Opportunity can be fickle. Sometimes it’ll approach you and all you have to do is open the door. But for many people, it takes a lot more work to find the right opportunity for yourself. That’s why Southwest Key’s Workforce Solutions aims to create economic growth and enhance the quality of life for job seekers, employers and community members in Cameron County, Texas.
Today, we bring you two stories of success and hope for job seekers from Workforce Solutions. Read on to discover how Southwest Key helped Ryan Flores and Horacio Pena find the right opportunity for them and their families.
At just 20 years old, Ryan Flores can say he is now part of one of the most innovative companies on the planet: SpaceX.
Ryan received services from Southwest Key through our Workforce Solutions program in Cameron County. Determined to gain skills in an industry with high demand for career workers, Ryan pursued the Structural Fitter program at Southern Industrial Careers Center in La Feria, Texas. Upon graduating in September of 2019, Ryan was placed in a temporary position to gain work experience, while Southwest Key staff worked to find him a full-time career.
Ms. Dee Saenz, a job developer with Southwest Key, collaborated closely with Ryan, often discussing his career aspirations. With his dedication and skills, Ryan obtained employment in February 2020 with none other than SpaceX in Brownsville, Texas as a Support Technician.
Southwest Key Career Coach Idalia Torres accompanied Ryan during his graduation ceremony at Southern Industrial Careers Center.
“I am very proud of Ryan and his accomplishments,” Ms. Torres said. “He is a very sweet and respectful young man with a bright future.”
She’s not alone, either! We’re so proud of Ryan and we’re confident that he will achieve his personal and professional goals. The Southwest Key Familia is rooting for his success!
Reaching our career goals doesn’t always go as planned, but a simple roadblock doesn’t mean the end of the road.
Horacio Pena Jr. was an out-of-school youth participant who sought Southwest Key’s services through the Workforce Solutions program. During the summer of 2019, Horacio participated in subsidized employment at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. This allowed Horacio to gain valuable, real-world work experience and helped him remain enrolled in specialized postsecondary training.
In the fall of 2019, thanks to financial assistance provided by Southwest Key, Horacio completed his Introduction to Construction Trades program at Cameron County Education Initiative in Brownsville, Texas.
Working closely with Southwest Key Job Developer Dee Saenz and Career Coach Tanya Rocha, Horacio found the perfect opportunity to further his professional goals; an on-the-job training (OJT) position at Steel Coast Company.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 concerns, Mr. Pena’s OJT was suspended—but that didn’t stop his efforts. During the state-mandated quarantine, he maintained close contact with Southwest Key staff. Some weeks later, he got a call: Steel Coast Company was offering him employment as a Shredder Laborer.
We’re very excited for Horacio and can’t wait to see what’s next for him. The Southwest Key Familia will always be here for him!
Interested in the Workforce Solutions program? Learn more.