|WorkSource Center's 1-on-1 Connection Makes a Difference for Struggling Angeleno|
“Something isn’t working here,” said jobseeker Joyce Billingsley to herself as she scanned an endless array of online job boards from her home computer for the umpteenth night in a row.
Fifty-one year old Billingsley had been unemployed for 17 years. She was laid off from her stable job at FBRG Insurance, where she worked as an Administrator for 15 years, after the business suffered a cut.
“After going 17 years with no work experience, I was afraid there was nothing out there for me.”
Billingsley, who was recently divorced and is currently raising her 6-year old granddaughter, feared she could lose custody if she did not find employment.
“Everywhere I applied for work, I would hear back initially, but I never got an interview,” she said.
In February 2011, Billingsley made a decision that would change her life.
After receiving an email from the California Employment Development Department (EDD), Billingsley visited the Canoga Park WorkSource Center, operated by ResCar Workforce Services in partnership with EDD. There, she began seeing Case Manager Sorie Torrez, who helped her find her current job.
“Sorie was the best,” Billingsley said emphatically. “She kept in contact with me constantly. Eventually, she called me saying ‘I have the perfect position for you,’ and I came down to the office immediately.”
Torrez “didn’t sugar coat anything,” remarked Billingsley. “She was incredibly knowledgeable, and she worked diligently to find me a job. I spent hours on my computer at home every day looking for employment. I used every search engine imaginable. Nothing worked.”
Asked what was different about her experience at the WorkSource Center, Billingsley said, “The one-on-one connection really made a difference.”
Torrez helped Billingsley apply and arrange an interview with Mixed Chicks, a women-operated company that produces hair products for multi-ethnic women, where she now works as a receptionist.
“The rest is history,” said Billingsley.
By Erin Brodwin, Workforce Investment Board Staff