#Power of a job: Homeless veteran discovers WorkSource isn’t only about finding 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 Seth Maier, who helps connect veterans to jobs, training and other services at WorkSource Spokane.

For veterans or anyone, WorkSource Spokane isn’t only about finding a job, Seth says. Through his story about helping one homeless veteran, Seth shows how WorkSource can help people overcome barriers preventing them from achieving what they want in life.

Here is Seth’s story.
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I want to share a story today about a homeless female veteran who I worked with recently. She moved from the East coast to the Spokane region due to health conditions. She was homeless for about three years and had gotten herself to Spokane hitching rides. It wasn’t a very safe situation.

She had experienced a lot of trauma in her life – both during and after the military. By the time she got to me, she had a lot of trust issues. It took us a few meetings for me to get a clear understanding of what she needed.

She really wasn’t employable when we first started because of her issues, but she had connected with the Veterans Administration (VA) while on the East Coast. Unfortunately, she had kind of given up on the system because there’s a lot of roadblocks and barriers working with the VA, and she’d lost trust. Unbeknownst to her, the system was working for her, but because of her homelessness, the VA couldn’t contact her.

The VA did award her a pension, and though she didn’t have a bank account for the VA to deposit it, the money accumulated. When we reconnected her with the VA system, I got her to trust in it again, and the VA was able to find her and award her the funds.

The money immediately got her out of her homeless situation. She’s in a better spot now and she’s getting access to care through the VA system. She may even find herself employment-ready in the future. For right now, she’s connected to services that she’s already earned through her honorable service.

I wanted to share this story because I really want veterans to know that coming to WorkSource isn’t always about employment. Whatever you’re facing – maybe you have significant struggles in your life and you’re not sure what resources are in your community. Veteran representatives at WorkSource are familiar with all the community resources. It doesn’t matter what barrier you have; we likely have the solution. We’ve got partners in the community so we can introduce you to other helpful specialists and make sure you’re getting treated with respect and dignity.

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#Power of a job: WorkSource helps veteran and wife find the right fit

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 Brandon Harting, who helps connect veterans to jobs, training and other services at WorkSource Colville, serving Stevens, Lincoln, Ferry and Pend Orelle counties.

Brandon shares how he and his co-workers at WorkSource Colville helped both a veteran and his spouse successfully find the right jobs for their needs.

My name is Brandon Harting and I am the consolidated veteran services representative at WorkSource Colville.

I want to talk about a veteran and his spouse who we helped find jobs. They not only found jobs, but found the right jobs for them.

This story starts with a veteran who was a combat medic in the military. After he separated from service, he wanted to move on from a medic-focused profession. His dream was to work in a mechanical field, where he could work with his hands – in maintenance or in plumbing.

I helped identify some barriers he might have and we worked through some strategies for him to market himself better. I connected him with a local employer and helped him set up a job interview. This veteran had a job where he was making minimum wage or maybe a little over minimum wage, with no benefits, and was able to springboard to a job that pays him great wages for the area, with full benefits.

He was so happy with WorkSource that he told his wife about us and what we could do for her. So, she came into the office and I introduced her to one of my colleagues, with whom she built a great relationship. My co-worker helped her with resume skills and interview skills, and then helped her apply for and get a job with the county. Now this veteran’s spouse also has higher wages than she had before, with full benefits.

At WorkSource, not only can we help veterans and their spouses find jobs, but we can help find the right jobs for them. We help all job seekers – and we really enjoy it!

Power of a job: Cross-county collaboration helps a veteran relocate and 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 Luis Torres and Clint Hede, who both help connect veterans to jobs, training and other services. Luis is a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program case manager for WorkSource Central Basin, which covers Grant and Adams counties. Clint is a Local Veterans Employment Representative for WorkSource offices in Yakima, Klickitat, Kittitas and Skamania counties.

Here’s a story about how they collaborated across counties to help a veteran find a job and relocate so that she could accept the job.

Luis: So, today we’re here to talk about Bobbi. She’s an Army veteran who was referred to me through the vocational rehabilitation and employment program that’s run through the Veterans Administration. Bobbi was getting ready to finish up an internship in information technology (IT) and needed help finding stable employment after her internship ended.

We helped revise her resume and started providing referrals to jobs and service agencies for veterans. We also helped enroll her in the Hilton Honors Program, which gives 100,000 hotel points to veterans to use for anything job related. So, when they need to travel for job interviews and things like that, they can use the points instead of their own income.

We were having a tough time finding her a job when I saw an email from Clint, saying that he had a good job for anybody interested in IT work.

Clint: I had heard about an opening for an IT professional at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. I sent out the notice to WorkSource offices regionally because I didn’t have anyone for the position locally. Luis responded rapidly with Bobbi’s resume, which I sent to the hiring authority, and they were very interested. They interviewed Bobbi, liked her and hired her.

Luis: After Bobbi was offered the job, we had a problem: She lived in Soap Lake and the job was located in Prosser — definitely not a commutable distance. She already had finished her internship; she had no income and was living in a travel trailer. She also had therapy horses that we had to consider when helping her relocate.

We reached out to the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs about a program called the Veterans Innovation Program, or VIP. Bobbi was awarded $2,000 to help her relocate. We helped her find a rental where she could have her horses. She moved to the Yakima area, started work and has been very happy in her new federal job.

In closing, WorkSource has a huge network of veterans employment representatives throughout the state, and we use each other. We’re able to connect veterans to different opportunities that they might not normally know about.

Clint: And if you’re an employer looking to hire a veteran, we highly encourage you to participate in Washington state’s YesVets program. Go to YesVets.org.

#Powerofajob: Down to his few last dollars, hope is found through 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 William Smith, who was down to his last couple of dollars when he used the power of WorkSource to land a great job at a Hospitality-industry hiring event.

Here is William’s story:

I came to Tacoma from Las Vegas five or six weeks ago for a work assignment, collecting data for a subcontractor at the nearby military base. It was six-month job, but I found out there were only five weeks left – and it would be September before they would need me again. With only three dollars and fifty cents left to my name, I woke up this morning thinking, “I really need to find a job.”

A friend said WorkSource was a good place to find a job, so I used two dollars and took the bus planning to visit WorkSource Pierce. I asked a person on the bus if he was familiar with downtown and if he knew where to find a job. He said “Try WorkSource,” which was the second time I had heard it that day. After that, he told me which stop to take and gave me directions to the center.

After walking halfway up the hill to the center, I encountered two women. I asked if they knew how to get to WorkSource or if anyone was hiring. They did not know of any jobs, but handed me a flyer from WorkSource they had just received about the job fair at a hotel nearby.

I tried to decide if I should go. I knew I was not dressed for a job fair, but figured I would either get a job or be in the same position as now. The least I could do is try.

At the job fair, I spent five minutes filling out an application and then a staff member walked me across the hall where interviews were taking place. As she took me to a table, she asked me what type of work I am looking for. I told her I am good with my hands and she found a company to interview with right away.

Today, that company hired me to service linen for them. It is a union job, forty plus hours per week and a good starting pay. I start on Monday and I get to work with my hands.

None of this could have been possible without WorkSource. I tell you the honest to God truth. The work they do at WorkSource is a true blessing, because I feel they were really looking over me today. I really do.