#PowerofaJob: Focusing on what she can control helps student land a job

Happy Workforce Wednesday!

As partners in Washington state’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network, the Employment Security Department helps people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job.

Every week, we spotlight a different Power of a Job success story. This week, we bring you Kate Greene of WorkSource Thurston County. This instructor of Strategies for Success — a life-skills class at WorkSource — shares how she helped Jesse, a homeless mom. Kate helped Jesse move her attention away from circumstances beyond her control and focus instead on changing what she could control. The result: three interviews and a job offer!

Jesse was a Strategies for Success participant who I spent about three weeks with, off and on.

She was homeless and had been bouncing around, living at different times with her mother, sister or father. No situation was working out. She also had a four-year-old son. She was in and out of sanction* and, at one point during the class, was hospitalized. She was just struggling to figure out how to become independent and successful with her employment and as a mother.

So we worked a lot together on her roadmap to success, which is probably my favorite tool in our program. It’s basically a picture of where you are now and where you want to be. It was a great visual for her to keep adding to and working on.

But a lot of the work with her was getting her focus away from her external conditions and situations, which ultimately we can’t control. I watched her come into every class with a lot of scattered energy, responding to the chaos in her life and finger pointing to these situations being the cause of where she found herself.

Then I watched her hone in and learn what she can control. I watched her listening intently, taking it all in and continuing to design her plan. So, over the course of my short time with her, she had three job interviews and is now currently employed with Lucky Eagle Casino.

*Department of Social & Health Services clients can be sanctioned for failing to complete WorkFirst (Washington’s welfare to work program) activities without a good reason.

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#Powerofajob: WorkSource & YesVets program drive success

Happy Workforce Wednesday!

As partners in Washington’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network, the Employment Security Department helps people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job. We also work with businesses to help them find employees because we know they’re Powered by Jobs.

This week we’re sharing a Powered by Jobs story featuring Dion McNeely — a veteran who started as a driver and is now president of Commercial Driving School (CDS) in King County. The Employment Security Department honored CDS with the coveted Hire-a-Vet Award in 2016 for its support of the YesVets hiring program. Over 70 percent of the company’s employees are veterans and 53 percent have a service-connected VA Disability Rating. Here Dion shares his support for the YesVets program after our annual YesVets celebration at the state Capitol in June 2017.

The main reason the YesVets program is important to us is not only because we hire veterans and it’s nice to be recognized for that. But we also work with a lot of employers, and they’re always trying to find out how to hire veterans. When we point out there’s a program that will actually recognize them for hiring veterans, that makes it more important to them — which helps us.

It’s nice to be able to go to my partners and say not only, “I think it’s important to hire veterans,” but also, ”Here’s a whole program that says it’s good and why.”

You know how most companies have an onboarding process? It’s nice to take a service member who’s had a six- to 13-week onboarding process where someone was yelling at them every single day to ours where we’re not yelling at them and they have a really good experience. For us, it’s a real easy transition.

I mentioned it earlier, but our company has almost literally doubled in size almost every year for four years straight, based on our ability to not only hire veterans but also to work with [the veterans representatives at WorkSource who help us with job placement.] That is completely reliant on our relationship with WorkSource.

#Power of a Job: Student of life-skills class transforms herself, lands a job interview

Happy Workforce Wednesday!

As partners in Washington state’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network, the Employment Security Department helps people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job.

Every week, we spotlight a different Power of a Job success story. This week, we bring you a story from WorkSource Columbia Basin in Kennewick. Our Strategies for Success instructor, Olivia Mendoza, shares how a reluctant student became a big champion of the life-skills program and landed a job interview.

My name is Olivia Mendoza and I’m a Strategies for Success instructor at WorkSource Columbia Basin in Kennewick. I want to share a story about one of my students.

When she came to class the first time, I could tell she was very nervous. Her anxiety level was really high. She was uncomfortable just being around other students.

She was a Department of Social and Human Services (DSHS) client, and DSHS had sanctioned* her, requiring her to attend four weeks of class to have the sanction removed. As an instructor, that’s a very difficult situation. Because she had never worked and never participated in the class, DSHS had basically punished her and said “You are going to participate.”

But soon things changed. She had perfect attendance and her confidence grew. She started feeling comfortable and sharing more. At the end of four weeks, she felt the class was really valuable. So she asked DSHS for permission to attend the additional two weeks of classes that were not required.

Now, she came to class full of energy and excitement. She told us about practicing her new skills with family at home. She even handed out flyers to people outside the WorkSource office, encouraging them to take the class.

