Second job supports entrepreneur’s dreams

August 9, 2018

Jesus Gama

This article was originally posted on Growing up Jesus Jhair Gama describes himself as, “that kid who was called upon whenever there was a technical issue at home.” He enjoyed working with technology and was a self-taught repairman. In his

From classroom to coach

June 25, 2018


Motivated by a desire to give back to his family, high school student Rolando was looking for work experience and a paycheck to afford things for himself like clothes, shoes and fun experiences for his siblings. In his words, Rolando

College student shadows entrepreneur in internship

April 27, 2018

“I never thought I would know anyone from Microsoft,” said Desjonae Hixon, who spoke at Opportunity Summit 2018: Initiate alongside Carmen Summers, the Southwest Region Technical Sales Director for Microsoft Public Cloud. The panel brought together youth who shared their personal experiences alongside

From surviving to living

April 4, 2018

Ahmed* was a medical doctor in his native Iraq. He, along with millions of others in areas occupied by ISIS, a jihadist group with historical ties to al-Qaeda, have fled from the violence and conflict to other cities and countries

TechHire brings together intern and edtech company in a perfect match

January 8, 2018

Roberto Solis Rodriguez had the ideal situation—he scored a paid internship while in school and the company where he interned liked him so much he got hired on full time at the end of his internship, before he even completed

From Air Force to workforce

November 8, 2017

Matt Roman was a client of workforce services programs and is now a manager of one. Roman served as a Security Forces Staff Sergeant with the U.S. Air Force. After he was separated from service in April 2013, he participated

Craft brewer discovers Customized Training at the perfect time

October 2, 2017

It was a cold email sent at just the right time that introduced Alex Pierson to the San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP). Through Reimagine Retail, a grant funded by the Walmart Foundation and Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, SDWP was looking

From pilot program to pipetting

October 2, 2017

Iliana Pulido, 22, lives in the City Heights area of San Diego and received her high school diploma in 2013 from Arroyo Paseo Charter School. She started community college right after high school but left partway through her first semester

From mandatory supervision to union representation

October 2, 2017

A San Diegan since the age of 7, Jon-David used to enjoy golfing in Mission Valley. That all changed when he was incarcerated multiple times for multiple felonies. He was sentenced to a two-year “split” in his most recent stay—serving

Intern success shows what happens when C2C, employers and youth work together

July 3, 2017

At the beginning of June, Johnson Matthey, a San Diego Priority Sector employer in Advanced Manufacturing, became the latest company to hire through CONNECT2Careers (C2C). C2C’s team of business services representatives worked with Johnson Matthey to identify qualified intern candidates. The company hired

Career center helps man land full-time position

May 9, 2017

Mike R. was looking for a full-time position since the beginning of the year. Here he shares in his own words his path to a new position. I have been a member of the South County Career Center since January

ILSE’s ‘secret sauce’ of support lands student life sciences job

May 2, 2017

The Introductory Life Science Experience (ILSE) program was launched in October 2015 and has enrolled over 40 participants. It provides a re-entry pathway into a Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) careers in life sciences for young adults ages 18–24

Career center helps Amazon fill 300 positions

May 1, 2017

With a new Amazon Fulfillment Center opening in National City, the National City Chamber of Commerce reached out to the South County career center for assistance with the hiring of 300 part-time seasonal shipping and receiving associates, who will be

From apartment to 12,000 square foot brewhouse

April 7, 2017

In an area becoming known as Beeramar*, Rough Draft Brewing Company began like many other breweries: with a home brew kit and passion for making beer. Founded by UC San Diego graduate Jeff Silver in 2012, now its mission is

SeaWorld kicks off 2017 C2C partnership with employer social

February 20, 2017

On February 17, SeaWorld welcomed business service representatives from 15 nonprofit agencies in partnership with CONNECT2Careers (C2C) for an employer social. The session provided deeper information about SeaWorld’s hiring process so community partners are better equipped to prepare individuals to apply at SeaWorld. Following

Valerio finds steady job with help from Breaking Barriers

February 10, 2017

Valerio Pillado enrolled in Breaking Barriers San Diego in 2016. Here is his story in his own words. Before I came to Breaking Barriers San Diego, I was having a lot of problems finding and keeping a job. I was

Using Lean principles to prevent layoffs

October 27, 2016

Established in 1980 in a small garage woodshop, Spooner’s Woodworks has grown to be a premiere architectural woodwork firm serving all commercial markets, with a focus on tenant improvements, primary/secondary education, military, public works, medical and hospitality sectors. It has grown so much that a year ago

From always applying to advocating

October 27, 2016

When Alicia Vasquez found out she’d been placed at the San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) for job shadow day during her senior year, she wasn’t sure what to expect. It is thanks to that experience, however, that Alicia learned about CONNECT2Careers

From treatment to lead cook

October 27, 2016

When Mark Bradley first heard about Breaking Barriers (BBSD) he was doing his best to get back on his feet. Mark was out of work and receiving substance abuse services treatment from Mental Health Systems’ San Diego Center for Change, funded through the

Grant funding helps new resident on biotechnology career pathway

October 3, 2016

Hailing from Torreón, Coahuila in Mexico, Ernesto de Leon had already completed an undergraduate degree in biochemistry and a master’s in quality and productivity when he fell in love with partner Jesse Cruz 10 years ago. He decided to move

