When Gerlonda became employed as a full-time pharmacy technician at People’s Health Center in June of 2013, her colleagues, supervisors, and mentors rejoiced – there was no more deserving person that could have been chosen. Gerlonda had worked consistently and diligently for this position, demonstrating enormous patience and perseverance while she worked her way step by step towards her career goal.
Gerlonda joined SLATE’s WIA Youth work experience program in April of 2013, and was immediately placed with People’s Health Center’s Human Resources department as an assistant. Even though her temporary employment was not in a field of her choice, she didn’t see it as a setback; she maintained a positive outlook and used this opportunity to sharpen her customer service skills.
In May, her hard work, persistence and enthusiasm began to pay off. With help from Job Corps, She obtained her license as a pharmacy technician and passed her certification test. Around the same time, the pharmacy department at People’s Health Center requested her assistance as a technician.
Even though Gerlonda was finally working in her preferred field, due to the limited number of summer experience work hours allocated to each youth in the program, she only worked in the pharmacy for two weeks. Fortunately, SLATE realized that young woman’s strong desire to work in a pharmacy and her credentials could lead to permanent employment with People’s Health Center, and granted Brown an additional 50 hours of work experience there.
Those additional 50 hours, combined with impressive customer service skills she learned in the Human Resource Department, made her a sound candidate for a full-time position in the pharmacy. When such a position opened up later that month, Gerlonda jumped at the opportunity. She applied and was interviewed, and within two days learned that she had been offered the job.
Young woman’s hard work, both in the pharmacy and in the classroom, along with the enthusiastic support provided by spirited counselors in SLATE’s Youth Department and at Employment Connection, created a positive and possibly life-changing outcome. As a pharmacy technician, Gerlonda is making $10 per hour, and is now proud to pose in front of the pharmacy wearing her professional scrubs.
Story and photo submission by James Schebek, Employment Connection, edits by SLATE. To contact Employment Connection, click here.
St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment