Monday, October 1, 2018
SUCCESS STORY: MADONNA GARCIA-CROWLEY
In April 2016, MaDonna Garcia-Crowley came to the WDB after recently losing her new job due to lack of computer skills. Prior to this position, she worked for 5 ½ years in Human Services at a non-profit that served the homeless population, those with mental disorders and history of substance abuse.
MaDonna met with staff and was encouraged to participate in the WDB orientation. While attending, MaDonna learned about the WDB and its programs, resources and how it could benefit her employment search.
MaDonna began treating her job search like a job; at the WDB at least four days a week, sometimes up to 8 hours a day or longer. She got to know staff members and felt they showed a genuine interest in her work experience, personal background and personality. MaDonna attended several classes and programs to build up her skills.
Although MaDonna was concerned about her history of being a felon, she remained positive and knew she was in a position to find a better job than ever before. MaDonna began investing in a career in healthcare, one that she could apply her skills, education and personal experience to while still allowing opportunity to advance in the company. Nearing senior citizen age she needed and wanted a union job that would offer healthcare benefits, vacation, sick leave, retirement and savings, and disability insurance. In addition to extra-curricular work activities to provide a work/life balance.
After a month of job searching, MaDonna began working with a job coach to offer guidance for employment resources and moral support. One day she was told by staff of an employment opportunity as a Community Health Worker with La Clinica De la Raza – a medical facility that serves people with chronic illnesses who have recently been released from prison or jail under AB 109. She applied for the position and was called for an interview. Staff was able to assist her with a clothing voucher for interview clothes.
In June 2016, MaDonna was offered the position and began working full-time! The WDB provided her with gas cards to assist with travel. Today, MaDonna works as a Community Health Worker in the Transition Clinic. She frequently visits the WDB as a vendor during the Parole and Community Team (PACT) meetings held once a month to introduce the Transition Clinic to potential patients re-entering the population from incarceration who may be in need of healthcare and resources.
MaDonna has a saying, “If you’re sick you go to the doctor, if your car breaks down you take it to the mechanic, and if you’re looking for employment you go to the Workforce Development Board!”