#Powerofajob: Truck driver finds road to a great new career

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.

Every week, we spotlight a different Power of a Job success story. This week, we bring you Shelby Meyenburg, an AmeriCorps technology and resource navigator at WorkSource Thurston. Here Shelby shares how he and the WorkSource team helped an unemployed truck driver on the road to a great new job!

My client is a skilled truck driver in search of a new job. While he had all the skills and abilities to be a truck driver, he told me he really wanted a job where he could spend more time with his wife and grandchild.

So we took a look at other job types, and he saw a position at the mattress company where his daughter works. He expressed interest in a sales representative position there. As he talked about it more, he got kind of a twinkle in his eye, so I persuaded him to apply and see where it would take him.

The WorkSource team worked to get his resume ready, practiced with mock-interviews and prepped him until he was ready to go.

We didn’t hear from him for a couple of weeks. Then one day, I came back from lunch and saw him in the main lobby of WorkSource. I asked how he was doing and if he worked for the mattress company.

Come to find out, he’s more than working; he’s successful! The mattress company had recently had a big sale, and he was the number-one salesperson! I’m impressed, but more importantly, his employer is really impressed. Everything looks really good for him.

I love my role as a technology navigator with AmeriCorps! I answer all kinds of questions from how to attach resumes to emails to how to use the computer to land a dream job. This is just a small example of what WorkSource offers to anyone who comes in the door—whether you’re unemployed or looking to start a new career.

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#Powerofajob: Award winning culinary teacher’s career path helps “keep it real”

Happy Workforce Wednesday and Happy Hospitality Month!

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.

This week’s Power of a Job story features Kahale Ahina — the lead culinary arts instructor at Bonney Lake High School in Bonney Lake, Wash., and Washington’s 2018 ProStart Educator of Year. His passion is giving his students a robust introduction to the hospitality and food services industries.

Here’s his story:

My hospitality career started when I was a junior in high school and I landed a job delivering pizza. It wasn’t easy back then; we actually had to use maps in a book! After high school, I was introduced to event catering, and that was absolutely fun. I really enjoyed this job and did it off and on throughout college and during holidays.

After finishing school, I was one of the first staff hired at a fast/casual restaurant. Here, I worked in the front of the house (not in the kitchen) and stayed there for a year and a half. Next, I returned full time to the catering company, but this time worked in the back of the house (in the kitchen).

I didn’t really know how to cook on a large scale, but the chefs I worked with were great. They took time to teach me. I enjoyed learning from these people. It was a great experience; they turned on the light bulb for me.

That’s when I decided to become a high school instructor. It offered me the flexibility I needed for my family and fit my schedule well.

Now I teach a ProStart curriculum at Bonney Lake High School. It’s a series of three classes that builds on what we learn in each class. We do a lot of catering and we work in kitchens at local restaurants, where my students get authentic industry experiences. We also try to participate in as many competitions as we can find. I try to keep it exciting for the students and keep the learning real.

Did you know May is Hospitality Month? I encourage you to check out www.WAHospitalityCareers.com to learn more about the industry. My students investigate careers there, and I refer them to the site often.

#PoweredByJobs: Generation after generation, the hospitality industry promotes the American dream

Happy Workforce Wednesday and Happy Hospitality Month!

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.

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 Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association. The Hospitality Association and WorkSource are partnering to connect workers with jobs in the industry.

If you’re thinking about starting a career in the hospitality field, take a minute to hear how Anthony and his family used the hospitality industry to achieve their American dream!

Welcome to Hospitality Month. I so love my job as CEO of the Hospitality Association because it’s rooted in who I am.

My grandfathers both came from Greece to this country on boats and with next to nothing. One got his very first job in a hotel, working as a dishwasher. The other worked railroads until he ended up at the end of the line in Orting, Wash. and he opened up a little café.

Those two things let them launch careers, raise my parents. They lived the American dream through hospitality. While that’s my grandfather’s story, the cool thing about hospitality is it still does it today.

I’m constantly talking to people like the owner of a Vietnamese restaurant chain in the Seattle area. Her mother’s story when she came to this country is almost the exact same story as my grandfather’s. Opposite parts of the world, same dream, same opportunity, same success. I hear it all the time, whether I’m talking to the Korean American Hotel Owners Association or somebody trying a new Syrian restaurant concept, coming to this country with a passion for Mediterranean food. These opportunities just keep on coming.

So many times I’ve heard people in the industry — general managers or owners — who got their start in hospitality, and now have their dream job and give back to their community.

