April 29, 2015

JIC Tenant Profile: Irais Valenzuela of IV Quest

Backstory: For years, Irais Valenzuela worked at the Rock County Job Center as a job developer, helping connect employers and employees. Working independently doing similar work was the logical next step. “The sky is the limit. If I work hard, I will succeed; it’s all up to me,” said Valenzuela.

Differentiator: While the vast majority of her work is via state contract, Valenzuela also helps individual clients uncover employment opportunities, craft cover letters and resumes, practice job interviews, and more. Valenzuela’s slogan is “helping people help themselves,” and that is exactly what she does, having placed five of her six independent clients thus far, with the sixth negotiating a better salary at his current job.

World Domination: Bilingual and well connected, Valenzuela is positioned to expand her services quickly. “Mike Mathews is wonderful. He always responds right away and is always helpful. The support we receive here—from Mike, the board and our neighbors—is an incredible springboard to growth,” said Valenzuela.

Next Steps: “My job is to connect people with employment. Going forward I would like to expand my individual client work while simultaneously connecting with additional area companies to form formal employment outreach programs. Once companies understand how much this can simplify hiring and increase retention it becomes very attractive—getting that first meeting to educate is the key,” said

Takeaways: Don’t be afraid to ask. “The worst that can happen is people will say no. Someone will eventually say yes,” said Valenzuela.

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Editor's Note: Catch Irais Valenzuela at the Economic Development & Diversity Summit co-hosted by MadREP and the Urban League of Greater Madison on May 14, 2015! She'll sit on a panel discussing innovation and entrepreneurship.