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D23 Hiring Fair – Another Success Story

A young lady and her father came by the D23 Hiring Fair and they were intent on finding a job. Not because she was on social services programs and wanted to get off, but because she simply had run into a stroke of bad luck. She recently lost her job, subsequently she was being evicted from her home, and not one to dwell in her misfortunes she was out performing community service with her father. When they returned home to start packing up her belongings to move out, her belongings had been stolen.

She was so disheartened that she had decided against coming to the Hiring Fair held on December 4, 2014 but her Father convinced her otherwise. When she arrived she was able to talk with some of the partners of D23 Goes 2 Work, and utilize some of the in kind services that they provide. They were able to feed her, offer her business attire, funds to relocate and obtain temporary housing. She also received 4 job offers on the spot and has several promising interviews.

Afterwards she said “…I now feel like I know where my life is headed…”

This Hiring Fair was more than just a Hiring Fair.

What Started as a Hobby Became a Career

“I was working as a truck driver when I took my first Welding course at Eastfield,” says Bruce Parramore.

“I had gotten interested in welding when I built a go-cart as a home project and had decided I’d like to learn how to weld better,” the Eastfield College alum says. “But after I took that first welding class — after just four months — I had learned enough that I was able to get a job in my company’s welding department. Now I’m a welder instead of a truck driver.”

Because hours are flexible, Parramore was able to keep his job as a truck driver while he learned welding.
“What I like about welding is that you get the chance to create something, and because it’s metal it lasts just about forever,” he says. “It’s also really fun, and now I work on a lot of home projects I would never have been able to do before.”

Sharon Gray

Sharon D. Gray, Operations Manager

Sharon Gray
Network Operations Manager
AT&T Mobility

“I came to Cedar Valley College because my supervisor approached me at work and said that she was impressed by my job performance and was interested in mentoring me for a management position. But there was one drawback: I didn’t have a college degree. She and my mother began to encourage me to consider going back to school.
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Chef Tim Ellcey

Tim Ellcey didn’t plan to be a chef and caterer.

“I was an education major for a while,” the El Centro graduate says. “I was going to be an elementary teacher. After a while, I didn’t feel like that was what I was led to do.”
Now, instead of overseeing a classroom, the graduate of El Centro’s Food and Hospitality Institute is watching over barbecue and other tasty food as chef-owner of Tim Ellcey Catering.

Ellcey chose El Centro’s culinary program over those of other institutions for several reasons, including:

  • Low tuition
  • Industry reputation
  • Alumni network

“It was just more hands on,” Ellcey says. “I just loved being around that, that kitchen and that classroom and that learning environment, where there’s instructors that have been in the field for so long and they’re just ready to fill you with so much information that it’s going to make you successful.”

​Internship Opportunities Helped

“Graduating I felt very confident because you have to have so many internship practicum time
while you’re there,” Ellcey says. “I felt that I was very prepared to go out and find pretty much any job that was available at the time.

“The connections that I’ve met through there, the friends that I’ve met, I still am connected with them as well. As they find jobs, as they grow, I’ve had several, several classmates that have come to me and said, hey, you know, I’m now working at this as a sous-chef or executive chef. Are you still looking for work?”

Video transcript available on YouTube.