Fontana Herald News
With his focus on the future and a family to help support, Mitchell Devin took matters into his own hands after he was furloughed from his job in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I wanted to become a better person than I was yesterday,” Devin said of his decision to pursue additional skills training with the support of his wife Mui, Chaffey College and the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB).
Devin used his newly found down time to go back to school and retrain himself as an industrial electrical engineer. Today he is re-employed and better positioned than he has ever been for future career opportunities.
The father of three daughters, Devin hopes his story inspires others to take advantage of the workforce support services that are available in San Bernardino County, home to one of the strongest local economies in California.
Statistics from the California Employment Development Department (EDD) show that employers in San Bernardino County have created or restored nearly 100,000 jobs since the low point of the pandemic just over a year ago. Even so, many employers report that they’re having difficulty filling critical-need positions due to enhanced unemployment benefits.
For Devin and his wife, who also lost her job, sitting at home was never an option. Mui Devin enrolled at Chaffey College to study medical billing and coding. While there, she came across a flier for the college’s Industrial Technical Learning Center (InTech) in Fontana, a public-private partnership designed to train and upskill workers for high-demand jobs.
The program is free of charge to participants, thanks to funding and support from partners such as WDB, and for Mitchell Devin, that was too good a deal to pass up.
“Chaffey College, InTech and Workforce Development have written one of the greatest chapters in my life,” he said. “I wanted to add more value to myself — to enhance the skills I already had and use this time to get me to the next level in my career.”
It all prepared him for his current job as a general maintenance associate at Walmart — a career path that has already improved his and his family’s quality of life: “In August, I send my eldest daughter to UC Berkeley, and I can help support her now.”
Curt Hagman, Chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, said Mitchell and Mui Devin’s determination in the face of adversity sets a powerful example for others to follow.
“It’s often said, but a job is more than a paycheck, and the Devins are living proof of that. I applaud them for seizing this opportunity to advance their own skills and position themselves for some of the great careers that are available throughout San Bernardino County,” Hagman said.
Phil Cothran, the WDB Chairman, said there are plenty of great training and career opportunities available for job seekers in the county. WDB operates three America’s Job Centers of California, and provides a wide variety of programs and support for those looking to increase their skillsets and advance their careers.
“The economic recovery is in full swing, and for job seekers, the opportunities that are available now are unlike anything we’ve seen in years,” said Cothran, a Fontana resident and businessman. “We strongly encourage anyone who is out of work or looking to advance their careers to take this important step forward — today.”
For information on the career programs and services available, visit the WDB website at: https://wp.sbcounty.gov/workforce/