Career Services to Multicultural Populations Forum – Yolo County Cohort

Instructions:

Create an original post and describe the major groups of people with whom you work and the backgrounds from which they originate. Identify the key resources that you use with this group.  Then respond to one classmate’s post. You will make a total of two posts.

Remember that our learning group works in a full value environment: We treat our colleagues with respect and professionalism. Our comments should reflect this culture.

64 thoughts on “Career Services to Multicultural Populations Forum – Yolo County Cohort”

  1. Michelle Washington says:

    The majority of the population I work with are individuals with children who are most often single, low income, and are relying on government benefits and quite often have done so before. The population consists highly of Millennials and a growing population of Generation Z individuals. Most were Opportunity Youth. I work with individuals who are Limited English Proficient, are justice involved, and those who have disabilities, mental health issues, some have drug histories, have domestic violence histories, have assorted religious and ethnic backgrounds, who usually have economic and career barriers. They often were raised in families who were dependent on government benefits. A growing portion of the population are more openly part of the LGBTQ+ population. Some men and women are new to the United States or new to California.

    Key resources offered to this population are, financial assistance for family needs to allow the client to participate in work or education to become self-sufficient, child care, interview skills, budgeting skills, English as a Second language, GED preparation, Job Search assistance, Resume assistance, Career Assessment, Skills to get and keep a job, Housing Assistance, Mental Health assistance, Work Experience and On the Job Training, and referrals to outside agencies as appropriate.

    1. LaRae Shaw-Meadows says:

      Michelle, you are so articulate! This covers it all.

  2. Cathy Houts says:

    I work with the same population as Michelle. We had different positions, mine was Assessment. I worked individually with participants who were referred to me by the Case Managers. Assessment performed several different functions. The major ones were: Focusing on interests to help develop a training plan/school plan for individuals, Screening for Learning Disabilities and referring to an outside practitioner for diagnosis, job coaching, skill assessment and finally, writing and presenting the plan to the group at a weekly case consultation meeting.
    There was no time limit for completing Assessment, however we worked with the local Colleges and tried to stay on their timeline for the start of each semester as the bulk or our participants attended either a community college or a for profit training program.

    1. Michelle Washington says:

      Cathy, the resources offered by you during Assessment were immeasurable. Without the Assessment clients had no true goal, they just had a dream of what they wanted to do whether it was viable or not. Great work on your part!!!

    2. Tara Vittone says:

      I enjoyed assisting clients with assessments when I worked at PRIDE Industries as a Job Developer. Many of my clients were surprised what they learned about themselves. When a client completed an External Situational Assessment not only did they become familiar with different job functions they learned what barriers they would need to overcome to be successful in those positions. It was a great learning experience and allowed us to develop a more accurate Individualized Plan for Employment together after the ESA. One great bonus, was that our clients were paid an hourly rate during their ESA so they earned a real paycheck and if they did well, some clients were even hired at their ESA jobsites!

  3. Nikolay Pruglo says:

    I work with young adults, single parents and families from varied backgrounds, communities and from different countries with their own unique strengths, needs and challenges. To be truly divers for me means to be inclusive and curious about differences. Serving diverse populations is not a “one size fits all” process. It involves asking the right questions to help address the needs and concerns of any population. The meaning of diversity goes beyond race and ethnicity. It includes individuals with disabilities, learning disabilities, (LGBT+), older adults, homeless people, people with mental health issues and many other populations. Diversity is all around us. It is a part of daily life and offers us opportunities to grow and learn.

    1. Yong Xiong says:

      I am in complete agreement with you Nikolay. Diversity goes beyond race and ethnicity. Diversity includes individuals with physical, mental, and learning disabilities. Diversity includes those who are English language learners, LGBTQ+, women in the workforce, individuals who are justice-involved, opportunity youths, and different generations in the workplace (The Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millenials, Gen Y, etc.). Diversity is all around us. As a society, we are so fixated on the color of someone’s skin and their outside appearance that we forget diversity is not always visible. Your statement that there is not a “one size fits all” formula for serving diverse populations is absolutely correct. Every individual that we serve is unique in his or her own way. As helping professionals, it is our responsibility to learn by asking the right questions and figuring out how to address our clients’ barriers to self-sufficiency.

