Emma’s king of the road

Emma Hall. Supplied photo.

“Nobody is worthless, everyone is worth something.”

That’s the advice Emma Hall gives to anyone who feels like giving up when nothing is going right in their employment search.

And Emma knows. She nearly lost her right arm in a crushing accident a few years ago.

Ten operations, two years on ACC and endless job application declines later, 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,” says Emma.

“I had to relearn how to write and feed myself! 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. She immediately contacted Emma to say “how can we help”.

Together, they were able to offer employers the reassurance that Emma had what it takes 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,” says Murray.

“And she’s a capable and responsible driver of our trucks. 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.”

It’s this holistic approach in seeing the whole person that helped Gr8 Job Hauraki smash its target to place 25 people into meaningful, sustainable employment through Hauraki District Council’s Mayors Taskforce for Jobs community recovery programme.

Thirty-two people are now in new jobs thanks to essential collaboration and funding from the Ministry of Social Development and the combined efforts of Gr8 Job Hauraki; local employers/businesses and social organisations operating in the district.

Mayor Toby Adams says the 25+ employment outcomes have been one of the highlights of the year for Council.

“We’re behind this employment initiative 100 per cent and our initial success means we’ve successfully secured another round of funding from the MSD, tasking us to place a further 50 people in jobs by June 2022,” says Toby.

“This new funding also enables us to extend our mandate to work with job seekers returning from ill-health or living with a disability and help them along the way in their staircase back to work.”

For Emma, Gr8 Job Hauraki’s support was just the boost she needed to steer herself into a whole new career.

“After my accident, I really had 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. Now I feel like there’s no stopping me!”

Hauraki District Council encourages local employers and job seekers to contact Julie Stephenson on 021536715 or email Julie.Stephenson@hauraki-dc.govt.nz to find out how Gr8 Job Hauraki can help more businesses and people find their fit.


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