July 8 at 2:28pm

Employment Program Supports Local Contractor

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One of the most important things Interfaith Community Services can do is help struggling North County residents find a job. Having a good, stable job is the key to building an independent, stable life. Interfaith gives people a “hand up, not a hand out” so they can get back on their feet and become self-sufficient.

One such way Interfaith does this is through it’s North County Labor Connection (NCLC) program. Created in 1992, NCLC acts as a neutral location where laborers can connect with employers for daily, temporary, or permanent job needs; the most common jobs performed include home improvement projects, painting, moving, yard work, construction cleanup, and more.

Jorge came to NCLC a little over five years ago after the recession turned his life upside down. He had enjoyed an extremely successful career in the construction industry, working on major projects at Disneyland, the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, Port of Long Beach, UCLA and more, until the entire field found itself shook by the 2008 recession.

“I was paid well, had a good 401k, had earned all my certifications, and one day, everything was gone,” said Jorge. “I called all my contractor friends asking for work, but so many of them weren’t even working themselves and had to close their doors.”

When a friend suggested that Jorge come to Interfaith to look for work, the resources he found shocked him. In addition to signing up with NCLC, Jorge began to utilize many of the self-sufficiency and supportive services Interfaith provides, including food assistance, guidance when signing up for health insurance, and access to the computer lab to search for jobs.

“I never thought I would be asking for all these things, but life goes up and down,” said Jorge. “You just never know what could happen.”

Today, Jorge is proud to report that NCLC connected him with an employer and that he has been with that same employer for nearly three years. The flexibility his job provides allows him to balance his on-the-clock duties (usually consisting of home repairs, minor construction projects, painting, and plumbing) with raising his 13-year-old son. Jorge even relishes in the fact that he can serve on the PTA at his son’s school, High Tech High San Marcos; he proudly leads the fundraising efforts and is very hands on when planning PTA-sponsored events.

“I’m very lucky I found a place like Interfaith,” said Jorge. “I’m so glad I made my way here.”

If you or someone you know is in need of employment assistance, please contact Michelle Lenoue at (760) 489-6380 ext. 228. To learn more about North County Labor Connection, please click here.