    2. Erica Herrera says:

      Well said Nikolay. It is important to treat people as individuals, although they may belong to one or more diverse groups, because each has their own strengths, needs and challenges as you mentioned. Each individual should be viewed in the context of their own personal characteristics and needs.

    3. Pola Chandler says:

      Nikolay, your statement is on point. Serving diverse populations is not a “one size fits all” process. Diversity goes beyond race and ethnicity. As case managers it’s very important we not make assumptions, and always use your attending listening and reflecting helping skills. Great job Nikolay!

    4. Aaron Leson says:

      Nikolay, very good and this is exactly what we stand for…..everyone is an individual and diverse in their own right and nature. Excellent way to see and view those we serve.

  4. Tonya Jones says:

    The group of people that I work with the most are homeless families. The back grounds of these families can be very similar and vastly different. Some of the families are 2 parent families who have fallen on hard times, another family could be a single mom with 6 children. Some of the families have been homeless of and on for generations while others are experiencing homelessness for the first time. One common thread I do see is that many of these families have always lived on the brink of poverty and often have strained relationships with other family members.
    The key resource we use when assisting these families is the housing first model. The idea is to house the family or at least get them off the streets and then offer wrap around services. The hope is that the wrap around services will help the family to achieve stability.

    1. Aisha Littlejohn says:

      The housing first model makes sense as it is a basic human need. It’s hard for families to think about employment if they don’t have a place to sleep. In addition being homeless, especially with children can contribute to the decline or cause mental health issues for both adults and children. Housing families just scratches the surface of what the housing team does, you guys are awesome!!!

      1. Manoli Sarikakis says:

        I hear you Aisha, people need to have their basic needs met before anything else can successfully be achieved. Mental health is huge, without a healthy mind one will have a very hard time holding down a job or taking care of essential business. Great post!

      2. Nelly Ramos says:

        You hit the nail on the head, Aisha! It’s very difficult for families facing homelessness to think about finding employment and go through the job-hunting process, when they don’t even have a stable address to write down on job applications! I’m glad that the housing-first model (although imperfect) takes priority because it focuses on the most basic need at hand, so that eventually, energy can then be directed towards finding employment, etc.

      3. Simmion Howell says:

        I agree Aisha! The last thing on my mind would be to look for employment if I don’t have a safe place for my family to sleep and food on the table for them to eat. Wrap around services are so important for a family, basic needs should always be first on the list.

      4. Tonya Jones says:

        Thanks Aisha, your comments completely make sense. Basic needs are essential to people achieving stability and meeting personal goals.

  5. Aisha Littlejohn says:

    I work with a diverse population of individuals, with the hope of helping them get and maintain employment or gain the necessary skills to do so. The obvious common thread for the referrals that I receive is that people have reached a pivotal point in their lives that brought them thru the doors of our agency to seek assistance on their path to self-sufficiency. Some are more self-reflective within their current state of being while others may be unwilling to take the necessary steps to change their situation, denying any help that may require hard work and commitment. This confirms the importance of having wrap around services readily available such as mental health counseling, job training/placement, housing assistance, substance abuse programs etc.

    1. Timothy Lee says:

      Agreed that by the time individuals reach our doors, they have already reached a pivotal point in their lives. Many have faced the job market with unsuccessful results. Many times it is the lack of soft skills that ultimately determines a participants job performance. Wrap around services are definitely needed and the best part is we do have it readily available.

  6. Cathy Houts says:

    Isn’t it interesting how many approaches we use to help our participants toward self-sufficiency? It takes a village.

    1. Edith Solorzano says:

      I agree 100% with you Cathy. Everyone involved creates a stronger support system.

