From Employee to Entrepreneur: A Job Training Success Story
Boca Raton, FL – West Palm Beach resident Diumar Camacho struggled to find a job that fulfilled him mentally and financially. Despite spending most of his time in an office as an HR manager, he and his wife lived paycheck to paycheck. Camacho dreamed of a career in the growing commercial truck driving industry, which he thought would be the ticket to supporting a growing family, retiring one day, and helping others in the community.
While searching for a new opportunity, a friend pointed Camacho to Boca Helping Hands (BHH). He was surprised to find that he could earn his Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) for free through the BHH Job Training Program and asked for information and the phone number immediately.
“I did it right then. I didn’t waste time. I called the front desk receptionist and said that I want to get my CDL. She replied, ‘Are you ready? Come in!’ and I said, ‘Right now?!’ I set up a time to register that very day.” Camacho soon found himself in the CDL Job Training Program. He recalls it being an “amazing experience” and particularly appreciated the Job Readiness class, which gave him a newfound understanding of emotional intelligence, behavior patterns, and more.
Camacho’s life has completely changed since earning his CDL; after two years of working for a trucking company and gaining experience, he started his own company, Aviv Xpress LLC, and now works for himself.
It wasn’t until he and his wife had a baby girl that he truly realized what a blessing it was to be able to earn a dependable living. He was especially grateful to have his CDL when his daughter was diagnosed with Autism.
“After the diagnosis, I said, ‘Oh my God, what would have happened if I didn’t have the income?’ I would have been struggling in my regular job… now I can provide for her. No more struggling! I can support my family more easily; I can take my wife and daughter out and buy them stuff. I am developing a better future from scratch with better pay and real possibilities.”
Camacho now serves as a mentor and offers advice to those who are struggling, calling it his passion. He says, “I like helping people. I was there once, and it was tough. I don’t want to see people struggling… they don’t realize the opportunity that is in front of them.”
Because of the Boca Helping Hands Job Training Program, Diumar and his wife now have the life they dreamed of – and he wants to share that with others. “I want to be able to retire someday, help other people, and give them the chance to grow, too.”
“Boca Helping Hands gave me the keys for success. I had to open the door, but you gave me the chance,” Camacho said.
Boca Helping Hands offers six free Job Training Programs to the community. Courses include Commercial Driver License, Home Health Aide, Certified Nursing Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding, Information Technology, and Customer Service Representative. Those interested in the Job Training Programs are interviewed to determine eligibility for enrollment. Once accepted into their designated Job Training Program, they proceed to Job Readiness, a professional development curriculum typically held in the Justin D. Webb Training Center, 1595 NW 1st Court, Boca Raton, but that is currently being conducted virtually due to COVID-19.
Once students have completed the Job Readiness Program, Boca Helping Hands pays for them to attend an accredited school for their technical training and certification program. The Job Training Admissions & Care Coordinator works with the students before, during, and after their training program to provide support and connect them with available resources. When the student graduates, they meet with a job mentor from Boca Helping Hands who helps them work on their resume, apply for jobs, and prepare for interviews.
“We have expanded the scope of Boca Helping Hands’ services to better enable our clients to become self-sufficient,” said Greg Hazle, Boca Helping Hands Executive Director. “The goal is to get students trained, certified, and assist with employment, so they don’t need Boca Helping Hands in the future.”
Through support from The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation, the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights Hospitaller of Florida, and private donors, Boca Helping Hands can offer these job training courses and certifications free of charge to qualified applicants.
To apply for enrollment or more information, visit BocaHelpingHands.org/JTP.
About Boca Helping Hands
Boca Helping Hands (BHH) is a community-based nonprofit that provides food, medical and financial assistance to meet basic human needs as well as education, job training, and guidance to create self-sufficiency. Through its various assistance programs, BHH supports over 27,000 people annually.
BHH distributes more than 80,000 pantry bags each year at four Palm Beach County locations and serves over 90,000 hot meals annually, six days per week. The organization expands access to affordable medical, dental and behavioral care through its partnership with Genesis Community Health, serving clients at clinics in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach. BHH sends weekend meals home with food-insecure elementary school students via the BHH Backpacks Program and assists working families with the rising cost of childcare through the Children’s Assistance Program (CAP).
With an increased focus on client self-sufficiency, BHH awards scholarships for qualified candidates to attend accredited vocational training classes that prepare them for careers in the healthcare, information technology, and transportation industries. BHH also offers free English as a Second Language (ESOL) classes and courses in nutrition and other life skills. Staff and volunteer mentors counsel the unemployed and underemployed in basic workplace skills and help them polish resumes and search for jobs.
Boca Helping Hands is a partner agency of The Town of Palm Beach United Way. Since 1945, the Town of Palm Beach United Way has been committed to improving lives and building strong communities throughout Palm Beach County by focusing on programs and priorities that promote education, health, and financial stability.
Charity Navigator named Boca Helping Hands a Four-Star Charity for the 14th consecutive year in April 2020. Boca Helping Hands is located at 1500 NW 1st Court, Boca Raton, FL 33432. For more information, please visit BocaHelpingHands.org.