When nothing is going right in a job hunt, Emma Hall wants to remind people that everyone is worth something.
The Hauraki Plains woman came close to losing her right arm in a crushing accident a few years ago.
After 10 operations, two years on ACC, and an endless number of job applications declined, Emma decided she was worth more than the rejection she was getting from employers who felt anxious about taking a chance on her.
“After running my own cleaning business, I knew how capable I was, but after the accident, it was hard to prove it physically – I had to relearn how to write and feed myself,” she said.
“Eventually, I realised the one thing I could still do and loved doing was driving my ute.
“I sat my Class Two driving licence so I could have a go at driving trucks.”
With this new skill under her belt, she felt sure her new career would soon be trucking along, but doors stayed firmly shut.
Determined not to give up, she posted her plight on Facebook. It caught the eye of Gr8 Job Hauraki’s community employment liaison Julie Stephenson, who immediately contacted Emma.
Together they were able to offer employers the reassurance that Emma had what it took to be successful, and Murray Bain of Coastal Bins, Emma’s new employer, couldn’t agree more.
“Emma’s background running her own cleaning business really shows in her meticulous attention to detail and time management. And she’s a capable and responsible driver of our trucks,” he said.
“In fact, we gave her the keys to a truck dedicated to her own routes recently. If I get the opportunity, I would hire another Emma in a heartbeat.”
Thirty-two people are now in new jobs through collaboration and funding from the Ministry of Social Development and the combined efforts of Gr8 Job Hauraki, local employers and businesses, and social organisations operating in the district.
Support available from Gr8 Job Hauraki includes entry-level training, wage-based incentives, and other support for job seekers and businesses looking to take on staff.
And for Emma, the support was just the boost she needed to steer herself into a whole new career.
“After my accident, I really had to think about what I could do. One thing I definitely didn’t want to do was sit on the couch for the rest of my life,” she said.
“Now I feel like there’s no stopping me.”
Hauraki District Council encourages local employers and job seekers to contact Julie Stephenson on 021 536 715 or email Julie.Stephenson@hauraki-dc.govt.nz to find out how Gr8 Job Hauraki can help more businesses and people find their fit.