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County of Santa Clara Honors Outstanding CalWORKs Participants at 22nd Annual Awards Ceremony

Ten Clients Recognized for Attaining Self-Sufficiency; One Employer and One Community Partner Acknowledged for their “Return to Work” Support
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.— Today, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors honored ten CalWORKs clients for their tenacity to overcome significant personal and social barriers. This marks the 22nd year the County hosts the Annual CalWORKs Achievement Awards Ceremony, where outstanding participants are recognized for their educational and employment achievements toward self-sufficiency.
 
“We commend these honorees for their resilience,” said Supervisor George Shirakawa, President of the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors and Vice Chair of the Board’s Children, Seniors and Families Committee.  “They are remarkable individuals who did not give up in the face of adversity, and we applaud their accomplishments.” 
 
The CalWORKs program helps participants develop relevant job skills; it provides them with the necessary tools to create a customized plan for success that prepares them for employment opportunities leading them to self-sufficiency.  Community support is crucial. At today’s ceremony, the Board of Supervisors recognized one employer and one community partner for their commitment to hiring and supporting CalWORKs participants. 

This year, Ace Parking Management Inc. received the CalWORKs Employer of the Year Award for its outstanding support to the CalWORKs Program. This organization provides garage management, valet services, parking enforcement, ground transportation and green parking services to over 450 companies nationwide and has partnered with CalWORKs Employment Connection Center.  Most recently, Ace Parking Management Inc. hired 15 CalWORKs participants as cashiers, traffic director and supervisors, and expects to fill more positions in the future.
 
Campbell Adult and Community Education (CACE) received the Community Partner of the Year Award for their longstanding partnership with the County and their exemplary performance, innovative service delivery and dedication to CalWORKs families.  CACE provides an array of educational programs including Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language (ESL), High School continuation and certified vocational training.
 
“It has been said that compassion is the essence of true humanity. We are very grateful to local employers and community organizations that collaborate with the County to provide support to CalWORKs participants,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Dave Cortese, Chair of the Board’s Children, Seniors and Families Committee. “Today’s celebration demonstrates that these collective efforts are very meaningful and very successful.”
 
The individual CalWORKs participants recognized today were:  Keishun Clarke, Jose (Joe) Garcia, Fadumo Ali, Katrina Fregoso, Pascal Kapumpu, Saif Al-Awkati, Ashley Mull, Kelly Lucero, Brandi Stover and Elizabeth Guerra.

“The participants honored today successfully overcame the challenges that thousands of our clients face on a daily basis as they struggle to attain self sufficiency” said Santa Clara County Social Services Agency Director Bruce Wagstaff. “The valuable resources and services provided by the County and our partners enable them become agents of change and inspiration to others in a similar situation.”  
 
Background
There are approximately 13,432 families on public assistance and 6,370 CalWORKs clients participating in Employment Services activities. This past year the program’s Employment Connection served approximately 1,900 clients.  On average, 45 participants obtained full-time employment each month, at an average wage of $10.0 per hour.  The Employment Connection hit their peak during the month of October when 84 participants secured work. CalWORKs families who are eligible to participate in CalWORKs Employment Services develop a plan for successful entrance into the work force. Members of these households may receive educational and vocational training, job placement, along with support services such as childcare, transportation, counseling and substance abuse prevention classes. All of these services help families build and maintain lives on their own, outside the realm of public assistance.


Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5119; Dana McQuary, Social Services Agency (408) 408-755-7760.
Posted: December 4, 2012