Friday, September 30, 2011

Unsung Community Heroes


Food or Rent? With unemployment at 8.7% in San Mateo County, many residents cannot afford both.

JobTrain’s partnership with fellow nonprofit Bread of Life East Palo Alto (BOLEPA) has been the saving grace since May 2011. Every Thursday afternoon, BOLEPA distributes fresh, nutritious and FREE groceries at JobTrain.

According to Harriett Wycoff, Executive Director at BOLEPA, "This is what OUR community is all about - taking care of and feeding our residents."

For Antonio Guevara, the weekly food distribution event is really about community. Amongst the crowd, his smiling face and grateful ebullience never go unnoticed. Every week Antonio expresses his enthusiasm for the wide array of produce and food available. Whether it's organic artichokes, fresh corn on the cob or grass-fed beef donated from Trader Joe’s; Antonio is eager to convey his appreciation and share his recipes for the bountiful provisions.

In addition to learning about his recipe for artichokes, I discovered Antonio is actually a local hero. Each week he carefully packages groceries for his neighbors in need and delivers them to San Francisco.

Always returning after everyone has had the opportunity to fill their bags, Antonio collects the surplus. He's concerned about his elderly neighbors. Some are infirm, others are unemployed or simply on a fixed income. Antonio does what he can to make a positive impact in their lives.

People from all walks of life are affected by hunger these days. Students, working families, single parents, senior citizens – they’re all in need – and all receive support every Thursday afternoon at JobTrain.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tara VanDerveer & Richard Hanley join JobTrain's Board of Directors

Silicon Valley Leaders Take Pride in Supporting JobTrain

Tara VanDerveer and Richard Hanley have joined JobTrain’s Board of Directors. JobTrain is the premier vocational training and job placement program located on the Menlo Park/East Palo Alto border that helps nearly 7,000 clients annually.

Tara VanDerveer is the award winning Stanford University women’s basketball coach who was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in April 2011.

VanDerveer has coached at Stanford for 26 years and is legendary in both collegiate and international women’s basketball. She is one of the most well-respected and dynamic coaches in the country.

Richard Hanley is the Principal-in-Charge of KPMG’s Bay Area and Pacific Northwest Advisory Practices. Hanley has been with KPMG for more than twenty years and advises clients on domestic and cross border acquisitions and sales. Hanley has led assignments in the U.S., Asia and Europe and internal due diligence assignments for KPMG.

These board assignments reflect JobTrain's commitment to finding the very best of Silicon Valley to represent and lead the organization.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011



At JobTrain, our bell ringing ceremonies are ALWAYS a spectacular occasion. It’s a time of celebration and pride knowing that one of our students has found a job. When someone rings the bell, ALL students and staff gather in the Bill Walsh Lobby at JobTrain and collectively show their support for the new hire.

On September 16, 2011, enthusiasm could not be contained as 5 CULINARY ARTS students rang the bell. Affectionately regarded as the “Fantastic Five” John Akopyan, D’Shawn Barnes, Hugo Contreras, Dino Siotos and Eduardo Soto, were ALL hired to work at REDWOOD CREEK GRILL located in Redwood City, CA.

Chef Suzi of Redwood Creek Grill (featured in the photo above), attended the ceremony and beamed with joy watching her new hires enjoy the congratulatory remarks and accolades from their JobTrain family and peers.

Lieutenant John Munsey, Deputy Bob Madigan and Program Services Manager Debra Keller were our special guests from the San Mateo Sheriff’s Office.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hewlett-Packard Sparks Hope & Creates Confidence for JobTrain Students

Hewlett-Packard the multinational information technology corporation and one of the world’s largest IT companies in the world – is equally dedicated to building successful community relationships. In fact in 1994, founding partner David Packard gifted $1M towards the purchase of JobTrain’s current building.

Nearly two decades later, HP is still investing time, energy and resources to helping Silicon Valley residents improve their lives through programs and services offered at JobTrain.

On July 15, 2011, Hewlett-Packard hosted job readiness workshops exclusively for JobTrain. Students gained practical skills in financial workshops and learned both how to open a checking account and create a budget. During the one-on-one sessions with their HP mentors, students benefitted from simulated job interviews and received expert advice on improving their resumes. And just when students thought their day couldn't get any better – Hewlett Packard surprised them all with raffling signature laptops, tablets and gift cards for JobTrain.

The sense of excitement and appreciation was evident by the smiles on everyone’s face – HP mentors and JobTrain students alike.

“Working with JobTrain provides the students with the confidence and tools to help them succeed in this competitive job market and also providesour HP colleagues with the emotional satisfaction of giving back to our communities and taking pride in the success of others.” - Liza Sichon, VP HR Transformation, Communications & Operations at HP.