News and Events

Presbyterian Committee on Self Development of People Grant:
The national Presbyterian ministry disburses funding for projects and to communities that promote justice, build solidarity, advance human dignity and advocate for economic equity. The Economic and Skills Development Project in Davis was among the grant beneficiaries in 2015. Eleven micro-enterprise owners that we support at Community & Employment Services (CES) got together and applied and were awarded a $15,000 grant. The money will be used for training to develop business management skills and marketing knowledge. These individual’s goal is to use the skills and knowledge learned from the training to operate self-sustaining and profitable businesses that will provide them with a sustainable source of income.
Below is a link to the grant award announcement:
The Economic and Skills Development Project training kicked-off on February 17, 2016 at the Davis Community Church Library. Vanessa Errecarte, a marketing consultant and CEO of Erreco Strategies Management and Marketing Consulting in Davis led the group in exploring   marketing strategies that work for individual micro-enterprise owners.
On February 29 and March 3, 2016 the group received training in using social media platforms to market and advertise their businesses. The trainings were featured in the local newspaper, the Davis Enterprise. Below is a link to the newspaper article:    
Citrus Heights Success Spotlight:  Sheree Castellanos
Fitness 19: 7845 Lichen Dr, Citrus Heights, CA 95621 
Sheree Castellanos has been employed at the Citrus Heights Fitness 19 location since February 20, 2017. Before going to the interview, Sheree prepared by visiting the website to learn about the company and thinking about why she wanted to work for Fitness 19. “I went to the website and got the information. I wanted to work for them because I want to help, I like to clean and I am a really nice person. I brought my resume, my cover letter I gave them my email and phone number. I introduced myself and my job coach and applied for a job.”   

The interview went well, but before they hired Sheree there was one more step: “They gave me a tour and showed me where everything is and what they needed someone to do. I did a 2 hour work interview by cleaning in the kids play area. My boss said I did a great job and I was hired. I was really happy!” 

Sheree works on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. “Before I go to work I get ready and I make myself look pretty. I get to work on time. When I start work I sign myself in, I talk with the customers, I get cleaning items and other supplies ready, I clean the treadmills, the restrooms and the floors with a broom and dust pan. My supervisor and my co-workers are all really nice and kind. They are funny. They compliment me. I like what I am doing. I like to work there!”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Sheree also told us she has started modeling. “I did a casting call. I went to Arden Fair Mall. I did my walkway and I did runway. Everybody there complimented me. I loved it. They were taking pictures. I am really good at it. I’m a rockstar!” Sheree is thinking of starting a fashion blog as well. Sheree said, “If people need help to do a makeover or if they want to read some links I will put everything down. They can respond and let me know.”

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Citrus Heights Micro Enterprise Spotlight:  John Sanchez and Nick Bryant
Sanchez and Bryant Recycling: 6060 Sunrise Vista Drive Citrus Heights, CA 95610

John Sanchez and Nick Bryant own a small business called “Sanchez and Bryant Recycling”. They have partnered with the Wal Warehouse Artists Lofts, Silver Oaks Apartments, Crunch Fitness and the Moose lodge, providing them with recycling bins and then collecting their bottles and cans weekly. Their service reduces litter at the sites and reduces waste in landfills that can be recycled.  

John and Nick pick up recycling on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays they do marketing and administrative tasks. When asked how to be successful in business, John and Nick answered, “Be passionate and consistent on your job. Be a hard worker, have a good attitude and good customer service.” Their goal is to have 150 recycling bins and earn $600 weekly. They would eventually like to have their own redemption center where other people can bring their recycling materials to.  

Sanchez and Bryant Recycling is an offshoot of John’s middle school friend, Frank Heath who established “Heath’s Recycling”.  

Citrus Heights Employer Spotlight: Rashae Williams
Safeway: 8925 Madison Avenue Fair Oaks, CA 95628
Rashae Williams was featured on ABC 10 news here in Sacramento. News reporter Francis Wang went to Rashae’s employer Safeway located in Fair Oaks at the Hazel and the Madison store and the news station reporter interviewed Rashae about how his childhood accident that has affected his life, and about what he does at this job. He has worked there for 7.5 years, and has been a great employee, and loved by the customers. Click the link below to see the story.

