Get the latest information and resources on COVID-19 in North Carolina for North Carolina businesses.

NCWorks Helps Small Businesses Grow

Johanna Suarez was rapidly expanding her business in Charlotte.

As the co-founder and business developer of Reliable Restorations, a full-service restoration and construction company specializing in multifamily and senior living communities as well as hospitality projects, she urgently needed more staff.

Johanna consulted with her local NCWorks Career Center to get the help she needed. The Charlotte Works staff showed her how to post jobs on, find strong candidates, improve job descriptions, participate in job fairs, and conduct interviews.

Suarez urgently needed to hire an office assistant, so she could focus on growing her business. Through NCWorks, she found Milly Polanco, who had education in office administration but had little work experience in that field. Again, NCWorks services came in handy. Reliable Restorations used the On-the-Job Training (OJT) and Upskill incumbent worker training programs to develop Polanco as an employee. She advanced to become the company’s office manager. Meanwhile, Reliable Restorations added even more office staff with the help of NCWorks.

“As a business owner, that was priceless,” Suarez recalled. “It was just me managing many aspects of the business at the time. I wore many hats, so I didn’t have the time to get into all those details. [The NCWorks staff] educated me to give me the knowledge to make those decisions.”

“The Upskill program allowed Milly to grow as a person to help the company, but also provided me, the business owner, with resources to educate myself through classes that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford,” Suarez said. “The benefits have been tremendous. Our business has grown almost 8 percent in the past year, and we managed to keep our expenses low, partly because of opportunities we received through NCWorks to keep advancing as a company.”

To sum up her overall experience, Suarez noted, “NCWorks has been a blessing for me as a business owner.”

Pictured above: From left, Reliable Restorations co-founder and business developer Johanna Suarez and Milly Polanco, her company’s office manager, are seen here at an NCWorks Career Center in Charlotte.