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home : top stories : city of othello June 28, 2016

6/25/2013 3:21:00 PM
Jorge is a man with a plan to find new opportunities
Erik Pague
Reporter

A basic rule of thumb in the modern economy goes something like this: The more education you have, the more likely you are to get a good job and make more money. Jorge Villafaña, a recruiter for Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) of Washington, knows this and is ready to help the people of Othello find ways to advance their careers by earning their GED, going to college or learning a new trade.
Villafaña started with OIC in March and pays visits to the Othello SkillSource located at 165 N. First Ave. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at around 3:30 p.m. to guide people through the challenges involved with seeking higher education. He said there are plenty of options for people who are looking for something like this.
"I have some people lined up ready to go to the CDL (commercial drivers license) program at Big Bend Community College, I have some who want to do medical assisting and some who want to go into nursing so they're going to go for their (nursing degree)," Villafaña said. "We help people get the opportunities they should have ... so they can better themselves or their family."
Villafaña said it can be hard to find the time to research methods to improve your career or education status but assured it's worth it and that he can help people make it happen.
"There are some people who live on really low income, they struggle and that discourages them," he said. "We get couples who come in and get their GEDs and they're really excited once they get them ... you'll get more job opportunities, but if you continue with school, you'll get even better and have more options."
SkillSource and OIC work together to make getting a foot in the door easier by not requiring Social Security cards and help with paying for GED exams. There's no charge to visit Villafaña and SkillSource.
"Our program pays for their testing and there's no charge to them," Villafaña said. "Even getting into the program - we do not charge at all. It's all paid for and we're a non-profit organization."
He said there isn't anything holding people back from seeking help from OIC other than the requirement they are motivated to improve their lives and staying committed to finishing their chosen program.
"I try to help them out as much as I can and I give them everything they need to get started," he said. "There are some people who take advantage of it and some who will just quit because it's too much work for them."
OIC has locations in Royal City, Mattawa, Moses Lake and Quincy, as well. Another service offered in Othello on Thursdays is a program called I-BEST from Big Bend. Joe Alfaro provides this service, which offers training in specific career fields, such as welding, automotive repairs and early childhood education. Alfaro can also help those with Social Security seek financial aid to get into the program.






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