  7. Braham Sharma says:

    Most of the population I work with are individuals with children who are most often single, low income, and are relying on government benefits. They are on public aid Generation to Generation I work with individuals who are Limited English Proficient, are justice involved, and those who have disabilities, mental health issues, some have drug histories, have domestic violence histories, have assorted religious and ethnic backgrounds, who usually have economic and career barriers. They often were raised in families who were dependent on government benefits. A growing portion of the population are immigrants. Some men and women are new to the United States or new to California. Since I am no longer worker, I am supervisor I have my staff which is multi cultures. I enjoy working with my staff.

  8. Timothy Lee says:

    I work with job seekers. The backgrounds of these participants are very different, but share a common theme. Obstacles in their lives gave them unfavorable choices. Although some just need a little guidance, many lack the support necessary to be successful at attaining and maintaining employment.
    The key resource we use when assisting these participants are job readiness classes, resume building, financial understanding, mock interviews and ancillary services. From initial job search to getting hired and keeping employment, our goal is to be there every step of the way.

    1. Manoli Sarikakis says:

      I agree Tim the guidance we give is the key to helping clients navigate life in a more successful way with the resources we provide.

    2. Tiffani Vander Waal says:

      I agree Tim, a lot of times people don’t even know where to start with their job searching. Especially if they have been out of the workforce for a very long time, or are recently laid off and have to begin their careers all over again.

    3. Carlos Villarreal says:

      Well put Tim. The population we tend to work with may have never experience this kind of hardship or not known a different way of life. Getting aquatinted with what it take to look for, apply, get and maintain a job is a first for many and the lack of knowledgeable resources can pose barrier. Being able to provide resources, guidance and support goes along way in what we do.

  9. Yong Xiong says:

    As a welfare-to-work case manager, I work with individuals from all walks of life. All of my clients are low-income and rely on government assistance to provide for their families. Most of my clients are female and single parents who have been through trauma and have medical or psychological impairments. Some of my clients are experiencing homelessness and working to overcome drug and alcohol addictions. Others have felonies, misdemeanors, and a select few are justice-involved. My clients reflect the population they live in; therefore, most of them are Caucasian and Hispanic. I have personally observed an intergenerational transmission of welfare dependency and poverty for some families. I have come to realize that relaying on government assistance is a lifestyle choice for some and a necessity for others. In order to break the cycle of welfare dependency and help families overcome barriers to self-sufficiency, I rely on both internal and external resources to assist my clients. Internally, the welfare-to-program can pay for mental health services through a contract agreement with CommuniCare Health Centers, provide financial assistance with transportation, childcare, and ancillary items needed for work activities. There are also funds available for motel stay and rent through grant dollars from the California Department of Social Services. The WIOA program can help pay for additional training in certain vocational fields if the schools are on the Eligible Training Provider List. The welfare-to-work program can also pay for subsidized employment opportunities for clients who need paid work experience. CalWORKs clients are eligible for health-insurance through Medi-Cal and food assistance through Cal-Fresh. The external resources available to my clients include, but not limited to, the Yolo Food Bank, Empower Yolo, California Department of Rehabilitation, STEAC, Fourth and Hope, Legal Services of Northern California-Yolo, and Davis Community Meals.

    1. Carolyn Brown says:

      Yong did an excellent job of describing all of the services we can proved and pay for through the CalWORKs program. The program is used appropriately can help change so many lives. It has been a real learning experience to see individuals not only become self sufficient but truly become success stories.

    2. Sandra Tello says:

      Well done, you covered it all Yong!!

  10. Edith Solorzano says:

    I serve the youth population and background includes foster care, justice involved, live in poverty, homeless, pregnant/parenting, high school dropout or as recently learned “disconnected from the educational system” but they come in seeking assistance with training, employment and or education because they want a different life path then what they’ve experienced in their life so far. They are seeking their independence. I work very closely with school staff including counselors, teacher, student services, Department of Rehab., probation/parole officer, foster care liaison, as well as internal resources such as Employment Center and workshops to assist with mock interviewing, and assessments.

