Alessandra, a 26-year-old residing in Oakland, came to the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) because she was frustrated by the seemingly daunting task of obtaining full-time employment in San Francisco. Helpful friends, who had received job-readiness training from MEDA’s talented Workforce Development Department, had referred her to our Mission District nonprofit, which annually offers numerous free services to over 5,000 low- and middle-income constituents. These valuable Workforce Development programs are funded by the United States Department of Labor (DOL) via the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)–a system intended to be customer-focused, offering Americans access to the tools they need to manage their careers through information and high-quality services.
“When Alessandra dropped by our center, she needed help honing her resume and enhancing her job interviewing skills so that she could successfully rejoin the workplace,” states Workforce Development Job Coach Robert Lopez. “Alessandra was a terrific student, throwing herself into mock interviews and sitting in on financial capability classes.”
When asked to describe MEDA in three words, Alessandra came up with the following adjectives: dedicated; knowledgeable; and hands on. The one-on-one attention she received from MEDA staff afforded Alessandra the opportunity to learn at her pace and in her own comfort zone.
“I came to MEDA’s Workforce Development Department to participate in their four-day job readiness program,” explains Alessandra. “I learned what to expect when searching for a job and going through the usually nerve-wracking interview process.”
Once prepared to re-enter the job market, Alessandra was advised by Workforce Development’s Job Developer Orrian Willis to drop by MEDA’s job fair taking place in the Mission District at Valencia Gardens, an event held in conjunction with community partners. This well-attended job fair showcased 22 employers and 182 job seekers, with about 20 jobs being landed.
The good news? Alessandra was one of those lucky job seekers, as she was hired to work at a San Francisco Whole Foods store! Workforce Development did such a terrific job training this eager student that Alessandra was even asked to interview at another company from the same job fair.
“I owe my success to the entire MEDA team. If it weren’t for the group effort of the Workforce Development Department, I wouldn’t have so quickly gotten a job. Thank you, MEDA, for all of your hard work and support!” says a relieved Alessandra.