When Ricardo Rocha was a teenager growing up in Mexico, he had a recurring dream. He dreamt that he had his own business and that he spoke a foreign language.
Years later, Ricardo immigrated to California and worked in many jobs, such as picking berries, construction, and landscaping. But his teenage dream stuck with him, and he knew he wanted to do something more with his life. He enrolled in night classes at Cabrillo College while he continued to work in the fields. It was there that he fell in love with computers.
Having found his passion, Ricardo decided to pursue a career in IT. He began selling computers and offering basic tech services from a small office in downtown Watsonville. But his business knowledge was limited, and he ran into a lot of barriers. Then he found El Pajaro CDC‘s Business Incubator Program at Plaza Vigil, where he opened RVS Technology Group‘s first retail space. They also provided him with business coaching and technical assistance.
We were very blessed when we ran into El Pajaro CDC because they have the foundations for basically anybody who wants to start a business. They give you a basic understanding of finances, they teach you how to read a profit & loss statement, a balance sheet, and what it means.
Another challenge Ricardo faced was funding. Whether it was his language limitations or lack of a credit history, banks refused to give him a second look. But with the help of El Pajaro, Ricardo was able to secure a loan through the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union.
Today, RVS Technology Group employs 12 full-time staff and operates with a payroll of over $30,000. And Ricardo did more than succeed in his business – he created an entire industry that was previously nonexistent in Watsonville.
Ricardo’s determination and unwillingness to give up in the face of adversity put him where he is today. But he also knows he couldn’t have done it without support from his community, so he does his best to give back. RVS employs young local people who are just starting their careers in tech, providing them with good-paying jobs, highly sought-after skills, and growth opportunities.
It’s great to see these kids going forward and succeeding in life. We’re happy to be a little bit of a bridge, a light in their path. That’s one of the most rewarding things that we’ve seen in the company.