Any of us having the pleasure of knowing Julio could best describe him as caring, committed, and having a work ethic like no other. When I first met Julio four years ago, I was amazed by him moving furniture, cleaning, and never stopping. I inquired about his job, although I knew he would be able to earn more, I waited for him to approach me as he was happy with his current work. I told him anytime he was ready I was certain he would find a great job. When he approached me, I was in Cafe Metro, a very busy all-day restaurant. I didn’t see anyone working the way Julio does, so I was able to get him an interview. He truly impressed the owner, and he was hired shortly after the interview. His manager always was thankful to have him. Julio helped bring the restaurant to an A standard for cleanliness and customer service. Julio wore many hats quite well and picked up some bee talents with cooking and delivery.

In March 2020, with the outbreak of Covid, the restaurant’s closing was unsure. It was upsetting when everyone in the SEMP program returned to work except for Julio. The restaurant business was part of a different phase which affected his return. Once the restaurant opened, the messages were still inconsistent as to when he would be returning to work. When I saw it had closed, it was time for a new chapter for Julio.

Marshall’s had an opening for combination Sales Associate and Maintenance worker. Julio entered the interview with confidence and wonderful stories about his 2 years at Cafe Metro. All I could say was “you will never have another worker as reliable and committed to his job”. He was hired the next day with the new norm for employment, orientation, and all the on-boarding paperwork had to be done prior to his first day. We went over the new way which involved some new computer requirements. With the help of his residential staff, he was able to complete a health survey questioner that gave him clearance for his job. When we spoke this past weekend, he shared with me how happy he is at Marshall’s and how the staff and customers are all very nice. He likes this significantly more than Cafe Metro. Julio is working for a very solid corporation that recently gave all employees internationally a bonus thanking them for their commitment to the TJX Corporation.

Julio has adapted to all Covid safety procedures at work and was recently brought into the office to receive compliments on his work from his manager. Although Julio is saving for an electric scooter, I know the money is not anywhere as important as having his job. He truly is a role model for dedication and how hard work opens new doors with a brighter future. Congratulations Julio! You never let anything get in the way-not even Covid 19!

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