St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa announces new cycle of paid job training starting Jan. 6

Mary Turner (left), a graduate of the WFD program at St. Vincent de Paul, hugs her mentor Gail F. (right) outside of her newly purchased home in Stockton, California. Photo: St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa

Participant re-enters workforce, becomes financially stable homeowner

The Workforce Development Program at St. Vincent de Paul is a paid job training program aimed at helping the unemployed re-enter the workforce and find stable employment. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen millions suddenly find themselves out of work. In these hard times, it is more important than ever that job applicants understand workplace expectations and have the soft skills to be a contributing employee. The 24-week program teaches participants skills and techniques to find a job and be successful in the workplace, offering training in resume development, interviewing, and organizational skills in a supportive & compassionate environment. Mandatory orientation sessions, applicants should choose either the Pleasant Hill, Brentwood, or the Pittsburg sessions.

The Pleasant Hill Sessions take place on Thursday, Jan. 6 and Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, from 10 AM – 1 PM at Christ The King Church at 199 Brandon Road. The Brentwood Sessions take place on Saturday, Jan. 8 and Friday, Jan. 14 from 10 AM – 1PM at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store at 8890 Brentwood Blvd. The Pittsburg Sessions will take place on Monday, Jan. 17 and Friday, Jan. 21 from 2 PM – 5 PM at the St. Vincent de Paul Family Resource Center at 2210 Gladstone Drive. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

The Workforce Development Program aims to help tear down the barriers that stand in the way of employment for individuals who have struggled to obtain and maintain employment. Participants work with mentors and take weekly classes to develop workplace skills. A new class of participants is selected every three months.

Participants gain paid, part-time, (22.5 hours per week), work experience in a St. Vincent de Paul thrift store or SVdP’s transportation department. Additional training in retail operations including cash register operations, inventory display and optimization, and warehouse operations is also provided.

Success for program participant is life-changing. Mary Turner, a graduate from SVdP’s Workforce Development Program, was living in her car when she began the program. A senior citizen, Mary found herself having to return to work when her rent increased beyond the means of her fixed income. After successfully graduating from the WFD program at St. Vincent de Paul, Mary found work as a medical support assistant. In October 2021, Mary purchased her first home in Stockton, California.

“It was hard, I was living on SSI and Disability, but my rent just kept increasing until I couldn’t afford it,” Mary said. “Now, I have a good job as an Advanced Medical Support Assistant (with the Veterans Administration), and I have my daughter and grand-babies stay in my home. If you want to be a home owner, it’s possible. It’s hard, it’s a struggle, but it’s worth it and it’s possible, and the people at St. Vincent de Paul showed me that.”

St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County has provided safety-net services in the county for over 57 years, serving 100,000 people annually and distributing over $1M of direct financial assistance and over $1.7M of in-kind aid. Over 750 SVdP volunteers and a small staff lead operations in Contra Costa including the SVdP Family Resource Center in Pittsburg, 28 branches, and 3 Thrift Stores. One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, St. Vincent de Paul is an international, nonprofit, Catholic lay organization of more than 800,000 men and women who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 155 countries on five continents.

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SVdP Mary Turner & Gail F

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