Thursday, September 27, 2012

Federal Express Hires JobTrain Student

When Rachelle Oliver-Ray enrolled in JobTrain’s Office Skills class in May 2012, she was committed to succeed and learn everything possible about computers.  Just 4 months after enrolling at JobTrain, she was hired by a subcontractor for Federal Express Custom Critical.
Rachelle was extremely ecstatic and recently returned to JobTrain to share the terrific news about her fulltime position. At Rachelle’s bell ringing ceremony at JobTrain, she was congratulated by fellow classmates and her JobTrain family.  When asked about her experience at JobTrain, Rachelle said, “I feel this program is critically needed and it serves the community unlike any other place. People like me simply need a hand up, not a hand-out.”

Be sure to WATCH Rachelle's exciting bell ringing ceremony too! 

Rachelle proudly rings the JobTrain bell! 

Executive Director Sharon Williams congratulates Rachelle. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Silicon Valley’s Best New Food Truck, Papa’s Fusion Kitchen, Makes Special Stop at JobTrain

Imagine the amazing taste of your favorite Mexican dish with a subtle, yet undeniably delicious, infusion of South Asian flavors.  The delectable combination of these distinctive tastes creates a sensational experience for the palate.

Rigo Contreras is the chef and owner of Papa’s Fusion Kitchen.  Each morning, Rigo purchases fresh ingredients to create his culinary masterpieces.  Formerly an Apple employee, Rigo recently launched his own food business and is pursuing his ultimate dream of making great tasting food – the way his mother used to, but with an infusion of exotic ingredients that leaves his patrons with an unforgettable experience rather than just a meal.

Today, Rigo brought Papa’s Fusion Kitchen to JobTrain, where he had received his certification in Culinary Arts in 2009. “Coming back to JobTrain, where I realized my dream of becoming an entrepreneur and learning everything I need to know from Chef Weiner, is truly unbelievable,” said Rigo.
Students, staff and community neighbors quickly lined up to place their orders today.  

The quality, presentation and delectable taste of the food were appreciated by everyone.  From their first bite you could hear the question, “Rigo, this is incredible. When are you coming back?”  Thankfully, every afternoon at 1:30 Papa’s Fusion Kitchen will be at JobTrain.  So, if you’re located near 1200 O’Brien Drive, come over and join us. This may become your new favorite lunch spot!

To learn more about Papa’s Fusion Kitchen, please visit   

Rigo Contreras and JobTrain Culinary Arts Instructor Chef Adam Weiner


Friday, September 14, 2012

LinkedIn Connects with JobTrain

Effectively Utilizing Technology for Employment Opportunities 

Utilizing social media is a critical component in searching for employment opportunities.  As part of JobTrain's curriculum, students are taught how to create a professional online presence and use LinkedIn as a strategic tool for pursuing career prospects. Currently, there are 3.2M jobs available in the United States.  Using LinkedIn is a direct path to connect JobTrain students with recruiters and hiring organizations. LinkedIn is effective, free and delivers results. "We’re now growing at roughly one million new LinkedIn members every week, the equivalent of a professional joining the site at faster than one member per second," said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.  

Today, our wonderful partners at LinkedIn: DAVID ODABRITTANY WILBON delivered an awesome presentation, explaining the best techniques for creating a distinctive and results-driven profile. Students from JobTrain's Office Skills program and staff alike, learned about the new LinkedIn features and how to become “thoughtful leaders” with updating their profiles to maximize their visibility and employment prospects.

According to Office Skills student Douglas Gee, “If you’re really seeking a job, trust me, LinkedIn is the way to go. After I completed my profile, within three hours – I received twenty job offers!”

At the end of September and after completing his studies at JobTrain, Douglas will work as an international purchasing director within the food industry, earning a six figure salary.

Stay tuned to learn more about our student success stories and our partnership with LinkedIn.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mary Thompson Receives JobTrain's Highest Honor!

Congratulations to OUR Newest Trainee of the Month: Mary Thompson!

On September 14, 2012, Mary Thompson received JobTrain's highest honor and was recognized as their Trainee of the Month.

Mary first came to the GED class eight months ago at JobTrain. Pursuing her education has been a lifetime dream. While Mary helped her children to fulfill their dreams and attend college, she patiently waited for her time to come. Whereas her children were afforded the opportunity of studying in the United States, Mary was denied access to education where she lived in Ghana. In her village, the girls stayed home, learned domestic arts and were very entrepreneurial - even without formal education - to make financial ends meet.

Despite a lack of formal education, Mary did a wonderful job, with her husband's assistance, preparing their children to lead successful lives. Although she imparted much wisdom to them, she was unable to help them with their homework.

According to Mary's JobTrain instructor, Karen Lundberg: "This student doesn't just attend both the morning and afternoon sessions of GED, she comes back (often stays straight through) for the evening class from 6-9 on Tuesday and Thursday nights. She is always one of the first ones here and the last to leave. A spigot of knowledge has been opened for her and she wants to drink deeply of it."

Be sure to watch the video of today's Trainee of the Month ceremony by clicking HERE

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

JobTrain Graduate Fulfills Dream of a Lifetime Thanks to United Airlines

Today is a day that David Ibarra will never forget.  His dream finally came true as he took his adorable 3½ year old son, “Baby David,” to Disney World.  David was announced as the winner of JobTrain’s “Where I Want to Fly and Why” contest at JobTrain’s 28th annual Breakfast of Champions, presented by Facebook on May 4, 2012.  It was an inspirational celebration of the amazing achievements of JobTrain students.  More than 800 enthusiastic guests filled Santa Clara Convention Center’s Mission Ballroom.

When JobTrain Executive Director Sharon Williams read an excerpt from David’s essay, tears began to flow.  David is a single father raising his son, and both have endured incredible hardship.  David’s dream has been to take his son to Disney World.

Writing about his efforts to help his son in infancy, David said,“ I had to spend hours massaging and molding his head with my hands each day, trying to reshape his little head.”

David’s son was 14 months old before he attempted to crawl, and when he finally spoke his first word at age 2 it was “raton” (Spanish for “mouse”) because he so loved Mickey Mouse.  United Airlines sponsors the annual essay contest.  This year Customer Care Supervisor Kathy Shelley and Customer Service Representative Laurie Scribner served on the essay selection committee at JobTrain.  “David’s story moved us,” said Kathy.  “His life wasn’t easy, but he’s pulled through and wants to make a better life for his son.  His attitude is inspiring.”

On September 11, 2012, David and his son flew to Orlando, Florida, compliments of United Airlines.  They’re currently enjoying lodging accommodations and Disney World park passes through a United Airlines partner, Air Serv Corporation.  Stay tuned for pictures from their exciting adventure! 

From left to right: United Airlines representative Kathy Shelley, JobTrain Graduate David Ibarra along with son & Laurie Scribner.