Taryell Simmons is a Program Specialist with the San Diego Workforce Partnership’s CONNECT2Careers (C2C) program. 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.
I engage with business and community leaders to help create job opportunities for young adults. I help put together job fairs and hiring events and lead efforts in putting together the sponsorship collateral that will be used for the fundraising and development of C2C. I am an ambassador of happiness, positivity, creativity, inspiration and enthusiasm. My other roles include MC, happy birthday singer and food connoisseur.
What do you like best about working in workforce development?
I really love connecting with people. I am the type of person that can sit with a stranger, talk for hours and be friends by the end of that conversation. My fiancé used to tease me all the time about my friendliness. She said that I knew too many people because every time we’d go out we’d run into somebody I knew and I always had to stop and say hello. Luckily, that comes in handy with my job. I enjoy hearing a job seeker’s story and connecting them with a meaningful job or work experience. When a employer says they hired some great employees from me it’s such a great feeling to know I was able to help. People spend most of their day in the work place, so I try my best to connect people with jobs/careers they can enjoy.
What professional moment or project are you most proud of?
A young man from Lincoln High School that I worked with last summer. He was getting into trouble hanging with the wrong crowd and decided he no longer wanted to do that. He said to me that getting a job would help him feel like he could be somebody. He had just turned 16 and had a very difficult time finding a job. We applied to almost every place we could think of and he had several interviews, but never received a call back. He became frustrated with the process and disconnected from it. I was able to reconnect with him through his school counselor, who also began helping with his job search. The counselor provided some supportive services that were greatly needed at the time. He reapplied to a position at SeaWorld and got the job. He called me up with great excitement and I was so happy for him because I could feel how much this accomplishment meant to him and how it had a positive impact on his life.