With a will to succeed and the diligence to overcome obstacles, Debra is one of the truly inspirational people we have been proud to have worked with and is representative of the great people we associate with everyday.
She came to Reliance just under a year ago to pursue a better life – and, with a little effort, she found a way to a career.
“Several years ago I was evicted from my home and ended up losing every personal possession I had,” she said. “After being homeless for a time and sleeping in my truck with my son, I lived in transitional housing…I relocated to this area and lived with my mother for a short time. And Reliance became my biggest hope for change.”
Shortly after Johnson came to our branch in Newport News, we were able to match the skills that she has with the needs required by the Treasurer’s office at Hampton University.
“We’ve had a long and successful relationship with Reliance,” said Doretha Spells, Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer at Hampton University. “We tend to reach out to Reliance when we have positions where we want to get to know the candidate first before hiring them permanently; we want to know if they’re a good fit. Reliance has been successful at identifying people for us and bringing them in with the experience and knowledge that we have been looking for.”
And Johnson has been a good fit.“We have been very pleased with Debra. She came in and hit the ground running. You would have never known she was new to the university. She picked up things very quickly, she learned the Hampton process, and she’s been doing excellent,” said Spells. “With this office, we deal with everyone on campus – from the students to the parents to the alumni to the faculty and staff – and so I look for people that have people skills. People who can have a good relationship with those we serve. But the person also has to be motivated and task-oriented. Debra has those skills.”
In order to qualify for the position, Johnson did have to be interviewed by Reliance Staff, pass skills testing and undergo screening.
“The process took some time and involved several interviews,” said Johnson.
Newport News Branch Manager Sam D’Agostino has been working with Hampton University for years and knows the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for a candidate to be successful.
“We go the extra mile to ensure each associate is prepared to succeed when we place them,” said D’Agostino. “We knew Johnson had what it took to do well.”
Johnson also conveyed that she knew the Reliance mission is to find reliable applicants for businesses and, that if the process is followed, the opportunity for a career is a distinct possibility.
“I would highly recommend to someone looking for a new career to allow Reliance Staffing to streamline the process and open doors for you.”
And now Johnson is able to accomplish things that she was previously not able to do
“My life is better today than it has been in 20 years. I have hope and the light at the end of the tunnel is blinding,” she said. “I can go into the store now and not only buy what I need and sometimes purchase something I just want. I feel like a human being.”
For Johnson, working is much more than a job, but a sense of achievement.
“Most persons involved will never know what this position means to me. I take nothing for granted and I am grateful for this blessing.”
“At the age of 60, this is truly my dream job,” she said.
About Hampton University:
It is a dynamic, progressive institution of higher education, providing a broad range of technical, liberal arts, and graduate degree programs. In addition to being one of the top historically black universities in the world, Hampton University is a tightly-knit community of learners and educators, representing 49 states and 35 territories and nations.
Hampton University is nestled along the banks of the Virginia Peninsula, near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The surrounding city of Hampton features a wide array of business and industrial enterprises, retail and residential areas, historical sites, and miles of waterfront and beaches. Attractions such as Fort Monroe, NASA Langley Research Center, and the Virginia Air and Space Center add to the splendor – and just plain fun – of the HU campus.
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