  11. Tara Vittone says:

    I am not currently in Employment Services but my current caseload as a Behavioral Health Case Manager II consists of clients that are severely mentally ill in the “Baby Boomer” and “Greatest Generation” age groups since I am assigned to the Older Adult Team. Most of my clients have never worked or worked for only a short time when they were younger, due to their mental illnesses. All of the clients on my caseload derive income from SSI/SSA benefits and are permanently disabled. At my former position as a Job Developer at PRIDE Industries, the population of clients I served included clients with developmental and physical disabilities, individuals who were justice-involved, disabled veterans and youth. I worked very closely with Department of Rehabilitation and Alta Regional Center to provide person-centered services for my clients.

  12. Manoli Sarikakis says:

    I work mostly with people who are adults of all walks of life, but mainly work with people looking for work. I work with all nationalities and most generations from millennials to baby boomers. Some clients I work with have justice involved backgrounds as well. Due to the wide variety of people I work with I have to use many resources to help them. The key is to ask the right questions to the client I am working with and also be sensitive to their culture and background so that we can gain their trust and help them achieve their goals. The key resources I use when helping my clients is asking the right questions and also using job search websites and career interest surveys to match them up with the job they want and qualify for.

    1. Holly Snyder says:

      Manny you have always been great at gaining people’s trust when working alongside them. Many people come in with limited computer skills and your patience always makes them feel at ease. Asking the right questions is always key so you don’t waste anyone’s time. You’re awesome Manny!

  13. Tiffani Vander Waal says:

    I work with Cal Works families, most of them coming to me because they are homeless. This population can be very different. Many of my families have had recent events that have lead them to be homeless and many are multigenerational homeless. They sometimes have similar stories of having to eave a partner because of DV or divorce. Many of these families feel rejected by family members because they won’t allow them to stay with them any longer. The housing first model we use is a great approach, but can be problematic with apartment complexes that require 3 months of paystubs before even considering someone as a tenant. That’s where we access private landlords and subsidized housing for assistance. I do know that once a homeless family becomes permanently housed, all aspects of their lives and the lives of their children dramatically improve.

  14. Nelly Ramos says:

    As a case manager, I had the opportunity of working with people from diverse populations and cultures. Much like my fellow co-workers have mentioned here, too have worked with homeless; younger; older; Veterans; single-parents; two-parent families; people with mental, emotional and/or physical disabilities; people new to the country facing language and social barriers; people of different cultures, ethnicities, and – as the Census puts it – different races; individuals who are/were at some point justice-involved; students; professionals; LGBTQ+, survivors of abuse…the list can go on… I have learned that being aware of such diverse backgrounds and what that entails, has helped me to deliver services in a way that best fits their needs. For example, I need to be aware that the flow of services that we offer are not a “one-size-fits-all,” and I need to take the time in learning what best works for each individual and family prior to referring them out to other services, etc. For example, I need to be aware that sending a person with severe social anxiety to a workshop class where there are other people to interact with, may not be the best fit for them. I need to tailor a plan that best works for this person so that they can be successful in the end. Depending on each individual’s situation, I may have referred them to outside partner resources, such as education/training resources; mental heath counseling; housing assistance; childcare resources; legal aid; food closets, etc.

    1. Chong Lee says:

      Great insight Nelly! I have learned all that you have described over the years as a Case Manager as well and it is still an on-going learning process for me. Early on, I was focused on what I thought was best for our participants. With experience and training, my approach has shifted to meeting the participants where they’re at and empowering them to make informed decisions relating to career choices, their children/family, lifestyle, behavior, etc.

    2. Lupe Lepe says:

      I agree with you, over the time we have had to understand the different multicultural and how to better understand.

    3. Jerry Perez says:

      I agree with you Nelly and yes being patient especially with the diverse populations we serve will help us better understand their needs and how to best to assist them.

