A New Job He's Passionate About

Civicorps said farewell to a fantastic member of our family recently.  Sharif Ahmad started a new job, and we couldn’t be more thrilled!  During his time at Civicorps, this talented young man served as a Conservation Intern and an Operations Intern at our Job Training Center; earned the distinctions of Corpsmember of the Quarter (Spring 2019) and Hardest Hitter of the Month (February 2019); and completed his AmeriCorps Education Award.

Sharif is now a Fleet Machinist Trainee at Waste Management.  We already miss him, but we are incredibly proud of him as he takes this exciting new step on his professional path. Congrats, Sharif!!

We didn’t want Sharif to leave us without offering him major props, so we asked him a few parting questions to help tell his story.

Q: What were you doing before Civicorps?

A: I was a Conservation intern before I was an Operations Intern. Before Civicorps, I was working at Skiekh Shoes in Eastmont Mall ‘chasing fools out of the store!’ I heard about Civicorps through my Uncle Kenneth “Redd”, who is an Alumni.

Q: Tell me about the most important skills you acquired through your internship.

A: The most important skill I acquired through my internship was safety procedures/hazards. I also learned a lot about working with different types of people and situations. I learned how to work under a lot of adversity, and it taught me to be more critical with my decisions.

Q: How did you get your new job at Waste Management? Tell us what you’ll be doing.

A: I heard about it through Mo (Monique Williams, Job Training Coordinator) and Tarkan (Guldur, E-Waste Coordinator), who had heard about it from the Internship Boards. The position is Fleet Machinist Trainee, and they’re training me on how to maintenance & service the Waste Management Work Trucks. I’ve always loved cars and working on cars ever since I was a kid, and this position allows me to have a career in something I’m interested in and passionate about.

Sharif and Danny Swift, Job Training Supervisor

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A: I see myself with good credit, investing money, and giving back to the community I came from. I see myself still working at Waste Management, and taking college courses working towards a degree.

Q: What would you say to other young people who are thinking about becoming Corpsmembers?

A: Do the work, don’t let the work do you. Get in, get out, and get ahead in life, because time ain’t waiting on nobody. And that’s with anything you do, or want to do.

Q: Bonus questions! 

Where’s your favorite place to eat in Oakland?

A: My Mama Mo’s food (shout out Monique Williams), because I don’t like to eat out much, but I love all her baking!

What’s your Superpower?

A: Jedi Power! I need that power to read minds & I need the power to think of something and it just materializes right in front of me!

Don’t be a stranger, Sharif!  Use your Jedi Power to know when it’s time to visit your Civicorps family.

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Khris and Kiara - San Francisco Chronicle

Civicorps alumni Khris and Kiara, are featured in the San Francisco Chronicle. Their journeys of hard work has brought them to their dream career. We are proud of Khris and Kiara for working so hard in becoming Waste Management Teamster Apprentices.

“It’s a career I love.I can send my daughter to college if she wants to go.” – Khris Bland, Civicorps alumn

 

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Driving Towards a Dream - KTVU

Former Civicorps Recycling driver, Kiara Alexis, is featured in KTVU Fox Channel 2’s segment “Bay Area People.” Our Executive Director Alan Lessik, and Recycling Manager Hector Abarca, are also featured and talk about the this exciting career pathway.

“The best part of my job is that a lot of women come up to me and feel inspired that I am a truck driver.” – Kiara Alexis, Teamster Apprentice at Waste Management

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Civicorps Receives Community Partnership Award

On Thursday, April 19th, Civicorps was presented with Mutual of America’s Community Partnership Merit Finalist Award. This prestigious national  award recognized Civicorps’ Teamster Union Apprenticeship Career Pathway Program in partnership with Waste Management that provides a pathway to lucrative union careers in truck transportation.

The award luncheon was held at the Oakland Marriott City Center Skyline Room where 100 guests enjoyed the sweeping views of Oakland during the awards ceremony. Theodore Herman, Vice Chairman of Mutual of America Foundation and Abbas Moloo, Regional Vice President of Mutual of America made opening remarks. Then, Thomas Gilliam, Chairman and CEO of Mutual of America presented certificates to organizations who helped create this career pathway:

Phil Dillard, Board President; Councilwoman Lynette McElhaney; Alan Lessik, Executive Direcotor; Minna Tao, Recology Golden Gate

Mayor Libby Schaaf, gave a powerful speech on unity and perseverance, recognizing the strengths of the partnership. Then, the Mutual of America Foundation presented Civicorps with a $25,000 check. An unexpected surprise!

Mayor Libby Schaaf

To honor those key individuals who helped create this partnership, one-of-a-kind commemorative coins were presented to Councilwoman Lynette McElhaney, Waste

Management’s Jacob Buckley, Teamster Local 70’s Felix Martinez, and Recology Golden Gate’s Minna Tao.

The ceremony was filled with inspiring speeches that demonstrated the strong relationships Oakland has forged to create career pathways for Oakland young adults. Thanks to Mutual of America Foundation and all our partners for a joyous celebration!

Check out photos from the event: FB Album.

Listen to Civicorps on KCBS radio talking about our pioneering partnership.

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Pathways to Union Careers

Civicorps is excited to share the news that our career pathways to union employment are growing by leaps and bounds!

In 2015, Civicorps created 6 apprenticeships/internships in partnership with Waste Management that can lead to lucrative jobs with the Teamster Local 70 and the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers unions. Our Waste Management truck-driving apprentices earn over $20/hour, and after two years, they are eligible for union jobs earning $70,000/year while working towards a pension.

“I now have a career I can be proud of.”Pathways to Union Careers / Civicorps
– Wulliam Montolla, Waste Management Apprentice

This innovative partnership inspired us to create more pathways to union employment that help youth go from high-school dropout to union employee in as little as two years. Not only does this move the needle on employment, but also increases employment for good jobs that create life-long prosperity.

This year we expanded our partnerships to include Schnitzer Steel, which prepares youth to enter the International Union of Operating Engineers. They first hired two Civicorps graduates and were so impressed with them that they hired two more. One of the hires, Kevin, started in February, and in May, was hired as a full-time union employee.

Pathways to Union Careers / Civicorps

“Civicorps has been my foundation. Without that, I never
would have been able to advance this far.”
– Kevin Saefong, Schnitzer Steel union employee

Waste Management has been so impressed with our intern, Candace, that they are requesting 10 additional interns. In addition, the City of Oakland Public Works just requested 6 graduates to apply. Our Career Counselors are working hard to place youth in these lucrative positions!Pathways to Union Careers / Civicorps

Civicorps has created a strong reputation for producing skilled employees and providing the support both the interns and businesses need to help youth advance in their positions. This, combined with our relationships with three unions, is helping opportunity youth enter one of 36 positions (and counting!) that lead to family-sustaining careers.

Thank you for your support to help create these pathways!

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