“She sees this promotion as a way to inspire and support her children, and her two grandchildren.”

Vicenta's Own American Dream

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 - By Building Skills Partnership

Vicenta Casarrubias has been cleaning the buildings of Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) for the past eight years. She recalls that it was one of the only jobs available to her after immigrating to the U.S from her home town of Acapulco Mexico fourteen years ago. Nevertheless, she takes her job responsibilities very seriously. Two years ago Vicenta started to attend Union Hall ESL classes with BSP to improve her ability to communicate with the SS/L employees whose offices she cleans. In these classes she practiced conversational situations that she encountered on a daily basis on the job. After several months in the ESL class, Vicenta decided to also enroll in the beginning computer course with the hopes of someday attaining a position requiring computer skills.

Her investment of time and energy over the past two years with BSP has started to pay off. Vicenta has recently been promoted to lead at Loral, leading to wage increase from $13.40 an hour to $15.00 an hour. She is excited that she is now able to put her new English language skills to good use as her responsibilities include reading and confirming orders of supplies, and responding to client requests and entering information about these requests into the computer. The promotion is more than a mere title to Vicenta and her family. She sees this promotion as a way to inspire and support her children, and her two grandchildren. She would like to prove to them that they could accomplish anything that they set their minds to, and is thus setting her sights on becoming a supervisor.

From SVCF grantee Building Skills Partnership (www.buildingskills.org). Building Skills Partnership (BSP) is a collaboration between the janitors’ union , commercial building owners, janitorial employers, client companies and community leaders. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for low-wage property service workers and their families by increasing their skills, access to education and opportunities for career and community advancement.