  15. Simmion Howell says:

    I am currently working as a Behavioral Health Case Manager on the Older Adult Team. I currently work with mostly people over 60 who have a severe mental health diagnosis. Some of my clients held a couple of jobs when they were younger, but most of them has not worked because of their mental illness. I work with people that come from all kinds of backgrounds, different cultures, ethnicities and homelessness. I assess my clients needs and then I use the resources that I know about or ask a co-workers for additional resources that may benefit the client. Since I am still working with mental health clients I mostly do referrals out to IHSS, assist with getting them SSI, Medi-cal, jail services. I have also done referrals to the foodbank, attorneys(to help with getting SSI), if the clients needs it, I will hopefully be able to assist them with getting a referral.

  16. Carolyn Brown says:

    The majority of my caseload are homeless families. They come from all walks of life with several barriers. Their barriers are normally but not only low income but mental health, lack of education, domestic violence histories and some with drug/alcohol histories. Many have long histories of homelessness with no family support. Our first resource we provide is housing. They need stability before we can work together on their barriers. Once they have housing we offer mental health services, financial assistance, childcare, budgeting, resume assistance, work experience and an intensive supportive case manager.

  17. Carolyn Brown says:

    The majority of my caseload are homeless families. They come from all walks of life with several barriers. Their barriers are normally but not only low income but mental health, lack of education, domestic violence histories and some with drug/alcohol histories. Many have long histories of homelessness with no family support. Our first resource we provide is housing. They need stability before we can work together on their barriers. Once they have housing we offer mental health services, financial assistance, childcare, budgeting, resume assistance, work experience and an intensive supportive case manager.

  18. Carolyn Brown says:

    The majority of my caseload are homeless families. They come from all walks of life with several barriers. Their barriers are normally but not only low income but mental health, lack of education, domestic violence histories and some with drug/alcohol histories. Many have long histories of homelessness with no family support. Our first resource we provide is housing. They need stability before we can work together on their barriers. Once they have housing we offer mental health services, financial assistance, childcare, budgeting, resume assistance, work experience and an intensive supportive case manager.

  19. Manjeet Sanghera says:

    Edith explained very well as a youth case manager and I am also a youth case manager and I serve the youth population between the age of 18-24 with barriers and with background is already explained by my co worker, but I also work with recent high school graduates who do not have an interest in pursuing a college degree and are looking for vocational opportunities. I also work with unemployed individuals that are looking for occupational skills training or employed individual who are looking for skills upgrades. I work with a diverse group of individuals and the cultural backgrounds are diverse as well. The resources I employ are to remind myself of the implicit biases that are ingrained in me from a cultural standpoint and work to refrain from making judgments based on those biases. I use my experience with raising teenage aged daughters to maintain a respectful and empathetic relationship with my clients regardless of their cultural background, sexual orientation, age, or religious beliefs. I remind myself of the difference in views between Baby Boomers and Generation Z to help myself understand their viewpoints and how they differ from my own.

  20. Jasvinder Sharma says:

    As WTW worker we mostly work with the parents has Kids and receiving Cal works .Most of my clients are Single females with the kids.Most of our clients comes from the Diverse Culture and has multiple barriers.Main one I have seen on most client is Child care and TT, lack of education ,Domestic violence ,Mental health and homelessness. In order for the families overcome barriers to self-sufficiency, I rely on both internal and external resources to assist my clients. The welfare-to-program can pay for mental health ,Transportation, childcare, and ancillary items needed for work activities. There are also services available for motel stay and rent through Housing program. The WIOA program can help pay for additional training in certain vocational fields . CalWORKs clients are eligible for free health-insurance through Medi-Cal ,Food Stamps and cash assistant.We also has External resources through Yolo Food Bank, Empower Yolo, Department of Rehabilitation, STEAC, and Legal Services.

