Jessie joined us from the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. Jessie grew up in a small town in West Virginia and found it difficult to land a job. He had an opportunity to leave and found a job through a mentor and worked for five years out of state. Later on he settled town in Maryland. Now he does construction work and joined the labor union five years ago. He worked hard and did not give up. Jessie enjoys being a part of the union because he was able to work his way up from the bottom and made people believe in him by showing what he was capable of doing. In addition to doing construction work he also is a marketing representative for the union. He advised job seekers to be strong through tough times and keep your head up.
James is also a member of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. He is originally from Kansas City, Missouri. He did not finish high school, and started working right away. James said when he was growing up he had a bad attitude and it got in the way of finding opportunities. He found himself in Washington DC and got a position with the union. He figured out how to network and work his way up in the union. James is now the director of Marketing and Business Development. James advised job seekers to not let your past hold you back in your job search and take advantage of networking opportunities and make valuable connections.
Nicole is an attorney for medical malpractice. She was born in West Virginia to a single mother. She started working in 7th grade after school. She worked hard in high school and went to college. After she graduate college she worked at the Center for Disease Control as a research assistant and made great connections that led her to law school and her current position. When she was a law student she found a job at her current office as a law clerk, and when she finished school the firm took her on as an attorney. Nicole says that part of her success at her firm is because she has always been there and available to stay after to help. This showed her supervisors that she was reliable and trusting, and opened up new opportunities for her at the firm. She encouraged women to not be afraid about entering a traditionally “men’s” profession and to be trailblazers for future generations. She advised job seekers to be persistent, work hard and network.
Sheila is the President and SEO of Sheila Lee & Associates Learning Everywhere LLC. She grew up in Troy, New York to hardworking parents that valued education. Sheila always seemed to be on academic probation throughout her schooling and on to college, but she persevered and graduated. She moved to Washington DC and stayed with her cousin while she was job searching. She found a job at DC public schools. Sheila learned about total quality management, and learned how companies use it to allow employees to figure out solutions to problems that arise in the workplace. She took this on to her next position at a job seeking program. Later on she worked for the Peace Corps and for a union and continued leading workshops and helping groups solve problems by coming to their own resolutions. One day her supervisor asked her to write down all the information on her trainings. She was very upset because she was afraid they were on the path to fire her. She decided to quit and go out on her own. She started her own company leading the same workshops all over the United States and the world. Sheila told job seekers to believe in yourself and take initiative.
David works at an insurance company. He grew up in Westminster, Maryland. His family worked in retail, and he started working at their company when he was 8 years old. He attended University of Maryland and did not want to work for the family business. He started his own business selling bellbottom jeans at the University of Maryland and was successful for 20 years. After this he decided to start a candy store franchise. He ended up opening many in the United States, and 20 stores overseas. He had a dream of building a chocolate museum in Baltimore. He networked, looked for investors and when he got rejected he continued to look for good contacts. Although this dream never became a reality he ended up making good connections and was offered a position at Hershey. At the age of 60 David was recruited by different financial institutions, and ended up starting a new career at New York Life Insurance Company.
Genese works at My Sister’s Place as a program assistant. She is from Baltimore, Maryland. Before finding a position at My Sister’s Place she had a hard time finding a job. Her last job was in 2004, and when she started looking for jobs in 2009 she was not having any luck due her background and gaps in employment. Gense always wanted a position where she could help people, but was not getting any leads because of her barriers. She found Maryland New Directions and took our employment training course. After she finished, there was an opening to volunteer as a receptionist. She took this as an opportunity to learn new skills, build her resume and improve her computer skills. During this time she also volunteered at My Sister’s Place. Genese’s volunteer experience proved that she could be trusted as an employee. Volunteering helped her overcome her barriers. When the position opened up at My Sister’s Place Genese was able to talk about her volunteer experience and show that she will be a great asset to their team as an employee. She was offered the position in April and continues to work hard and follow her dream.