Dead Broke to “Living the Dream!”

From seasonal farmworker earning poverty wages to lead driver for El & El Wood Products in Galt! Today, Victor Perez proudly supports his growing family and is thrilled to be “living the American Dream!

A hard-working family man from Mexico, Victor spent years in California’s San Joaquin Valley making what few would consider a living wage, including harvesting and picking grapes for less than $4,000 a year. Though he had documents to work in the U.S. and applied for full-time work often, he could not get a job. Desperately, Victor realized he wasn’t meeting his family’s needs with seasonal work. About this time, Victor had the good fortune to meet a representative from EDD’s Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker program. The representative connected Victor to California Human Development’s Lodi WorkNet Center and soon he was enrolled in truck driving training. Though Victor has an 8th grade literacy and math level, he proved himself to be an excellent student—showing “remarkable responsibility and positive attitude,” according to his instructor. Victor completed his training in 2015 and obtained his Class A truck driving license. True to his nature, he diligently applied for work and quickly secured two job offers. He accepted the position with EL & EL Wood Products earning a living wage for the first time in his life and was soon promoted to lead driver earning significantly more! Today, Victor is a role model and leader in his job, teaching graduates from CHD’s programs and other new hires to be good drivers and employees so they too can reach their goals and improve their lives.

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