  21. Chong Lee says:

    I mainly work with CalWORKs families that are experiencing homelessness or an identified crisis that is impeding their ability to participate in Welfare-To-Work activities. Another group I work with is pregnant or parenting teens. They may be enrolled or co-enrolled in multiple county programs concurrently or transitioning from one program to another. A proportion of the adult participants I work with suffer from mental illness or addiction, fleeing domestic violence, have credit and/or criminal background, currently involved in the criminal justice system or re-entering society, have a disability, lack of work experience and no positive support system. It’s imperative that I maintain a high-level of diversity sensitivity to efficiently deliver services to the families because diversities such as socio-economic status, culture, sexual orientation, disabilities and mental health conditions impact poverty and homelessness. I utilize wrap around services across programs and partnered agencies to help families overcome their unique barriers. Intensive case management is also provided to monitor progress and help support them through the stages of their development. Other key resources I rely on include different skill sets and expertise from different professionals in the coordination of care for each family, all while we make the best use of limited resources.

  22. LaRae Shaw-Meadows says:

    As a Welfare to Work case manager, like my co-workers, I have worked with families with children who are receiving CalWORKs-a program that provides monetary, food and medical support to those families. I have worked with single parent families, 2 parent families, pregnant and parenting teens-both documented and undocumented, persons who are first generation high school and college students, new to English speakers, monolingual Spanish speakers, persons who have significant health issues, persons with family members who have learning disabilities and mental health issues, persons who are survivors of domestic violence and persons who are in the midst of domestic violence, people who have no vehicles, male and female, LGBQT+, people who have different cultures than my own. I have had the privilege of working with diverse persons who’s lives have enriched and broadened my own. As a result of my caseloads sometimes resources have been a search and reconnoiter-finding resources to address the situation and checking them out/researching them to make sure they are truly going to be advantageous for my clients. Welfare to Work often stands as a key resource for my clients: we offer mental health services, pay for child care, pay for books, parking and fees related to schooling, pay for learning disability testing, pay for smog, licensing, registration fees, birth certificates, clothing and shoes as they related to interviews and work. We provide opportunities to support educational dreams and goals. It is a FABULOUS program! I have used resources outside of Welfare to Work as well: developing relationships with Victim Witness staff, school administrators, teachers, churches, food closets, diaper banks, libraries, Mexican American Concilio of Yolo County, police, and Empower Yolo to name some.

  23. Lupe Lepe says:

    I work in the WIOA program mostly with people who are adults that are unemployed or under employed and justice involved. Mainly work with people looking for training to better them self. Due to the wide variety of people I work with, we have to be sensitive to their culture and background to gain their trust and help them achieve their goals and have a better life with training and gaining the necessary skills. I work very closely with school staff that we have contract with, Department of Rehab. Getting referrals from them and us referring clients to them. Referrals from probation/parole officer, as well as internal resources such as Employment Center for resumes and workshops to assist with mock interviewing.

  24. Tressa Dorsey says:

    Great conversation!

  25. Holly Snyder says:

    Like my coworkers have said we work with a variety of people from varying backgrounds, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identities, and abilities. Recently I have been working with older job seekers from the Baby Boomer generation. An interesting shift is happening in our economy where pensions are no longer provided to employees. Therefore, older employees who missed out on pensions are in a position that requires them to work well into old age. I am working with one individual in particular who went out and got a job working in a warehouse. However, due to physical limitations this job is causing him pain. We had to have a conversation about the realities of his circumstances and how we can work together to find something sustainable. From this experience I have learned to make sure that all whom I serve have a sustainability mindset to help establish a foundation which can springboard them into more opportunities down the line. For the single mothers on my caseload that involves ensuring that they utilize their time in the welfare-to-work program to make sure that they can live without government assistance in the future.

    1. Homa Afshari says:

      Holly,
      Thank so much for brining up the fact of older job seekers. I have been noticing many of older people working at Wal-Mart and other places too. It is very important to work with our clients and educate them about their future goals when they are younger.

