PALMDALE – After getting laid off as a dairy farmer three years ago, Johnny Johnson had struggled to find employment. But he said his lack of computer skills stood in the way.
“I couldn’t even get a job at the grocery story,” he said. “You had to go online to fill out the application for it, and I don’t know nothing about computers.”
After depleting his unemployment and moving in with family, he says the South Valley Work Source Center was his last hope.
“I was just tired of doing the same thing over and over,” he said.
The Work Source Center provided Johnson with solutions to his barriers, and pretty soon, he was able to obtain his food handlers certificate, which landed him a job at the Yard House in a position that he has held for three months.
Ronnie Aguilar came to the South Valley Work Source Center in 2010 when his 12-year career as a Precision Assembly Machinist was interrupted due to downsizing. With the help of the Work Source Center, Aguilar was eventually able to secure employment with a major aerospace technology firm.
Both Johnson and Aguilar posed proudly with their awards Wednesday at an event aimed at recognizing the top success stories of the South Valley Work Source Center (SVWSC).
“Every single time I hear a success story, it always brings tears to my eyes and it makes me feel beyond proud of the staff and grateful that the City of Palmdale allows us to do as much as we do here,” said Program Manager Ana Quiles.
The S.A.V.E. (Success, Achievement, Vision, and Excellence) event luncheon was hosted by the Work Source’s Business Advisory Council (BAC) to honor local businesses that have supported the SVWSC and the BAC. Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford was the keynote speaker and Richard Poston from the Antelope Valley Black Chamber of Commerce served as Master of Ceremonies.
The Volunteer Award 2011 was presented to Ann Vanino; the Business Advisory Council Member Award 2011 was presented to Guy Bray from JC Penny; and the Business Award Year 2011 was presented to Mark Silver at Industrial Lock.
The ceremony also recognized the two job seekers who had benefited most from the Work Source’s services in 2011. Johnny Johnson received the Placement Award 2011 and Ronnie Aguilar received the Career Award 2011.
“It shows that if you work hard enough you can have something,” said Johnson.
For Performance Fiscal Year 2010-2011 (July to June) the South Valley Work Source Center has served 25,256 people, placed 673 people with jobs, and served 240 businesses according to the SVWSC.