At just 18 years old, Josue Olvera seemed to know exactly what he needed in order to be successful. All he needed was a little bit of help from SER to make it happen.
Last year, Josue was recruited by SER Staff at the Second Mile Mission Center in Fort Bend County, and was enrolled in the Warehouse Forklift training. But while attending that class, Josue felt like he needed additional training in other areas to increase his employability. After all, he had some work experience in construction and as an HVAC technician. Josue’s problem was that all that experience didn’t grant him any credentials or licenses. The goal for Josue was clear: obtaining the certification that would translate into sustainable employment. Once Josue completed his Warehouse Forklift certification, SER Director of Training and Development Chris Pratt referred Josue to the main SER office so that he could learn about an exciting Youth program that could help him out with his other needs.
It was at this juncture that Career Coach Sivivian Merrick met with Josue to talk about the services offered through the Helping Young People Excel
(HYPE) program. Sivivian was immediately impressed with Josue’s ability to communicate his interests and needs, as well as the challenges that were preventing him from reaching his goals.
Those signs of maturity helped Josue secure approval for the HYPE program, and he was awarded financial aid assistance to pay for HVAC Technician training at the school of his choice. Josue chose the Houston School of Carpentry
, not minding the fact that enrolling in that specific institution involved taking on a 36 mile daily commute for nine weeks.
Josue began classes on November 30, 2015. Undeterred by the lengthy commute, he achieved perfect attendance, and on January 22, 2016 Josue received his certificate of completion, along with the HVAC license he had set his sights on.
The next step was finding employment. With the assistance of SER’s Job Developer, Felicia Hines, and SER’s partnership with the Greater East End Management District
, an employment opportunity as a Special Project Assistant became available there. Josue quickly applied, and his experience, skills, and enthusiasm helped him land the job.
Josue is now working 40 hours a week at $10.00 per hour. His duties include rewiring ground lights in city parks, changing light fixtures on freeways, beautifying the East End district, removing graffiti, collecting disposable items, and much more.
Josue enjoys his job and finds it rewarding. But with an eye on his future and with the HVAC license in his pocket, Josue says he will continue to pursue HVAC technician positions while taking advantage of the opportunity to work for the East End Management district and further developing his skills.