Success Story:
Alejandro’s work experience helps him build a rewarding career and work toward his own home

Alejandro, Michigan

Growing up in a family that has deep roots in agriculture can make it hard to carve out your own occupational road. Natives of Mexico, Alejandro’s parents had to drop out of school in order to help their families financially. Faced with economic hardships as adults, they made the life-changing decision to move to Michigan in search of a more prosperous life for their family.

Even though college was not part of Alejandro’s track, his high school teacher encouraged him to attend a college night event that included Telamon’s National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP). There he learned that the program offered children of Farmworkers help with their education and careers, even if college wasn’t part of their long-term goals.

Alejandro worked with Telamon Michigan’s Youth Program Specialist, Irma, to enroll in the Workforce and Career Services program. Together, they created an Educational and Career Plan that addressed Alejandro’s goals as well as the obstacles he faced. In partnership with local employers, the Work Experience (WEX) program provided hands-on training in a specific career field, while the participant earned wages funded by Telamon.

“When I was in school, I needed help because I didn’t understand instructions. I felt stupid. Thanks to Telamon’s support, now I feel good about who I am! My Youth Program Specialist was great. When I felt down, she told me how good I was doing at my job, at dealing with stress, dealing with being an adult. She helped me remember my goals. Most of all, she listened when I need someone to listen and she did not judge me.”

Alejandro was placed with a local employer, Tom Williams Construction Company. Telamon also provided him with everything he needed to work safely on the construction site, such as boots, a drill, tool belt and other industry equipment. With the wages he earned, he was thrilled to buy his siblings new clothes for school. Alejandro’s work performance soon exceeded his employer’s expectations. Due to his hard work, dependability and willingness to learn, he was offered employment at the same employer as soon as the WEX program ended.

Alejandro’s strong work ethic combined with Telamon’s NFJP program helped him to overcome the barriers he faced. With the help of a Financial Coach and Youth Program Specialist at Telamon, he was able to use his construction abilities into restoring a house that would become his own. After the renovations were completed, he moved into his home—only minutes from his family. Now Alejandro has a great job, financial stability and a home to call his own.

Telamon-TRC’s Workforce & Career Services encompasses a broad array of customized work readiness and job skill training programs, focusing on helping farmworkers, veterans, and youth who seek to build skills and career paths. Work readiness and job skill development are often supplemented by language services (ESL), educational support (GED) and includes one-on-one counseling, group workshops and supportive services. 

Since 1965 Telamon-TRC has helped individuals like you access services that lead to better jobs, better lives, and better communities. Find a Workforce & Career Services program near you today.