NCWorks Career Center-Cabarrus Helps Customer Achieve His Career Goal

Jose’ Villa Gomez came into the NCWorks Career Center-Cabarrus in Concord looking for employment and needed assistance with his resume. At the time he was employed with a temporary agency working 3rd shift as a welder making $16.50 per hour, which was not enough to be self-sufficient. He had the desire to find permanent employment and an ultimate career goal of becoming a general contractor. When asked about his previous work experience, Jose stated that he had some experience as a general laborer at a concrete company, farm work and construction experience. He did not have permanent housing at this time and was staying with family and friends. 

The NCWorks Career Center wanted to find employment for Jose that would provide him with a living wage to sufficiently allow him to obtain housing. Jose’s parents applied for and was approved for a new home through Habitat for Humanity, but his father was not able to provide the required sweat equity hours. Jose stepped in and worked to build his family’s home in his father’s place. This was Jose’s first exposure to the construction field. This also provided him with the transferable skills that led him to be eligible for employment with Cabarrus Habitat for Humanity.

Denisha Nesbit, NCWorks Cabarrus Center Leader, and her team referred Jose for an open on-the-job (OTJ) position of Critical Home Repair Assistant Manager with Habitat. His interview was a success and Habitat for Humanity manager Carol Whittington stated that they would love for him to join their team. In April 2023, Jose started in a Centralina Workforce Development Board-funded Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act OJT position with Habitat for Humanity as a critical repairs project assist manager making $21.63 per hour with benefits.

His supervisor shared that Jose is a self-starter and does not have to be given instructions but sees the need and acts. This has always been Jose’s attitude towards work and life as demonstrated when he dropped out of school at age 11 to support his family and to build their home in America. Jose shared he never thought of working for Habitat for Humanity. “When I came into your office looking for work, I just wanted to do something in construction, but this has been so much better,” Jose stated.

Jose shared that in his role he oversees the building of playhouses for the children of Habitat families with about four to five volunteers under him. He also shared that he has learned to design and construct ramps, porches and electrical, and is certified in the epoxy process. It is Jose’s willingness to learn, personality and dependability that is giving him the opportunity for Habitat to send him to Carolina Beach in September to a general contractor convention. Jose’ expressed his excitement because Habitat is helping him with his goal of becoming a general contractor.