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Face of Performance

  Fermin Patricio
January 2005
Fermin stands on the step of his tractor trailer rig and recalls, “My life was so hard. They opened up the door for me and made life so much better!” That day Fermin went asking for help with his rent and hoping for some food, only to find that a whole new world he’d only dreamed of was about to become reality.

Fermin came to the United States when he was just 14 years old, and worked for many years on farms in Michigan and Virginia. Back in January of 2003, it was the dead of winter and there was little farm work to be had. Fermin was the sole support for his wife and parents who were both too ill and could no longer work in the fields. With medical bills for his parents mounting, Fermin knew he had to find year-round work.
Fermin Patricio
That’s where Gwen and Angela from the Virginia Workforce Network came in. Once they learned that Fermin’s life-long ambition was to be a professional truck driver, they got busy helping him enroll at the CDS Tractor Trailer Training School in Fredericksburg. Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds paid for the training and related expenses and supportive service dollars helped with rent and electricity. And thankfully, a stipend put food on the table.

With his basic needs met, Fermin put his mind to succeeding, and succeed he did! In a few short weeks, he had earned the highest score in school and received a Class A, Commercial Drivers License (CDL) with a Hazardous Materials endorsement. Armed with his CDL license and his ambition, Fermin found Simbeck Inc., whose company policy had always been to hire experienced truck drivers. When they met Fermin, they realized an exception had to be made. Simbeck Inc. knew a good employee when they saw one!

Although the trucking business can be highly competitive and volatile in this economy, life is very different today for this gracious man. In a good week, Fermin can make upwards of a $1,000 or more. That’s a far cry from the days when he and his family scraped by on less than $9,000 a year. Fermin’s next goal is to buy a house. With his optimist determination, there’s no doubt he’ll be a homeowner very soon!
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