Q&A WITH BOARD MEMBER ROBERT MULLER
Robert Muller joined the WDB board in 2018 and serves on the Youth Committee.
Q: What is your profession, and how does it intersect with workforce development?
A: I am the Learning and Development Manager for PBF Energy at the Martinez Refining Company. In addition to being on the Workforce Development Board and a member of the Youth Committee, I’m also on the PTEC Advisory Board at Los Medanos College, and I run the Martinez Ambassador program for our site. Additionally, I’m involved in the recruitment, hiring, and training of crafts and production employees at our location.
Q: Why do you choose to serve on the WDBCCC?
A: Two reasons really. First, I feel it is very important that our company is represented in and supports the community in which we operate. Serving on the WDB is my small way of contributing to both. The other reason I serve on this Board is that we are doing a lot of very positive things for the residents of Contra Costa. I go to work every day to support my family; being on the WDB is one of the ways in which I help support my community.
Q: What aspects of your board service are you most passionate about?
A: Primarily, serving on the Youth Committee, along with several other Board members. The Youth Committee exists to help at-risk and low-income young adults find vocational training, further education, and ultimately a career. A lot of times it is very difficult for young people to get started in life simply because they do not know what opportunities or assistance is available. The feeling of helplessness and low self-esteem can be overwhelming. Our committee tries to rectify that wherever possible. Helping young people achieve what they never thought was possible for themselves is incredibly rewarding.
Being a member of the Youth Committee also afforded me the opportunity to be a part of the Ambassador Program. This is where we send our younger employees out in the community to speak at high schools, junior colleges, adult schools and military transition events about careers in manufacturing.
Q: How do you see the WDB assisting in Contra Costa’s economic recovery from the pandemic?
A: Doing what we do to help people get back to work. My feeling is that the need to work and have a sense of self-worth is an innate, almost primitive human instinct. People want to work in meaningful jobs to support their families and contribute to society. The WDB helps by connecting jobseekers with first-class vocational training and real employment opportunities.