    2. Ana Polanco says:

      I agree with Holly, in regards to many older generations having to work because they don’t receive pensions or their pensions is not enough to continue to pay all their expenses. I used to work at Wal-Mart in the HR office and I remember getting a lot of older adults applying for part time jobs because is they went over a specific number of hours they would loose their pension benefits.

  26. Erica Herrera says:

    At the Employment Center, and most recently with the CalFresh Employment & Training Program, I work with people of diverse identities and backgrounds. This includes men, women, LGBTQ+, youth (including from foster care and probation systems), students, senior citizens, veterans, people with(out) children, people with physical, mental, and learning disabilities, English Second language (ESL), undocumented immigrants, individuals who are justice-involved, people that rely on government benefits, people experiencing homelessness, addiction and domestic violence, unemployed and dislocated workers, and different generations in the workplace. Resources involve both internal and external referrals to different programs and/or agencies within Yolo County and surrounding areas that can assist with health insurance, food, clothes, childcare, legal, training, housing, shelter, legal, training, jobs, skills, education and cash benefits. These key resources include, but not limited to the following agencies: Yolo County HHSA, Yolo County Health Dept., WIOA Program, YoloWorks EC, WIC, Yolo Food Bank, Yolo County Day Reporting Center (DRC), Yolo County Veterans Service Office (VSO), Yolo County Housing, YCCA, STEAC, 4th and Hope, CommuniCare Health Centers, Empower Yolo, Adult Ed, WCC, Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), Legal Services of Northern California, Employment Development Dept. (EDD) and the Mexican Consulate-Sacramento.

  27. Pola Chandler says:

    The population I work with are families who experience homelessness. The families I serve are those dealing with multiple barriers such as; no HSD/GED, lack of work history, no driver license, 2 or more evictions, bad credit, Limited English Proficient, justice involved, mental health issues, have disabilities, substance abuse, domestic violence and have no support system. The Housing Allocation model is housing first and providing wrap around services/resources. All of our families create a housing plan with goals they want to achieve to maintain housing, and stability. I am very grateful all of our partners and ESS ‘s work really hard together to help our families become self-sufficient.

  28. Jerry Perez says:

    I work with diverse populations from all backgrounds and primarily assist job seekers looking for work. I work with young millennials and even older baby boomers and everyone in between including individuals who are homeless or who have done time in prison. I have to be patient to the people I work with as finding a job is stressful enough but to understand their barriers and differences in obtaining work helps me assist them better and utilize many resources based on their needs. Starting out right with a good resume and finding out what skills they have and how to expand on those skills is essential to building trust and confidence in the job seeker. Using a mixture of closed and open ended questions helps to form the bases on what I can help address in their job search and to also find out the interests and skills of the individual. I help match clients to job websites and also send them job leads accordingly that may fit their abilities and what they are looking for after assisting them with a resume if needed. I also can refer clients to other services that I myself may not be able to provide, but at least steer them in the right direction to better assist their needs.

  29. Carlos Villarreal says:

    I work with both business and those seeking employment. Both have very diverse populations and have varying needs. With business I see a variety and diverse need for able bodies to fill positions. They can range from general labor to high end skill sets and the owners, manager and the business itself had a very divers background of ethnic and social origins. Understanding their needs as well as their philosophies allows me to seek out the right candidate for them. The same can be said for the job seeker. they come from a diverse ethnic, social and economic backgrounds but share common thread of barriers and the need of support and resources to better themselves and their families. Knowing their background, needs and barriers allows me help direct and them to job/career opportunities that can lead them to self sufficiency. Me understanding their diversity and their background I can connect better with them and help build the confidence in them to achieve their goal.

    1. Brittanie Hancock says:

      I agree Carlos, understanding our participants and their backgrounds can definitely help us in how we assist them!

