Success Story:
Emilsa overcomes barriers and joins Telamon-TRC workforce and career program to help others

Emilsa, Maryland

A Guatemalan young mother of two boys, Emilsa emigrated to the United States with her family when she was only 16 years old. Due to cultural barriers and her limited English skills, she dropped out of high school in the 11th grade. Soon after, she became a young mother and had to find work to support her family. Over the years she held many agricultural jobs, from working at a nursery in Salisbury to working at a poultry company packing raw unprocessed chicken breasts.

The long hours and backbreaking labor left her exhausted with little time to study for her high school equivalence degree, improve her English, or spend quality time with her young son. She knew that she had to make a change, but she felt powerless. Tired and frustrated, she reached out for advice from her mom who told her about Telamon-TRC’s National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP).

Since Emilsa’s mother was a former customer, she was familiar with the services that Telamon offered migrant workers. Once Emilsa visited a Telamon Workforce & Career Services center, she had several assessments and counseling sessions with a helpful case manager. She quickly discovered that her goal was to work in an office setting.

To help Emilsa make her career aspirations a reality, she participated in Telamon’s Work Experience (WEX) program as a field service representative for Telamon. She learned the basic skills necessary to function as a professional in today’s office environment. Throughout her time in the WEX program, Emilsa demonstrated the skills and positive attitude needed for her job. She learned how to use office equipment and work with teams as well as develop self-motivation and time management skills. She also learned how to do community outreach and recruitment, including health and safety trainings. Additionally, she learned a variety of administrative skills like data entry, language translation, scanning, faxing, filing, email communication and setting up appointments.

"Emilsa performed her job with a great attitude. She was always on time, she gave her best daily, and she served as a great support to her team. – Dina Gonzalez Gonzalez, Workforce Development Specialist"

A testament to her hard work, commitment, and dedication, Emilsa was offered a part-time position with Telamon after finishing her WEX agreement. Soon after, she earned a promotion to full-time employment with benefits. Now Emilsa is happily married with a second child and a family to support.

Her next goal is to pass the GED exam and earn a diploma so that she can obtain an associate degree from a local community college. She plans to continue working for Telamon with the long-term goal of becoming a workforce development specialist. Her story is testament to the success of Telamon’s program and mission: educational training leads to better jobs, better lives, and contributions to our communities!

Telamon-TRC’s Workforce & Career Services encompasses a broad array of customized work readiness and job skill training programs, focusing on helping farmworkers, 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.