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January 13, 2015

Marc Martin is the Vice President of Karl Strauss Brewing Co. He is also a member of SDWP’s Workforce Investment Board. Here he shares what motivated him to join the WIB and the workforce issues he is most passionate about.

SDWP: What motivated you to join the WIB?

Martin: I was motivated to join the WIB as I respect its desire to help get people back to work and also train the workforce of our future. I had an opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with SDWP CEO Peter Callstrom and WIB Chair Rebecca Aguilera-Gardiner to learn more about how my service to the WIB could be of value prior to joining. Those discussions inspired me to give back to my community through utilizing my professional strengths and contacts to help support WIB efforts. I must admit, I still struggle a little sometimes with how I personally add value to the WIB and hope my participation is up to par with the rest of the amazing members I see on the Board at each meeting. I look forward to doing my part to get people back to work and help train the workforce of our future. San Diego’s craft beer scene continues to explode, and we brewers need a solid resource for a trained, responsible and proactive workforce.  

SDWP: What issues are you most passionate about as they relate to workforce development?

Martin: I have been so humbled by the heartwarming stories of success we hear at each WIB meeting, from someone who fell on hard times (or never had a fair shot to begin with) and eventually picked themselves back up by their own bootstraps with the WIB’s assistance. Those people and stories are truly something else and remind us all how fortunate we are in life. I am most passionate about helping people like that get back to work. There is a great deal of talent still sitting on the sidelines out there. Helping people to reinvent themselves in order to find a new source of livelihood feels like the right thing to do and I’m hopeful my service to the WIB assists in making that happen in some way.

SDWP: Tell a brief story about a person, event or project that you were involved with that underscored your passion for these issues. 

Martin: I hired an employee years ago, and people thought I was nuts at the time for doing so. His checkered past would lead anyone to believe this guy didn’t stand a chance at becoming a functioning/successful employee for our company. After sitting down with him for the interview, I learned a great deal about this man’s background and skill set. His work ethic and attitude were outstanding (two things I highly value when interviewing potential job candidates). In my opinion, he simply needed some re-training and good leadership in order to successfully step back into the professional work world. I had a “candid” discussion with him prior to hiring so he was completely aware of my expectations once he came on board. At that point, the ball was in his court. I’m pleased to say that the employee went on to become a star in that organization and turned his life around (still works there today in fact). I’m glad I was able to be a small part of helping him get back to a normal and productive life.

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