Faces Behind the County: Jessica Candia
Jessica Candia, Human Resource Specialist at Boone County, brings together skills and experience in the HR world along with a passion to help the Spanish-speaking community. Not only does she do important work for our employees, but she also provides an invaluable service to many of our Spanish-speaking residents: translation services.
Get to know Jessica with her answers below!
How do you describe your job (and responsibilities) to family and friends?
I handle and administer the County employees’ Workers Compensation & FMLA Claims. I budget, process and verify tuition reimbursements, and handle all HR department’s purchase orders.
I also translate as needed for Assisted Housing, Finance, Occupational License and Judge/Executive Moore.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
Being part of a County that has progressed tremendously in the 20 years I’ve lived here.
You also provide an important service – translation for our Spanish-speaking residents. Why is that an important resource for our residents?
It is extremely important for our Latino residents to feel comfortable in the community they live in. Providing this service gives them the opportunity to clearly understand what services and resources are available to them.
What are your goals with translation services in the County?
I would love for all services provided by the County in English to be available in Spanish as well, so that a language barrier isn’t the reason for miscommunication or misinformation.
I’ve been fortunate to see you come into a conversation where we were struggling to communicate with a Spanish-speaking couple. There was a very clear shift once you arrived. You could feel everyone just take a deep breath and relax. What’s it like to be able to shift the tone (and often the outcome) of a conversation for our residents?
Thank you for that. I want to be able to make them as comfortable as possible, gain trust and make them feel a sense of security when they come to our facilities without any hesitation. Moving to another state is not easy; imagine moving to another Country and not speaking the language or understanding the laws, procedures, or requirements of different entities.
How else are you involved in the community – outside of work?
With the support & guidance of my HR Director, Lori Zombek, I’ve been able to collaborate with F.I.E.S.T.A., the first Latino Community Center that helps with resources, support, and services for our Spanish-speaking residents.
What are some of your favorite things to do in your spare time?
I enjoy spending time with my family and playing volleyball.