MEDA Workforce Development Program: Year One Goals Surpassed in Just 10 Months

Job Found Blog

“When the team was hired to launch MEDA’s new Workforce Development Program a year ago, we knew it would be challenging, but previous experiences taught us that hard work, relationships and quality are key to making it through the startup phase,” states Chris Tugwell, MEDA Workforce Manager, as he looks onto the bustling Mission Street scene out his window and reflects on the first year of the program.

What a year it was, with goals exceeded as clients from the underserved Mission community were successfully fed out into the local workforce.

A top-notch team had been pieced together to make this program a success. The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) at the San Francisco Mayor’s Office provides vital support.  Senior management staff gave kudos to MEDA by stating, “The Office of Economic and Workforce Development commends MEDA for its efforts to achieve economic justice for San Francisco’s low- and moderate-income Latino families through workforce development and asset building programs.”

By the numbers

The two charts below showcase that MEDA’s Workforce Development program surpassed its Year One goals after just 10 months.



program start date 9/3/13; numbers as of 6/30/14

The team

47. Chris TugwellChris Tugwell
Workforce Manager

Favorite Year One Story:
“What stands out is the client success story of Evelys, who came to MEDA looking to build her skills and a brighter future. We were able to support her goals through tech trainings and then the customer service sector training program. During Evelys’ involvement in these programs, she demonstrated a commitment to improving her life. She stood out. Her attendance, participation and overall commitment were exemplary. We have contract worker funding, and whenever possible we try to utilize these funds to support individuals in our programs that demonstrate a commitment to improving their life and need an opportunity to build a work history. Evelys was a perfect candidate. She now teaches computer classes at Plaza Adelante—the same classes she once took. She will soon have the background to take her career to the next level. That’s success in our book.”

48. Leo SosaLeo Sosa
Technology Training Coordinator

Favorite Year One Story:
“By far, the most impactful story to date has been then of Edwin, who came here four years ago from El Salvador. While we don’t necessarily mentor clients, that occurred in this case because his story reminded me of my own: an immigrant with a passion for all things computer. Edwin would just show up at Plaza Adelante. We first got him to take our Customer Service workshops. When we launched the Mission Techies program at the beginning of this year, we asked him if he wanted to take part. Edwin then thrived, even refurbishing 30 computers for financially challenged Mission residents as a way to give back to the community. Edwin eventually got an internship at an IT company, which turned into a full-time job. Edwin’s life has been transformed.”

49. Orrian WillisOrrian Willis
Job Developer

Favorite Year One Story:
“The story of MEDA getting over a dozen employees hired at a new Mission business, Urban Putt, is what is the most impactful story of the year. The reason is that it shows the service integration at MEDA. Policy Manager Gabriel Medina counseled the new owners about working with the community, which they then did. The job placements came about as a true team effort. We pre-screened, spruced up resumes and conducted mock interviews. We still refer clients to Urban Putt. A legacy has been created.”

51. Robert LopezRobert Lopez
Job Coach

Favorite Year One Story:
“The Urban Putt story was the best of the year. It is great that the new owners trusted MEDA to help them get their business going. What was impactful was that we were able to get a husband and wife both hired at Urban Putt. They are a family that is part of the Mission Promise Neighborhood, which adds to this story. After we got them hired, they hugged me and  profusely thanked MEDA. That makes our job worthwhile.”

50. Olivia QuinonezOlivia Quinonez
Job Coach

Favorite Year One Story:
“A recent story tops off the year. We had started a Bilingual Bank Teller program for young adults ages 17 to 24. Teller positions have transferable skills, making these jobs a great entry point. We honed resumes, conducted mock interviews . . . even helped get the clients dressed properly for their actual interview. The great news is that Bank of America’s Mission branch hired three of our clients. They just started a couple of weeks ago and the feedback we have gotten from the bank is all positive. We are all so proud of them and of the role we played in helping them get placed.”

52. Angelita DelgadoAngelita Delgado
Intake Coordinator

Favorite Year One Story:
“The best thing we do is help clients who are not normally served, especially undocumented immigrants, particularly youths. People in that situation are usually afraid to reach out for services. It takes a long-lasting relationship for that trust to be built. MEDA is doing so. The best example is Manuel, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) client. He now teaches a DACA Customer Service class at Plaza Adelante, so those in the workshop have a role model, which makes them more likely to complete the program. Very powerful.”

53. Erica CastilloErica Castillo
Broadband Coach

Favorite Year One Story:
“The story of Rosa immediately comes to mind. We worked with her for several months with the goal of getting her connected to low-cost internet in her home. There were issues with her sister not being willing to share her internet, as she had some privacy concerns. We worked with the family and got Rosa connected. She then won a MEDA raffle for a computer. So, she and her two children now have everything they need to be connected in the home. Their lives are changing for the better every day.”

Concludes Workforce Manager Tugwell, “In the coming months, we are excited to expose more of our jobseekers to our financial capability work, improving our ability to meet the needs of all jobseekers, developing career pathways for our sector training programs and building strong relationships with the Mission business community so they look to MEDA’s workforce program when they need to fill an open position. We are settled in, ready to improve the quality of our services and make a bigger impact in Year Two.”

Other archived Workforce Development stories from Year One:

Bay Area Resident Lands a Job with Help of MEDA’s Workforce Development Department

Graduation Day for First Class of Bilingual Bank Teller Program at MEDA

Graduation Day! Mission Techies Program Starts Young Adults on Path to IT Careers

In Her Own Words: Rosa Segara, Client Success Story

MEDA Client Success Story: Alessandra Nieto Finds a Job

MEDA Client Success Story: Job Found, Economic Success on the Horizon

MEDA Job Fair Brings Out Hundreds of Jobseekers

MEDA Partners for Success

MEDA Welcomes Youths to Summer Programs

MEDA’s Workforce Development Department Assists Employees and Employers

Mission Techies Give Unanimous Thumbs Up to Visit to Facebook Campus

Paying it Forward: Young Adults Teach Young Adults Dollars & Sense

Social Enterprise at Work: Mission Techies Tackle a Taxing Problem