Davis Success Spotlight: Nathan Streeter

On the morning of Thursday, February 25, 2016 Nathan Streeter met with Unitrans officials to discuss possible improvements to some of the bus stops he frequents. As a result of this meeting, one bus stop will be moved slightly down the road to a location that will make it easier for the buses to deploy their wheelchair ramps, and the whole associated stretch of curb will be painted red so parked cars don't block the stop. Another bus stop will receive a concrete wheelchair area next to the bench. Big kudos to Nathan for his awesome advocacy and to Unitrans for their response! This is what a success story looks like.

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Davis Job Seeker Spotlight: Alex Abplanalp
My name is Alex Abplanalp and I am looking for a job that allows me to help others and involves technology. I was a Computer Technical Volunteer at Computer Concepts in Woodland, CA from 2010 to 2011. I helped to trouble-shoot downloaded, and installed anti-virus software and resolved connectivity problems. I have also worked as a Garden Manager for Team Davis where I maintained a community garden by weeding, watering and planting. I now run my own gardening business, Double A Produce, where I market and sell plants that I grow. I believe that I would be a great addition to any business because I am reliable, professional, friendly, and above all a problem solver.

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Davis Micro Enterprise Spotlight: Amy Tonai 
Amy's Shredding: 105 East Street Suite 2F Davis, CA 95616

Amy Tonai is the sole owner and operator of Amy's Shredding. She started her business in 2010 with the help of family and friends. Amy has been a Yolo County resident for 35 years and has strong ties to the Davis community. She loves working with local businesses and meeting new people. She's a strong  individual with a great sense of humor.

Amy is great at telling the story of how she started her own business. Here is what she says: I started because another person with a disability no longer wanted to do his shredding business; he wanted to go back to school. I  heard about it and was excited about the idea of operating my own shredding business. I was already employed by CES and part of my duties was shredding. I enjoy every moment of it. I was going to get a loan to purchase the shredder but my dad  said  ''no, I  will  get  the  shredder  for  you.'' The big shredder cost $2,000! Friends helped move the big shredder to Woodland where I worked in a shed behind a friend's house for almost a year. I had to move when my friend needed the space for her office. I was talking to people at  CES when another person heard that I needed a new workspace. Robin Dewey said that I could work in her shed in her backyard. Now we call it the ''Shred Shack".

My business has really grown and one of the highlights was when it was discovered that when you Google ''shredding'' and ''Davis,'' Amy's shredding is at the top of the list! It is the only micro-enterprise offering shredding services in the Davis area. My customer needs range from one to 100 boxes. All of the shredded paper is recycled. Every 2 weeks, I take the shredded paper to International Paper to be recycled. I like having my own business and being my own boss. I love shredding and enjoy meeting my customers. I am proud that people in my community trust me to handle their shredding needs!

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Visit Amy's Shredding website to learn more about her business, read testimonials from satisfied customers, and contact her about your shredding needs. 

Davis Employer Spotlight: 
Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store:
375 West Main Street Woodland CA, 95695
Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store’s vision is to be the best fabric and craft retail brand –for their customers, team members, communities and investors. Emily, the Job Developer at CES, shops at Jo-Ann’s and introduced herself to Kathleen Furry, a supervisor  at Jo-Ann’s and asked her if she would be interested in learning about CES. Jessica Owens, a client of CES, began working for Jo-Ann Fabrics Craft Store in October, 2014.

Kathleen is now Jessica’s supervisor and says “ I feel it is a great learning opportunity for myself and my associates, she makes our team grow in awareness of people's needs and abilities. Jessica has fantastic skills and people that have not worked with a person with a disability may not be aware of someone’s talents or skills.”
Jessica works on Tuesdays and Thursdays organizing and stocking the fabric patterns, bias tape, thread and other items sold at Jo-Ann’s. Jessica said her favorite part is “ it is always clean and safe in the store, and I like the people I work with.” Another favorite part of the job is "putting things where they belong. I like being responsible for the pattern drawers."

Melanie Pashenee, Jessica’s job co ach says, “Jessica is adapting well in her new position. She has a real passion for this type of work and enjoys organizing and restocking. She has taken ownership of the sewing pattern drawers and is responsible for keeping them stocked and organized.”  Melanie tells a story when she and Jessica were sitting in the back waiting for Jessica to clock in. Her supervisor had let her know that she would be putting away the fabric patterns and when it was time to get up from the back room and clock in. Jessica said “Oh you don’t need to get up, I don’t need your help. I know how to do this.” Jessica is very confident in completing her job tasks independently.
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