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.