Yesterday, I received a text from her saying that she had her first job interview. It’s pretty exciting to see her growth and to think back about where she came from.

*DSHS clients can be sanctioned for failing to complete WorkFirst (Washington’s welfare to work program) activities without a good reason. 

#PowerofaJob: WorkSource has something for everybody — even if you don’t know it

(en español)

Welcome to #WorkforceWednesday! As partners in Washington State’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network, the Employment Security Department helps people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job.

Every week, we spotlight a different Power of a Job success story. This week’s story comes from Amee Gilbert, who reluctantly attended a mandatory orientation class at WorkSource Kitsap after being laid off. To her amazement, she found many valuable resources to help land her dream job quickly.

Here is her story.

I’m Amee Gilbert. Back in May, I found myself laid off from my company due to downsizing.

To receive unemployment benefits, I needed to attend an orientation. Honestly, while driving in, I dreaded the idea of the class. Years ago, I’d attended this orientation and wasn’t impressed. But I dragged myself in anyway.

Immediately, it felt different! The class went by quickly and it wasn’t just hours of basic stuff. It gave me real information. When they handed me a calendar of classes for job seekers, I found I was circling almost every one of them. My next month was filled with course offerings.

After completing a few, I thought I was ready to go. Then I took the resume and cover letter class. I thought I had a great resume, but quickly realized it needed work. While it looked fantastic — showing accomplishments, awards and education — it needed to be much more focused. Plus, I didn’t realize the way it was presented was actually hurting me. I learned a lot.

Soon after, I sent my new resume to a dream job. Within an hour, the employer scheduled a phone interview. It went well. They said they were “very impressed” and asked if I was available for an in-person meeting with the owner the following week. Right after that interview, they offered me a job. Out of 72 applicants, I was number one for the position. This made me feel really good.

Using WorkSource is such a positive and enlightening experience. Looking back, I feel ashamed I didn’t think I needed their help. In reality, they taught me a lot. Often, we think government just provides handouts to the needy. It turned out I really needed it and those classes could help anybody.

For instance, during my orientation class, one of the attendees was an emergency room physician. She said, “I want to start my own business.” Staff replied, “I’ll help you learn that!” I thought, wow! She’s a doctor and getting these services. Then I thought about it: This class is something [employers] pay for with taxes, so it’s for anyone. It’s able to help all of us.

Once I put pre-conceived notions behind me and put what I learned to use, I ended up exactly where I wanted to be: ahead of schedule and headed down the career path I wanted.

¡Bienvenidos! A #WorkForceWednesday!

WorkSource tiene algo para todos —aun cuando no lo sepa

Me llamo Amee Gilbert. En mayo, me vi sin trabajo por que la compañía redujo su tamaño.

Para recibir beneficios por desempleo, tenía que ir a una orientación. De verdad, cuando iba manejando, estaba renuente a la idea de estar en esa clase. Hace años, yo participé en esa orientación y no me impresionó. Pero, de cualquier manera, me llevé a rastras.

De inmediato, ¡lo sentí diferente! La clase pasó rápido y no eran horas de cosas básicas. Me dio información real. Cuando me dieron un calendario de los talleres de trabajo, y me encontré marcando casi todos. El mes siguiente me llené de actividades que ofrecían.

Después de completar algunos talleres de trabajo, creí que ya estaba lista para salir [a buscar trabajo]. Pensé que tenía un résumé muy bueno pero, me di cuenta rápido que necesitaba pulirlo. Aun cuando se veía muy bien, mostrando logros, premios y educación necesitaba estar mucho mas enfocado. Además, no me di cuenta que la forma en que yo me presentaba, en realidad no me estaba ayudando. ¡Aprendí mucho!

Rápido envié mi résumé para el trabajo de mis sueños. Antes de que pasara una hora, ese empleador hizo una cita para entrevista telefónica. Fue bien. Ellos dijeron que estaban “muy impresionados” y me preguntaron si tenía tiempo para una entrevista en persona con el dueño la siguiente semana. De inmediato, después de la entrevista me ofrecieron el trabajo. De entre 72 solicitantes, yo quedé en primer plano. Esto me hizo sentir muy bien.

El utilizar WorkSource fue una experiencia positiva, instructiva y práctica. Viendo hacia ataras, sentí vergüenza de pensar que no necesitaba su ayuda. En realidad, me enseñaron mucho. A menudo, pensamos que el gobierno solo proporciona dádivas a los necesitados. Resultó que en realidad si necesitaba y que esas clases podían ayudar a cualquier persona.