The Arc of San Diego helps people with disabilities find work

September 6, 2016

The Arc of San Diego, one of the largest service providers for children and adults with disabilities in San Diego County, finds employment for people with disabilities in a variety of positions and industries throughout the community.  Thanks to a SDWP

Veteran excels in new career with steep learning curve

July 26, 2016

After a career in the food and beverage industry, U.S. Navy veteran Daniel Martinez realized that though he was good at his job as a manager and the industry had provided him with great opportunities, the long hours and low

Job center helps former inmate land job one week after release

June 1, 2016

When Desiman Miller first entered the East Mesa Reentry Facility, he promised himself he’d make the most of his time there. He enrolled in over 25 classes and spent his free time reading books focused on learning new skills and

East County career center helps Marcia obtain a new career

April 6, 2016

Marcia Knabe had a background in corrections, but wanted to do less physically demanding work. She came to the East County Career Center, an America’ Job Center of California (AJCC) site, determined to continue working but in a less physical

Life sciences internships help first-generation high school grad decide her future

February 23, 2016

In some ways, Andrea is like many other high school students; she enjoys going to the movies with friends and works at a restaurant in her spare time. In other ways, she is very much unlike many of her peers.

Laid off higher ed VP finds new work thanks to career center

February 4, 2016

Jonathan King was unemployed when he joined the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Career Center at the downtown library — one in a network of America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) sites — in August 2014. He had been laid

Retail internship changes life of business student

December 11, 2015

Situated behind another outlet mall next to the fence separating the United States and Mexico, the new San Diego Outlets at the Border (opened October 2014) is not immediately obvious from the main road. Once you find it, however, you

Veteran finds success in the civilian world

November 10, 2015

In 1999, Andrew S. Colunga retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after 22 years of service. His aviation background landed him a job at Boeing, but when the three-hour commute back and forth to Long Beach became too much, Colunga

Michael Cerdinio finds fulfilling full-time work after C2C internship

October 28, 2015

Michael Cerdinio was a participant in SDWP’s CONNECT2Careers (C2C) youth employment program. Through C2C he was placed in an internship with Buster Biofuels, a green energy company that creates Green Initiatives for restaurants in San Diego by reclaiming their used

From refugee to refuge: Lian Thang’s story

October 14, 2015

When the Burmese Army began making life difficult for his and nearby villages, Lian Thang knew he had to flee for his safety. In 2008, when Lian was 14, he left his home in Chin State in western Burma and

Expanded Subsidized Employment program helps mother of two turn family’s life around

October 14, 2015

Chante Yuban Brookins was working as a preschool teacher when she lost her job. For the next two months, she took on the odd cleaning or babysitting job. For the rest of the following year Chante did not have luck

Former teen mom joins staff at agency that helped her succeed

October 7, 2015

Ashley Rodriguez could have been a statistic. Using drugs between 13 and 15, she dropped out of school in 10th grade and became a single parent at 16.  Instead, two years later she joined Pathways to Success (P2S) — funded

Formerly homeless youth on path to success

June 30, 2015

Malcolm Charles understands his customers like few other servers can.  “I’ve been homeless before,” shares Malcolm, who is currently working on a food truck that specializes in serving the homeless population. Malcolm was attending Diego Valley Charter School to study

YMCA Urban Teacher Fellows helps woman find passion

December 8, 2014

Arlyne Rodriguez joined the YMCA San Diego’s Urban Teacher Fellows (UTF) program in 2013. UTF assists students who want to become future educators in underserved urban neighborhoods in San Diego. The program supports students while they are enrolled as a

From Refugee to Resident Physician

August 21, 2014

Dr. Najwan Al Ani practiced medicine in Jordan and war-torn areas of Iraq for seven years before coming to the United States in 2010. She knew it would be a long process to achieve her dream of practicing medicine here

COMPACT helps youth find her passion for automotive work

August 5, 2014

Arianna first came to Escondido Education COMPACT in 2013, after years of personal struggles that involved substance abuse and incarceration at the Girls Rehabilitation Facility in San Diego. COMPACT’s North County Youth Career Network Recovery and Re-Engagement program provides at-risk

After months of unemployment, Beronilla secures job

June 9, 2014

Not long ago, Eugene Beronilla could sum up his employment situation as “overqualified and underemployed.” Fortunately for Beronilla, who had been looking for work for over a year, this happens to be the name of one of the workshops available

IRC helps youth exhibit model behavior, excel in school

April 9, 2014

Christian Felipe Oldade, a junior at Crawford High School, had years of behavioral and truancy issues that resulted in multiple suspensions and other disciplinary action.

On-the-Job-Training program gets job seekers back to work

December 4, 2013

After nearly two years of being out of work, having been laid off from his job at a steel shop, getting his foot in the door was all Joel Vazquez needed to land a full-time job. In December 2011, with

From cashier to Certified Nursing Assistant: Oceania Robinson pursues her passion

June 19, 2013

When Oceania Robinson arrived for orientation at Comprehensive Training Systems (CTS) she was a young, unemployed, single mother, struggling to provide for her son with the help of public assistance. She had recently relocated to San Diego from Texas, after