Drivers of change

The recent success story of LifeWorks graduates Vasyl and Olesia illustrates the truth that partners are the fuel of JP.

Vasyl, Olesia and their son fled Ukraine and arrived in Central Florida in 2022. They struggled to find jobs that would sustain their household and learned about Jobs Partnership through St. Mary Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Olesia and Vasyl enrolled for the spring semester at the Winter Garden training site, hosted by JP church partners Family Church at West Orange Dream Center. Both Vasyl and Olesia excelled in LifeWorks and graduated in May.

Vasyl got a full-time job at our Career & Interview Fair with employer partner Jeff Jaskot of Aggressive Appliances. Olesia is finishing the dental assistant course offered by education partner Dr. Gabriel Sangalang and Dental Assisting Academy of Central Florida, her tuition covered by community partner CareerSource Central Florida. Olesia practiced dentistry in Ukraine, but U.S. certification is costly and can take two or three years.

Meanwhile, employer partner Matt Immerfall of All Star Auto Parts connected JP with Recycled Rides, a National Auto Body Council (NABC) program to refurbish and give cars to people in need. More than 3,000 vehicles have been given since the program started in 2007. “There’s a gifting almost every day somewhere in the country,” Matt says.

Recycled Rides gave a car to JP grad Mireille in June – and gave another car to Vasyl and Olesia in early July. Longtime community partner 1-800-Charity Cars played a role as well, transferring the title to Vasyl.

Lack of reliable transportation creates a primary employment barrier in sprawling Central Florida. Fortunately, JP and its network of mission-minded supporters specialize in razing – not raising – barriers.

When discussing the power of partnerships, Matt says, “It’s great when you can connect the dots. Everyone brings their best to the story.”

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