Hidden ally helped job seeker find work

Posted at 5:24 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 20:41:47-04

SAN DIEGO — Carlos Tellez lost his job at a Gaslamp District restaurant once the coronavirus outbreak hit.

But unlike the tens of thousands of San Diegans laid off amid the pandemic, Tellez wouldn't stay unemployed for long.

"I decided to start working and find a new opportunity for me," Tellez says.

Tellez began his search with the usual sites, such as Indeed and Craigslist - with no luck.

Then he found the San Diego Workforce Partnership's online portal - and everything changed. He applied on a Thursday or Friday, got a call back on a Tuesday, and was working that following Monday.

His new employer? Serving Seniors. Tellez delivers meals for the nonprofit to seniors in need all over the county.

"I feel like this is a new life," Tellez says. "I've never done this before but I like it."

The Workforce Partnership's portal looks like many other job search websites. The difference, however, is that no application goes ignored. For each submission, a partnership career coach reviews it on the other end.

The coach determined that Tellez was a fit for the job with serving seniors - and forwarded his application.

"We're not just asking them for resumes, we're asking them to specifically tell us why they're interested in that role and what makes them a good match for it," said Andrew Picard, the partnership's chief program's officer.

Paul Downey, the CEO of Serving Seniors, said getting applicants through the partnership does help in the search.

"It saves time that they’ve done some screening because this job is physical," Downey said.

Downey said he encourages job seekers to apply through the partnership and directly with employers.

"The advantage of the San Diego Workforce Partnership would be that they’re going to have insights into other jobs," he said. "They’re a good clearinghouse for jobs throughout the county so it can’t hurt to have sort of a foot in the door in two places."

The partnership, a quasi-public nonprofit, also launched a new resource page that includes referrals to online certification programs that don't charge.