The White House Proclaimed April as “Second Chance Month,” citing that incarcerated individuals after serving their time should have the opportunity to fully reintegrate into society – lifting up those who are committed to rejoining society and making meaningful contributions. Californians are taking that mission seriously and have success stories to prove it.
Meet Viniquia Reed and David Gonzalez – two Californians who went through HopeBuilders, a program that prepares disadvantaged young adults for living-wage careers by providing mentorship, life skills and job training. Both Viniquia and David are now employed and have successful careers with southern California-based Sunwest Electric, Inc.
After being released from prison, Viniquia was striving to build a successful life and that’s when she found Hope Builders. Her dedication showed when driving more than an hour daily to successfully complete the program. Her hard work and commitment paid off. Now, Viniquia has a flourishing career as an electrician at Sunwest Electric, Inc. and is serving as an industry-leader in a widely male dominated field that has a myriad of opportunities to offer women.
David heard about Hope Builders after being released from prison and was struggling to find employment. Able to secure numerous job interviews, potential employers passed on David after learning of his record. It was at Hope Builders where he fell in love with construction and found a path to Sunwest Electric, Inc. as an electrician – creating an opportunity to build a successful life that includes career achievement and opportunities for growth and advancement.
Hope Builders exists to move disadvantaged young adults from poverty to prosperity by meeting program participants where they are on their life trajectories and empowering them to realize their strengths. Every year, Hope Builders serves more than 240 young adults, who are caught in the cycle of poverty and prepares them to launch their careers in construction and healthcare in order to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency.
Sunwest Electric, Inc. is an established leader in the construction industry with over 30 years of knowledge and experience. As one of the largest merit shop electrical contractors based in California, the company offers a range of services in many markets and industries.