external customer service skills.