Jose Castellanos says his first “real job” was a food service worker at Lompoc’s Panda Express. The 23-year-old worked at the fast food establishment because the flexibility of hours was helpful when he was in high school and also cutting hair as a side job.
But some changes in the eatery management led him to look elsewhere for work – and he found it at Lompoc Valley Medical Center. About three years ago, Jose applied for a job working for LVMC’s Environmental Services Department. After more than a year doing EVS work, he’s now in a new department, as a Purchasing Assistant in the warehouse.
“I came in here and said, ‘We have a warehouse here?’ I never knew that,” the 2012 Lompoc High School graduate said.
At first, he was nervous about the new responsibilities.
“But it’s customer service,” he explained. “At Panda Express, I gained a lot of customer service experience. When I got in here, I was nervous about talking to nurses, and department directors. But Panda Express service rubbed off on me. Now I’m able to talk to people with no problem.”
He’s mainly responsible for restocking supplies, signing off on inventory, unloading deliveries and making sure departments have the correct supplies they request.
“It feels good when we take care of things. When staff call us for stuff, we solve it.”
Jose, who moved to Lompoc from Santa Barbara as a young child, had anticipated playing professional soccer. But a catastrophic ankle injury ended his soccer playing days. He’d like to go back to school and earn a degree.
“If I could find a chance in here, for sure I’d take it,” he says of career advancement at LVMC.