Local Non-profit Organization Helps The Elderly Find Work 12/31/13
CBS 7 News
December 31, 2013
ODESSA-A local non-profit organization wants to help older adults gain permanent jobs in this booming economy.
Julia Medina has always dreamed of working, but didn't think it was possible due to her loss of vision and no work experience.
Thanks to Experience Works, this dream has come true.
Back in 1997, Julia Medina started having eye problems, and was later diagnosed with a disease known as Uveitis, which caused her to go blind in 2007.
Medina had never worked before, and now that she had lost her eyesight, she didn't think it would be possible, until she heard about Experience Works.
"I didn't go to college or have any kind of work experience, so I was really surprised when they told me I was going to work at the ABLE Center," said Medina.
For the past 6-months, Medina has been working as the afternoon receptionist at the ABLE Center in Odessa, answering phone calls and taking down messages.
She has Experience Works to thank, who helps low-income people over the age of 55 find permanent employment.
The program trains their participants and pays them minimum wage, while they gain work experience at different non-profit organizations, also known as host agencies.
Ruth Mantooth, the Team Leader for the company, says there are many elderly people who just can't survive on social security alone, or who don't have much work experience. She says this is why the company was created in the first place.
"That's our whole purpose, is to be able to find them, if not with a host agency, [then] we are constantly looking at other jobs that we feel like they would enjoy working at," said Mantooth.
As for Medina, she says she couldn't be happier getting out into the work force.
"Anyone that's like me, that didn't work, I had no work experience, no experience being out in the public. I mean its made so much of a big difference, you feel so much better about yourself, you even feel young again," said Medina.
Anyone who wishes to learn more or take part in Experience Works can contact Ruth Mantooth at (432) 367-1454 or visit experienceworks.org.