CARSON CITY, Nev. – Arturo Ortiz, 25, spent eight years in a bakery, missing family gatherings and holidays due to work hours that didn’t always align with his family’s schedule.
“I wanted to get a different job,” Ortiz said. “I was in a room all by myself and I wanted to be out in the open, working with people. I knew some people working in the electrical field. I wanted to try it.”
Ortiz said a friend told him about JOIN Inc., a private, non-profit workforce development agency. At 24 and approaching his 25th birthday, Ortiz completed the organization’s application and took a vocational assessment for JOIN Inc.’s Young Adult Program for 17 to 24-year-old people in search of a new career.
The results showed him which career fields he was best suited for based on his interests, abilities, aptitudes and values. He chose electrician.
Through the program, JOIN Inc. provided Ortiz with some workforce training, including getting his OSHA 10 card, tools and the personal protective equipment required for safety on the job site.
And then, they connected Ortiz with Briggs Electric.
Claudia Manzano, case manager for JOIN Inc., said Ortiz knew he wanted to be an electrician when he first contacted JOIN but didn’t know how to get started.
“He had been working in a bakery for years, and was a dedicated worker, but didn’t see a future or upward mobility where he was,” she said. “We talked about how to qualify, and once we gave him guidance, he took off from there. He wanted to start yesterday.”
Bob Seymour, field superintendent for Briggs Electric, said although Ortiz did not have a construction background, having him come equipped with his OSHA 10 certification, tools and personal protective equipment, was a big plus. And, when Ortiz told him he had only ever called in sick to work once in all the years he’d held jobs, Seymour was impressed.
Ortiz is considered a Certified Wireman through the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 401, and plans to apply for the apprenticeship program through Northern Nevada Electrical Training Center.
“He’s very motivated,” Seymour said. “I couldn’t not take a chance on him. We at Briggs Electric support Arturo getting into the apprenticeship program as fast as possible and will keep him working throughout it.”
JOIN Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) and receives private donations and grants, along with state and federal grant funding, and services are provided at no cost to both job seekers and employers. The organization provides access to career training in each of its local job markets in all 13 Northern Nevada counties and in industry sectors with the most employment potential for clients who meet eligibility requirements.
“To have someone come in with all that stuff, the tools and the training, really helps out,” Seymour, said. “He was already a good candidate, and all the benefits that came from working with JOIN made it a win-win for everyone.”
Additionally, JOIN Inc. provides reimbursement to employers for up to 100% of wages for 12 weeks of training time.
“JOIN didn’t just find this young man a job, we found him a career,” Seymour said. “The best part of this experience was working hand in hand to give someone the opportunity, advantages and training to begin a career. We will definitely use JOIN again as we hire more people.”
JOIN Inc. programs are sponsored by Nevadaworks under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. An equal opportunity employer and program provider, JOIN Inc. is a partner of the American Job Center of Nevada. For more information, visit www.join.org.
Photo Cutline: Arturo Ortiz works with Bob Seymour, field superintendent for Briggs Electric in company’s shop. Ortiz is a Certified Worker who recently obtained employment with Briggs Electric through JOIN Inc. and is applying for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ apprenticeship program.
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