Barzilai Apprenticeship Program provides path to financial independence for father of 3:

As part of the Barzilai Apprenticeship Program, the Barzilai Foundation has partnered with the EV Foundation to create the program’s first employment opportunity and expand the reach of the EV Foundation’s support for low-income families. By building a longer-term path for funding, the program enables the creation of a full-time employment role, gives a local Gibraltar family the opportunity for financial independence, and furthers the mission of a local charity serving the needs of the community. Additionally, we develop a custom plan and work with each apprentice to grow as needed financial literacy and savings discipline, career planning, and professional skills.

The EV Foundation’s new role of Handyman and Maintenance Support will provide much-needed assistance to low-income families dealing with home repairs. These kinds of unscheduled home and appliance challenges can force families to choose between going into debt or trying to operate without repair.

The role will be filled by Conrad, a Gibraltar native and father of three who is known in the community for his hard work and mechanical skills. After spending nearly two decades working long and hard as a mechanic in an auto garage, he was ready to move on to new beginnings and new opportunities.

Conrad knows what it feels to depend on your own business and like many others saw his work evaporate at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving him and his family reliant on government benefits.

His story caught the attention of the Barzilai Foundation, and his desire to be independent and work for a better future for his family was immediately evident.

“We’re proud to have helped cleared a path for this family’’ said Brandon Sosa, CEO of the Barzilai Foundation. “That’s at the center of our work: people passionate about leading a better life that just need help with the obstacle squarely in their way.”

This work extends the partnership between the Barzilai Foundation and the EV Foundation, a Gibraltar-based organization focused on assisting financially disadvantaged families. Conrad is now in a position where he can help vulnerable people in the community. On a daily basis he meets people in vulnerable situations and he sees for himself the real struggle within his community.

“This job is not only letting me stand on my own two feet and lead a better life for me and my family,” Conrad added. “but also to support others through their hardships and remind them that there is support out there. I want to be part of other people’s journey.” 

“Conrad’s story reflects our goal of providing the opportunities and tools people need to succeed,” said Nicole Jones, founder of the EV Foundation. “Teaming up with a mission-driven partner like the Barzilai Foundation felt like a perfect match that amplified both our efforts.”