#Powerofajob: WorkSource connects a veteran to a supervisory job in his field

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 Luis Torres — a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program representative at WorkSource Central Basin in Moses Lake. Luis’ job is to help disabled veterans find jobs, training opportunities and referrals to other community services — whatever it takes to serve those who served.

Here, Luis tells about how he helped a veteran whose physical limitations didn’t allow him to continue in his usual line of work.

I’m here today to talk about a veteran I worked with named Scott. He was 51 and needed a job that was no longer too physically demanding. He had worked in maintenance type jobs and needed something in a more supervisory or management role.

I helped him revise his resume, gave him job referrals and worked on his interviewing skills.

During that same time, we had a hotel being built in the area — the Fairfield Inn. Our Business Services team and our Local Veteran Employment Representative (LVER), Eileen Boylston, was working with the hotel management team. She set up some “Employer of the Day” events [where WorkSource highlights a local employer and often hosts a job fair].

At one of these events, I spoke with the hotel’s general manager. She told me she was having a hard time finding a solid maintenance manager. I let her know that I work with veterans and that veterans have really strong leadership skills. I told her I knew some veterans with maintenance backgrounds.

So she asked me to invite these veterans to a group interview she was hosting. I referred a couple of veterans, one of whom was Scott. She was very impressed with Scott and offered him a general maintenance manager position.

He accepted and helped them finish the hotel, including the walk-through inspection, and got the hotel ready to open. The general manager told me, “This guy is amazing and exactly what I was looking for! Thank you so much!”

Scott also was very happy to be given the opportunity. The job allowed him to continue doing what he knew how to do in a manner he could physically continue to do.

“Luis, I love my new job. Thank you for all your help,” Scott wrote to me in an email. Scott also mentioned that the hotel needed more staff, and we’re working with the general manager to hopefully fill more positions with veterans.

One of the things I’d like to stress and highlight is that WorkSource offers more than just job referrals. We work behind the scenes and advocate for you to ensure your success.

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#Powerofajob: Military veteran finds help and resources at WorkSource

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 Clint Hede of WorkSource Yakima. Clint’s job — and that of other veterans employment representatives at WorkSource offices around the state — is to help veterans with anything they need: a job, training, referrals to other community services and whatever it takes to serve those who served.

Here, he tells one of his many, many stories about helping a fellow veteran get back on his feet.

I cover the WorkSource South Central area, which includes Yakima, Klickitat, Kittitas and Skamania counties. I was working with Kevin Sullivan, another veterans representative, to help a Marine Corps veteran named Ryan.

Ryan had recently completed the vocational rehabilitation program through the state Department of Veterans Affairs and was looking for work, traveling across the state to job interviews.

He thought he was entitled to a couple more benefit checks through the vocational rehab program, but it turns out he didn’t get those checks. He contacted us in pretty desperate straits financially. He was facing a vacate notice on his apartment as well as shut-off notices for utilities. He was the sole provider for their family of four, so this was an urgent situation.

I contacted Kristan Johnson from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Innovation Program (VIP) and explained Ryan’s dire situation to her. She encouraged me to proceed with a VIP application and include all of his due bills. They were able to assist Ryan in covering four months of rent and his utilities to keep this family housed.

I also sent his resume off to an employer at the Yakima Training Center [part of Joint Base Lewis-McChord] who was looking for a maintenance technician. Ryan interviewed for that job and was selected for that position starting at $19.05 per hour.

Ryan said that without the help of these programs, he and his family might have become homeless. They’re now stable, looking forward to a bright future.

If you’re a veteran, spouse of a veteran or a job seeker in general, I highly encourage you to come to WorkSource and see what we have to offer. We have tons of resources on site, but we also can refer you to resources in your community. If you’re an employer and you want to hire a vet, please go to YesVets.org.

#Power of a job: WorkSource gives two job seekers advice needed to land new jobs

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 Kathryn Scott of WorkSource Thurston County. Kathryn proudly shares how she helped two people devastated by a layoff to find new jobs. She invites others to come to any WorkSource office in the state to find the same support.

Here’s Kathryn’s story:

I first met John and Jana when they came to WorkSource after being laid off. They were design associates, both working 30-plus years for this employer, and were devastated with the loss of their jobs. I assisted with a re-employment action plan to get them connected to the resources here.

They’d been out of the job hunting market for a number of years. They didn’t have resumes and hadn’t had an interview in years. I connected them with workshops here at WorkSource, and we did some one-on-one career guidance as well.

John got a job in Beaverton as an audio-visual professional. The position paid more than his previous job. As an additional benefit, John was able to relocate where his daughter and family lived. Jana got a job in Seattle. They’re both gainfully employed and pleased with the services they received here at WorkSource.

I want to share one of the excerpts from John’s letter to us. “You and your teams perform such an important service to those of us who are sometimes shell-shocked and need to discover, manage, rise up, dream again and pursue, keep trying and persevere to stay the course in their job search.”

They were both very thankful for the services they received and the connections they made here at WorkSource.

So, I encourage you to come to WorkSource to see how we can assist and connect you with resources you need to get your next job. And whether you’re unemployed, or working and looking for your next job, please come and take a look at what we can offer you wherever you’re located in the state. There’s a WorkSource office in each area of the state to assist you.

#PowerofaJob: Strategies for Success classes lift up another grateful job seeker

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 WorkSource Vancouver customer Ivette Macias. She’s one of many who rave about the Strategies for Success life-skills class series offered at most WorkSource centers around the state. Strategies for Success “unleashes the power that you know is inside you,” Ivette says.

Here’s Ivette’s story:

I started coming to WorkSource in November when I was laid off. I’d been a receptionist at a dental clinic. I knew about WorkSource because they were in the same office building where I worked previously, and I had used them in the past. I came back to WorkSource because I knew I had to lift myself up and get going.

The first person at the front desk was so positive, saying “This is a new day!” They helped me create an account [in WorkSourceWA.com] and introduced me to a facilitator.

I never had taken classes before, so I signed up for creating a resume and cover letters. But then I heard about the “Strategies for Success” series [of life-skills classes], so I enrolled.

Oh wow! I found a great, successful program and didn’t have to hassle to pay for this course. [Editor’s note: All WorkSource services are free.] Joseph [Hennessey, Strategies for Success instructor] helped unleash the person that had been sleeping in me for so many years.

I discovered myself and stepped back into finding a job. The class gave me the help I needed to find out who I am. It dealt with all those feelings of being on a roller coaster when you lose your job and the bucket that is your personal life.

I recommend these classes to anybody — not just to people who are unemployed. Everyone should have access to these resources. It’s a tremendous amount of information that everyone should have in their pockets. It’s just beautiful; it’s Pandora’s box. I really appreciated Joseph’s teaching.

Now I have not just one job offer, but two. And a company that hired me for a contract before is asking me to come back. I haven’t decided what to do, because now I would have to turn down two really great jobs.

[Strategies for Success] unleashes the power that you know is inside you. I think everyone should take this course.