Despite earning a high school diploma and bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from a college in Africa, 32-year-old James found himself working one job at a construction site and a second job at a warehouse just to make ends meet. Even though he was working two jobs and long hours, his family could not afford to pay for daycare, which meant his wife had to remain at home to care for their two small children.
Thinking there had to be a better career path for himself, James reached out to Maricopa County’s Human Services Department. He was connected to Eva Castro, a career advisor with the Workforce Development Division. Eva began working with James to inventory his skills and determine how he could pursue a stable career that would allow him to provide for his family with just one job instead of two.
During one virtual session with Eva, James shared that as a boy in Kenya, he would watch Coca Cola trucks as they delivered soda to the grocery stores in his neighborhood. Feeling adventurous, he would quickly pedal alongside until he could grab a handle on the back and cruise down the street dreaming that someday he would be behind the wheel of a big red-and-white truck.
With Eva’s guidance, James set his sights on working as a truck driver for a company that would offer a suitable salary, medical insurance, and good benefits.
Through the comprehensive, no-cost employment services offered by ARIZONA@WORK Maricopa County, James was able to receive a grant to help him cover the cost of training for a new career. After completing training and an assessment, James was ready to apply to the Phoenix Truck Driving Institute.
James was diligent with his truck driver training and just two months after enrolling, he was able to get his Class A Commercial Driver’s License. With this license, his next step was to begin looking for a job. Once again, Maricopa County’s Human Services Department was able to assist James by providing him with job leads.
Just five weeks later, James visited the Career Center to let Eva know that his dream had become a reality. With her support, he been hired by Coca Cola as a driver earning $25 per hour with benefits. He would be working 40 hours per week and was eligible to work overtime.
James’ path from two strenuous jobs without benefits to a full-time salaried job is an example of how the Workforce Development Division of Maricopa County Human Services Department can help people realize their dreams by providing the resources and guidance to set them on a path for success.
For more information on the career programs and services available through the Human Services Department of Maricopa County, visit www.Maricopa.gov/WDD.