  30. Homa Afshari says:

    I have been working with the Afghani population for more than 10 years. Many Afghani men are fluent in English because they worked for the American Embassy or the U.S. Army. Afghani women on the other hand are not well educated and can’t speak English. However, with cooperation from my supervisor and constant communication, we were able to persuade Highlands Charter School to open a branch in West Sacramento. Highlands offers high school diploma, English as a second language and other trainings. The school provides child care for children over 3 years old. When they opened their school in West Sacramento about five years ago, they hired a Farsi speaking instructor to serve the Afghani population.

    1. Pola Chandler says:

      Awesome job Homa! The Afghani population in West Sacramento is so lucky to have you, and what a great advocate you are.

  31. Brittanie Hancock says:

    I work with both businesses and those who are referred to me from our Welfare to Work program. In working with my participants on the Welfare to Work program I try to meet the participants where they are at and make sure they are ready for all that comes with being employed. I’ve worked with a lot of participants who think that they need a job ASAP, but there are a lot of things that need to be lined up before having a job. Childcare, transportation, work documents. Most cases the Case Manager has already worked with the participants on these things but often times in the lives of our clients their lives have a lot going on and things change rapidly so at the time of the referral everything could be lined up, but as I meet with them that could all be different. So I try and make sure they have everything they need prior to entering employment.

  32. Aaron Leson says:

    So many good conversations and discussions. Awesome work class.

  33. Ana Polanco says:

    In my current work I work with “baby boomers” and “Greatest Generation”. As a Behavioral Health Case Manager all of my clients have a mental illness and are no longer in the workforce. My clients collect SSI/SSDI and some may qualify for cal-fresh benefits. In my caseload I do have clients that have been incarcerated at some point in their life and/or ex-gang bangers, also clients that were born in other countries and English is a second language. What I have done to try and help my clients is ask about cultural background and have the client teach me about their culture. Some of the key resources we use with this group is to connect them with the psychiatrist and ensure they have access to their medications. Because of the pandemic it has made it very difficult for most of our clients and have forced them to self-isolate. Prior to pandemic, another resource we would encourage out clients to pursue were social groups within the community.

    1. Lourdes Vidales says:

      Ana I agree. The pandemic has made it very difficult for most of our clients as well has in a way limited us to be able to refer out and or assist in some way due to agencies and or businesses not being open or serving people as before the pandemic. .

  34. Sandra Tello says:

    As a case manager, I work with people from diverse populations and cultures. Like my co-workers have mentioned we work with younger; older; Veterans; single-parents; two-parent families; people with mental, emotional, and/or physical disabilities; people new to the country facing language and social barriers; people of different cultures, ethnicities, and different races; individuals who are/were at some point justice-involved; students; professionals; LGBTQ+, survivors of abuse. I have learned that being aware of such diverse backgrounds and what that entails, has helped me to deliver services in a way that best fits their needs.

  35. Nikolay Pruglo says:

    I agree with Pola that the Afghani population are served in a best way in Yolo County. I would like to mention that for more then two decades, Yolo County has hired workers who speak different languages. I counted 12 different languages that our workers are using in different departments to serve our participants. This is a really good example of serving the diverse population.

  36. Lourdes Vidales says:

    I patiently, respectfully and professionally assist people from many different socio backgrounds, identities, religions, ethnicities and race to mention a few. I make sure to be sensitive to their culture and background to learn, if need be and try to gain their trust. People that face one, some or all: disabilities; including mental, physical and learning, veterans, uneducated, justice involved, , residents not born in the US(some undocumented), older workers not ready to retire, youth looking for opportunity including foster youth and ESL. Again, these are just some of the people I assist. People that may have one or more barriers. Some who may even be dealing with drug addiction, DV and or being homeless and maybe no transportation here in the employment center. The list can go on and on not limited to the above. I do ask questions to get to know how to better assist them and or direct them to who can assist making sure they get the resources they seek in a way that best fits their needs. Be it here in the employment center or any other place. The resources I use are both internal and external in the county of Yolo as well as other counties, depending.

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