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January 3, 2019

Expanded Subsidized Employment team at the San Diego Workforce Partnership South County Career Center

The South County Career Center houses a team of specialists who connect employers and talent through Expanded Subsidized Employment (ESE), which helps reduce the costs associated with identifying, hiring and onboarding employees. ESE reimburses companies up to 100 percent of the wages of a new hire in the first 180 days of employment. Here we learn a little about the dream team behind ESE.

(L–R in photo above: Rita Awadis, Bonome Kibukila, Bushra Hassan, Isabel Hernandez, Brenda Quezada, Marwa Andar, Deona Dorsey)

How long have you been working at a career center?

  • Rita Awadis — 3 years
  • Bonome Kibukila — 5 years
  • Bushra Hassan — 5 years
  • Isabel Hernandez — 4 years
  • Brenda Quezada — 7 years
  • Marwa Andar — 4 years
  • Deona “Dee” Dorsey — 6 years

Expanded Subsidized Employment team at the San Diego Workforce Partnership South County Career CenterWhat professional moment or project are you most proud of?

We have many moments that we are proud of. We work with families who are homeless, single parents, job seekers with mental and physical disabilities, refugees who have no to low English language skills, and connect them with long term employment, provide workshops in the languages spoken by the participants, advocate on their behalf, and witness their growth in the English language skills as they move up in employment.

Favorite client stories

  • The family of an ESE participant—a business owner—was forced to seek supportive services through the county after her company went out of business. The participant was referred to us and placed within a month at Grocery Outlet, which has already offered to move her up to a managerial role after just 90 days.
  • A refugee participant was referred to ESE while employed but was overworked. He no longer wanted to continue employment with his employer. Due to having to support his family, however, he continued on. Shortly after being referred to ESE, the participant found employment with Balboa International Market, which has been a much better fit for him.
  • A participant who was hired as a smog technician became a co-owner of a smog station within three months and no longer needed county supportive services!

If you had $30,000 to invest in a workforce development program, what would you want done with it?

  • Rita — Invest in an adult care center by providing direct support in care, therapies, financial support, etc.
  • Bonome — Give back to the community through ESE.
  • Bushra — Overnight child care services for working parents. Anything that has to do with employment barriers faced by refugees.
  • Isabel — To assist single parents who are returning to the workforce by providing training, workshops and supportive services.
  • Brenda — Provide employment, beauty and counseling services for women who are survivors of domestic violence.
  • Marwa — Invest in a women’s center to assist in acculturation and education.
  • Dee — Transportation services for employment purposes and employment services that target youth (young men) and men with employment mentoring.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

  • Rita — Spending time with my family.
  • Bonome — Spending quality time with my children.
  • Bushra — Enjoying the outdoors, traveling and spending quality time with family
  • Isabel — Eating and hiking.
  • Brenda — Being a mother, spending quality time with my family in outdoor activities, traveling and eating.
  • Marwa — Cooking, waking up early and dancing.
  • Dee — Community outreach, enjoying the outdoors, building connections and friendships. Spending quality time with family.
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