Transportation Building Custodian Pacita Asuncion, who is a former client
in a kupuna employment program, was named Maui Economic Opportunity
Employee of the Month.
“I feel Pacita exhibits great teamwork because she diligently takes care of
our breakroom, restrooms and outside areas of our office,” said fellow
worker Kathryn Moniz. “Sheʻs a definite asset to our team because we can
rely on her to be here ready to go with a smile and a friendly hello.
“She is an excellent example of how we all should approach our duties.”
A mother of five and grandmother of nine, Pacita was born in Bacarra,
Ilocos Norte, the Philippines, and moved to Maui to live with her daughter
and family in August 2014. Through a friend, she learned about MEOʻs Senior
Community Service Employment Service Program and joined the program in
SCSEP was established by the federal Older American Act for income eligible
seniors, 55 years or older, who are unemployed. Priority is given to
veterans and qualified spouses and persons with disabilities and those with
limited literacy and English language proficiency and at-risk for
homelessness or who are homeless.
Participants work an average of 20 hours a week and are paid the state
minimum wage. Program training and work experience serve as a bridge to a
regular paying job.
Pacita was referred by SCSEP for the part-time position in Transportation
in October 2018. She said she enjoys working for MEO because her bosses and
co-workers are nice, compassionate, helpful and respectful and because of
the benefits and the safe working environment.
For being named Employee of the Month for April, Pacita earned a $150 check
and an extra vacation day. She was honored at MEO’s General Staff meeting May
31. Kathryn received $50 as the nominator.