It’s Their Job: Mary Diaz-Rodriguez

By Blake Downs: PNT Correspondent

Job: Family Assistance Analyst at the Income Support Division of the New Mexico Human Services Department.

Background: Diaz-Rodriguez is a Portales High School graduate and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work with an emphasis in psychology and a major in Spanish.

Time on the job: Four years

What does your job entail? I complete a number of jobs, which include providing assistance for low-income families, issuing food stamps and children’s and family Medicaid. This also involves working with TANF, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. There are many other programs, but they are too numerous to list. We are also now preparing for the Peanut Valley Festival, where we will have a booth with more information for those who are interested in our services.

What is a typical day on the job like for you? I don’t really have a set scheduled day. My day includes scheduled appointments, walk-ins and answering telephones among other things. We try to provide the best customer service possible. Anyone can walk in from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For trainings, though, we have to know ahead of time to prepare our clients.

Why did you choose this job? I have always loved to assist people. When I was a child, I was always playing school as the teacher. I love working with the public and helping them better themselves.

What type of training, if any, do you need for your job? It depends on when the trainings are. We go to different training sites, such as Roswell, for different programs. It’s usually easier when they are back-to-back. We are learning new things every day, however. For this job, you really have to like working with people.

What do you enjoy most about your job? The greatest satisfaction for me is assisting clients and making sure I am available to them.