Isai Chavez Bermudez's Story

Isai came to our OIC office for support in March 2018. He was referred to us by his sister who was a participant receiving support through the National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP). At this time, Isai was employed as a farmworker and needed to complete two courses to earn his Associate of Arts Degree. However, even after we offered him tuition assistance, he opted not to finish his degree. He decided to change his career path and pursue a career as an automotive technician. Shortly after, he enrolled in an Automotive Technology program, earned his certification, and sought full-time employment in the automotive sector. Yet, aside from helping his dad with minor automotive repairs of their personal vehicle, he had no experience in any customer-facing service sector. His lack of experience made it challenging to find a job. To gain experience, Isai regularly volunteered at his church to develop customer service, marketing, and team building skills. The skills learned from volunteering and his Automotive Technician Program provided the necessary requisites to attaining employment.

To ensure Isai had a successful job search, we enrolled him in our Job Readiness Training (JRT) program. I assisted him with creating a competitive resume and trained him on correctly completing employment applications. He had gained the knowledge and tools to apply for jobs. Soon after, together we went over employment opportunities and he submitted applications. Despite all the effort, Isai had not received any callbacks from employers. So, I reached out to Town Nissan to see if they would be interested in partnering through our On-the-Job Training program. After speaking with the hiring manager, they informed me they were looking for an experienced technician. Isai and I decided it would be best for him to participate in a Work Experience (WEX) to gain automotive hands-on experience that would make him more marketable. I reached out to Sangster Motors to inquire about WEX opportunities, and they informed me they didn't have enough personnel to train. I connected with Isai often to motivate, encourage, and ensure him that the right opportunity is out there. He was really determined to get a job and would drive from Quincy to Wenatchee almost daily to search for jobs. We were able to provide him with gasoline assistance to alleviate the financial burden for his commute.

In April, I was able to connect with Tom Jones, Owner of T&J Services. Tom was interested in bringing on Isai as a WEX to gain experience as an automotive technician. Tom needed him to start as soon as possible, and Isai was ready and excited about the opportunity. We assisted Isai with purchasing a work uniform as well as some steel-toe work boots. Tom assured us, if all went well, there would be an opportunity for Isai to be hired once the WEX concluded. Isai was excited about this opportunity!

Throughout the time Isai worked for Tom, he demonstrated a great work ethic and learned and executed tasks quickly. Tom quickly developed trust in Isai and gradually increased his duties and responsibilities. Isai welcomed the challenges and was willing to learn. Isai reached out to me that due to the increased responsibilities he needed his own tools to be able to complete the repairs. The tools would also be of value to him once he attained employment. We were able to help him with purchasing the tools to allow him to be successful in his position. On June 6, Isai successfully completed his WEX; however, Tom was not able to bring him full-time just yet as business was slow. Isai was told that in late July he would be hired.

As a participant in the program, Isai continued into the new program year that started July 1. We sat down to have a conversation to review his goals and debrief the WEX experience. Isai shared with me that he did not want to wait to see if Tom would hire him and was considering opening up his own business in Quincy. I referred him to the Mortgage and Financial Support Services in Moses Lake for guidance on how to start the entrepreneurship process. Isai being proactive had already conducted his own research and acquired a business license. He also gave me the news that he found a location right off the main road and his offer was accepted. Isai felt he would be able to obtain clients due to his connections in the community and was very confident his mechanic shop would be a success. Within a couple of weeks, on July 20, Isai opened his new Auto Service Mechanic Chavo business. As soon as his business opened, Isai started receiving a lot of clients and referrals which kept him extremely. In August, I paid a visit to Isai’s shop, and it was clear he was really proud of his business and all he had accomplished in such a short amount of time. He thanked us for being able to support him throughout his career journey.

In July 2022, Isai will have his 4th business anniversary and he continues to thrive! He has expanded his shop to include used car sales in addition to service repairs. He has also started a family and has financial security.

We are so proud of Isai and wish him the best of success!

Posted July 27, 2022

Isai Chavez Bermudez's Story

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