Por ejemplo, durante la clase de orientación, una de los participantes era una doctora de sala de emergencias. Ella dijo, “quiero comenzar mi propio negocio”. El personal contestó, “te mostraremos como hacerlo.” Pensé, ¡guau! ella es una doctora y esta recibiendo esos servicios. Luego pensé acerca de eso. Esta taller de trabajo es algo [que los empleadores] pagan con sus impuestos [de nómina], es para todos. Puede ayudarnos a todos.

Después de haber dejado las nociones mal concebidas y haber puesto en uso lo que aprendí, terminé exactamente donde quería estar: antes de lo previsto y en el sendero caminando en el campo que quería.

#Powered by Jobs: WorkSource Whatcom solves company’s struggle to find drivers.

(en español)

Welcome to #WorkforceWednesday! As partners in Washington State’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network, the Employment Security Department helps people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job.

Every week, we spotlight a different Power of a Job success story. This week, we bring you a story from business side. WorkSource understands that businesses — rather than feeling the Power of a Job — are Powered by Jobs when they find and keep the skilled workers they need to thrive. That’s why WorkSource supports businesses with job fairs, hiring events, online recruitment tools, labor market data, worker training, and even help avoiding layoffs.

This Powered by Jobs story comes from WorkSource Whatcom County, where a company was struggling to fill open positions.

“My name is Lacey Greene and I’m a human resource manager for Bellair Charters and Airporters in Bellingham, Wash. My experience with WorkSource is connected to the nationwide driver shortage. I had no idea where to turn for help.

Our company struggles to find drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and I needed help. I’d used employment agencies in the past, but they always seem to have a hidden agenda. I wanted to avoid that.

My thoughts turned to Bill Adamek, our local representative from WorkSource Whatcom County. I knew he had resources and no hidden agenda, because he never does. When I spoke with Bill, he was able to genuinely give me some resources and suggestions. The one that worked was to connect with the YesVets team, and he put me in touch with someone in the program.

I learned how a veteran could use the GI Bill to get a CDL and be qualified to fill my open positions. We worked out a meeting to get this process going.
It has worked great. Because so many military members drive vehicles while serving, there were many ideal candidates. Helping these veterans get CDL training and the opportunity of a job when they finished, worked great. It fits for them.”
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Editor’s note: Bellair Charter and Airporters was honored in June 2017 by Rep. Gina McCabe from Yakima, by the Washington Department of Veteran Affairs and by the Employment Security Department at the Hire-a-Vet Awards and the YesVets Program. YesVets provides public recognition to employers who actively commit to, recruit for and hire veterans.

 

¡Bienvenidos! A #WorkForceWednesday!

Esta narración del Poder de la Fuerza Laboral proviene del centro de trabajo de WorkSource Whatcom, donde una compañía tenía dificultades para encontrar candidatos para sus puestos.

Me llamo Lacey Greene, y soy la gerente de recursos humanos de Bellair Chartes y Airporters en Bellingham, Wash. Mi experiencia con WorkSource se inició por la escases de choferes. No tenía idea a donde recurrir para ayuda.

Nuestra compañía tenía dificultades para encontrar choferes con licencia de manejo comercial (CDL), y necesitábamos ayuda. En el pasado utilice agencias de empleo temporal, pero parece que ellos siempre tienen un motivo ulterior oculto. Quise evitar eso.

Pensé en Bill Adamek, del centro local de trabajo WorkSource Whatcom. Sé que él sí tenía los recursos para encontrar trabajadores pero, sin motivos escondidos, ya que él nunca los ha tenido. Cuando hablé con Bill, en verdad pudo darme algunos recursos y suegerencias. La que funcionó para nosotros fue el conectarme con el equipo de YesVets, y el contacto con alguien de ese programa.

Aprendí cómo los veteranos pueden usar el GI Bill [becas para veteranos] para obtener una licencia CDL y cumplir con los requisitos para mis puestos de trabajo. Establecimos una junta para comenzar ese proceso.

Eso ha funcionado muy bien. Muchos de los miembros de las Fuerzas Armadas manejan vehículos cuando están en servicio activo, siendo ellos los candidatos ideales. El ayudar a esos veteranos a obtener el entrenamiento para la CDL y la oportunidad de contratarlos cuando terminan, funcionó muy bien. A ellos les gustó mucho.

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Nota: En Junio, 2017, Bellair Charter y Airportes recibió reconocimiento de Hire-a-Vet y YesVets por parte de la Rep. Gina McCabae de Yakima, el Departamento de Asuntos para Veteranos y el Departamento para la Seguridad del Empleo. YesVets otorga reconocimientos a los empleadores que activamente se comprometan a reclutar y contratar veteranos.