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Meet Francisco Gomez: entrepreneur and successful small business owner 

November 4, 2021

Francisco Gomez, entrepreneur and successful small business owner
Francisco Gomez

What does it take to launch a successful small business during a pandemic? For Francisco Gomez, it required hard work, careful planning, and the application of practical skills acquired through the Workforce Program. We caught up with this busy entrepreneur to learn about his journey, over eight years in the United States, and his plans to grow F.G. Window Cleaning.

A Q&A with Francisco Gomez:

Tell me about yourself. 

My name is Francisco Gomez and I am from Guatemala. I have lived in Marin County for the past eight years. When I first came to the United States, I lived with my brother; he adopted me like I was his son. The climate is very similar to where I’m from. This is a beautiful place to live and there’s plenty of work in the area. 

How did you first hear of Canal Alliance?  

When I first came to the United States, I had trouble with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and my brother helped me with my case. He knew of Canal Alliance and was able to connect me with their Legal Services team, and with a team of lawyers who were able to help my situation.  

Tell me about your experience with the Workforce Program.  

I saw information on Canal Alliance’s social media so I signed up in the Fall of 2019. I knew very little about construction, so I had nothing to lose, and everything to gain. I learned so much from this class. The professor was very knowledgeable. I’m very lucky to have gone through this program, it was a great learning experience. 

What were you doing before joining the construction course? 

I was working multiple jobs, doing whatever I could to make money. I worked in restaurants and made deliveries for a party rental company. Eventually, I started working in construction doing various little jobs and tasks. I was doing it all, but I didn’t have the technical training until I joined the Workforce Construction program. That’s where I learned how to properly use different tools. I learned about safety management, construction techniques, and how to use new machinery.  

What was the impact of the pandemic on your work? 

At first, I was working less hours and then I was completely out of a job. I had to apply for unemployment, however that wasn’t enough. I quickly began looking for new jobs, anything that would help pay the bills. I was lucky to find a good construction job in San Francisco, but in December 2020, my boss let everyone on the team go because of the pandemic. 

How did you decide to start your own business? 

After the construction course, I took “Construyendo mi Negocio” a small business course at Canal Alliance. I began to think more and more about how I wanted to be my own boss. I walked away from the class knowing the skills and business plans needed to launch a company.  

I am happy to say that in February 2021 I started my own business: F.G. Window Cleaning. Because of my experience in construction and many other handyman-type jobs, I felt that this was the best choice for me. When I started, I took little jobs here and there just to get my foot in the door. Now, my business has grown slowly but surely. Now I even have my own website and social media channels

What are your goals? 

At the moment, I have one goal and that is to grow my business. I want to grow my business so that I can employ other people and have them make a living wage.  

Read more posts in: Client Story, Workforce Development

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