One of the wonderful things about our industry is we have a tree, where people start from dishwasher and move to line cook and then to sous-chef, and maybe they work for three or four different places. Or they start at the front desk and move to assistant manager from one hotel to another. This tree just keeps growing and growing and growing, and the next thing you know, they’re an assistant manager. Then they move all the way up to general manager and earn more than $100,000 a year!

So many people move from the starting line to $50,000 and beyond, and really start establishing their families and their dreams in hospitality.

If you’d like to learn more about these opportunities, please go to WAHospitalityCareers.com and look us up. Check out our stuff this month as we celebrate Washington Hospitality Month. Thank you!

#Powerofajob: Hospitality industry veteran highlights his path from entry-level to executive team

Happy Workforce Wednesday and Happy Hospitality Month!

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.

This week’s Power of a Job story features Chad Pearson. Chad now works for the Employment Security Department after 20 years in the hospitality industry. Starting as a dishwasher and promoting all the way to director of sales and marketing, Chad’s career illustrates why the hospitality industry offers so many opportunities for so many people.

Here’s Chad’s story:

My first job at age 16 was at John’s Breakfast, Burgers and Pies as a dishwasher. Now, it doesn’t seem like much, but it gave me a taste for the industry that I would stick with for many years.

When I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to be part of it. I went to Washington State University and studied hotel and restaurant administration. I worked as a catering houseman and then as a night auditor for experience.

When I graduated, I worked as a desk clerk at an airport hotel, where I was also a bellman and a shuttle van driver. Soon, I was promoted to desk supervisor and held that role for the next couple of years. I moved up again and became the operations manager before I found my true calling in sales.

The next year, I was promoted to the sales office as an account manager, selling convention and meeting room space to different conference groups. My job was to fill the hotel and add revenue. It also allowed me to continue my love of working with people, getting to know them and their businesses.

I worked for a large hotel chain with many locations across the country. So, in my late 20s, I chose to move to Los Angeles to be a revenue manager. I set prices and strategies for the hotels in the area. It was a great introduction to the business side of the industry. After a year and a half, I realized I missed sales. I moved back into sales for the same hotel chain. I traveled to the East Coast four times a year to meet with customers and even took a group to Aruba.

Soon, a new opportunity with the same company came up in Long Beach, Calif. This large convention-based hotel taught me about conventions and events. Within a couple of years, I promoted to sales leader and eventually, director of sales and marketing. All of these 10-plus jobs were for the same organization!

In Long Beach, I was a member of the hotel’s executive leadership team and learned how to work with owners and other leaders. My career had spanned from catering houseman all the way to director of sales and marketing for one company!

After a while, the great Northwest called me back, and I became director of sales and marketing for a vacation resort in Olympia: another new learning experience for me.

Because of my background, another opportunity presented itself. I became the marketing and outreach manager for the SharedWork Program at Employment Security. My skills from hospitality transferred well to this job, where I needed to reach different audiences, present to groups and tell them about this business friendly program.

From dishwasher to director of sales and marketing to communications: I’ve had a long and fulfilling career. I encourage you to go to WAHospitalityCareers.com or WorkSourceWA.com and click on the Spotlights tab to view the great reasons to join the hospitality industry.

I look forward to seeing you grow in hospitality.

#PoweredbyJobs: Washington celebrates second annual Hospitality Month

Happy Workforce Wednesday and Happy Hospitality Month!

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.

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 Sandra Miller, workforce development manager for the Washington Hospitality Association’s Education Foundation. The Hospitality Association and WorkSource are partnering to connect workers with jobs in the industry.

If you’re looking for work or want to change careers, Sandra is talking to you!

Here’s Sandra:

I want to talk to you today about Hospitality Month. The month of May, 2018, was proclaimed by the Governor to be Hospitality Month, where we get to celebrate all the wonderful career opportunities there are in hospitality.

The Association has 6,500 members that are ready to welcome you into their establishments in entry-level positions, mid-level positions and senior-management positions. We want you and we need you!

It’s great opportunity, and part of that opportunity is a partnership that we have with the Employment Security Department and the WorkSource offices around the state.

Those WorkSource offices and their business representatives are crucial in the work that we do to connect employers to the available workforce.

The other thing that we’ve been able to do, that we’re quite proud of, is wahospitalitycareers.com. That’s a website spotlighted within WorkSourceWA.com specifically for hospitality.

It can connect you into jobs. It can connect you into training opportunities. And, it can connect you into career pathways in our industry.