Hard Work Finds the American Dream
Houssam Yousif Mariam is a refugee from Iraq who was resettled by the IRC in San Diego in March of 2009. Smart, hardworking, and goal oriented, Houssam took advantage of the many services available at the IRC and in a few short years, has become a very successful business owner.
Initially, he worked with IRC’s Employment Department to find a job in construction. However, Housam’s career goal was to start up a long-haul trucking business, a business his father had in Iraq.
To start this business, he needed to first attend a truck driver training program (approximately $3,000), and obtain a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). Houssam worked closely with IRC to enroll in a truck driving training program and he received a $2,500 loan from IRC’s Career Development to pay for the training.
After completing the training program and receiving his CDL from the DMV, Houssam had two employment options:
1) Search for a job as wage-earning truck driver, or
2) Start-up his own trucking business.
Houssam chose to start up his own business, as he felt the income potential as a business owner would be greater than that of an employee.
With his personal savings and a business loan from IRC Microenterprise Program, Houssam was purchased his first truck and trailer in January of 2011. He stated a business called Houssam R Trucking which provides long-haul trucking services across the 48 continental states. Within 2 months, Houssam hired a driver to work with him, so that they could keep the truck on the road for 22 hours a day (federal law states that a driver can drive no more than 11 hours per day, so two people can drive 22 hours per day in one truck).
After a few months, Houssam was able to save up enough money from his first truck to purchase a second truck and hire two more drivers.
As of today, Houssam has grown the business to 7 (fully-paid for) trucks and trailers, and he has hired 15 people from the community to work with him as drivers.