#Powerofajob: WorkSource helps a developer reboot his career

It’s Workforce Wednesday, when we spotlight Power of a Job success stories. This week, we bring you Wendell Macrae. With guidance from WorkSource staff, Wendell enrolled in several training programs that gave him the skills and confidence to pursue opportunities for new types of technology-related jobs.

My name is Wendell Macrae. In the summer of last year I got a call to come into WorkSource Vancouver. I was a little afraid at first since I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it actually went a lot better than I had thought. I had been unemployed for about six months and nothing was really happening. I wasn’t getting interviews and it was really tough to just keep at it. I was getting pretty discouraged.

Because I had worked in a technical field before, I was trying to get back into being a software developer, and I just wasn’t having much luck. The staff at WorkSource told me about the ReBoot Northwest program – that there was funding for training. That really gave my spirits a boost. Plus, I took a lot of [WorkSource] classes, which helped. I was in a rut. The classes helped get me out of that.

Strategies for Success
But then Joseph came into one of the classes and talked about Strategies for Success. I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend so much time. But what really got to me was that Joseph shared his personal story about how he’d gone through a period of unemployment, the trials and tribulations he went through and the toll it took on him. It resonated with me immediately and I thought: “I have to get in that class!” I saw Joseph as someone I could really interact and identify with.

ReBoot Northwest
That was in August. As a result, I went through ReBoot Northwest, where they told me about a new online program at Clark College called the mechatronics program. I went to some of the introductory seminars and got really excited about it, so I enrolled in the fall quarter. I made it through and now I’m enrolled in the winter quarter. I’ll get a certificate at the end, and the state is paying for it. I got a scholarship.

New perspective
I’ve really come a long way from when I first got here. And the thing about Strategies for Success – it really gave me a lot of perspective on things. It got me out of my comfort zone and made me think about things I haven’t thought about before. It gave me an enormous amount of tools, so when I complete this [mechatronics] program, I know I’ll be in a lot better shape to get a job I want.


The ReBoot Northwest program pairs motivated participants with personal career coaches who help prepare and connect them with high-wage and high-growth careers in technology and manufacturing. For more information go to rebootnw.org.

Strategies for Success is series of life and job skills classes on topics like work concepts, communications, finances and more. Sign up for these free classes at your local WorkSource office.

As a partner 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, which are Powered by Jobs, to help them find employees.

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#Powerofajob: Veteran’s new confidence equals a new job

Welcome to Workforce Wednesday, when we spotlight stories about connecting people to jobs and supporting them with unemployment benefits while they look for work.

This week, meet Richard Doyle, a job seeker who found help and inspiration at WorkSource North Seattle. He credits WorkSource with teaching him how to effectively search for jobs, write a resume and knock an interview out of the park!

Richard also speaks highly of the popular Strategies for Success life-skills class, offered at many WorkSource offices around the state.

Here is Richard’s story:

I recently got a job at Transdev, the company is called. They’re located in Kent and they’re subcontractors to King County, providing access buses. So I’ll be an access bus driver, picking up different customers. Most of the customers that we deal with are developmentally disabled, handicapped, hearing impaired or elderly. It’s like a dream job to me because I love working with the handicapped. I love working with the disadvantaged. I love working with the elderly.

I had assistance from my family and from other sources, so I was able to come to WorkSource and go to the classes that I needed to help me with my resume and interviewing skills, which helped me pursuing jobs — how to pursue jobs and how to navigate through the WorkSource website.

One of the classes I took was Strategies for Success, which really helped me to look inside myself. It drew my strength out. It drew my abilities out — ones that I didn’t really know I had, because I’ve been such an invert [sic] most of my life because of being teased growing up, because I couldn’t talk right.

So, I feel more energetic, now. I feel more outgoing because of these classes. I highly recommend Strategies for Success. Sarah, who teaches the class, helped me to do all that stuff I just mentioned. She helped me to be more confident in my abilities.

When I went to the interview for this job I have now, I knocked it out of the park! I did a very good job, and the human resource person was very impressed. She said, “Very nice job.”

So, I found my dream job. I’m happy, and whoever is unemployed right now: I recommend WorkSource. You’ve got to come out to WorkSource. They’ll help you tremendously.

And also I want to give a shout out to the veterans representative, Cliff. He helped me navigate through the WorkSource website and gave me the classes I would need to attend. He’s the one that told me about Strategies for Success. He’s the one that told me about the resume classes, how to do applications, and classes for interviewing. So thank you very much, Cliff.

I’m very happy now. Tomorrow I start driving with a cadet, so I’m going to be doing his route while he sits and observes me. He’ll see how my driving skills are, how my interactions are with the customers and how I secure a wheelchair once I get the wheelchair in. So I’m happy, and if I did this on my own, I’d still be looking for work. So — go to WorkSource!

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

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Commissioner Conversation: Youth apprenticeship momentum gains and everyone benefits

Viewpoint from Employment Security Commissioner Suzi LeVine.

Periodically we’ll feature posts directly from the Employment Security Department’s Commissioner Suzi LeVine. As we join the nation in celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, we’re excited to share her views with you!

Suzi-Eric @ AJAC

Commissioner Suzi LeVine and her husband, Eric, chat with Ardine Williams, VP of People for Amazon, about apprenticeships at the Career Connect Washington strategic plan launch on Oct. 25.

As many know, my husband, Eric, and I are, perhaps, the biggest advocates for youth apprenticeship in the whole world. We saw a profound system in Switzerland and have been doing everything we can to learn from and bring aspects of it here to the United States. We believe that it’s both essential to how we prepare our citizens for the future of work AND key to helping our businesses continue to grow and lead. Our efforts began in 2014 and are still going strong today.

That’s why recent events have been so important in terms of enabling the Apprenticeship Renaissance we’ve been working so hard to catalyze. Three events in three different locations last month really put some jet fuel in the system:

VPET in San Francisco

Wednesday, Oct. 24:  Since 2013, the City of Winterthur-Zurich has hosted the International Congress on Vocational and Professional Education and Training (VPET) where leaders from more than 80 nations gather to discuss “the global impact of vocational and professional education and training.” Recently the Swiss team that runs this global conference organized a mini-summit at which Eric and I keynoted and then moderated panels with employers, apprentices, intermediaries, workforce organizations and more. This was a great way to engage the tech community more deeply in the conversation of diversifying and expanding apprenticeship to an area of deep talent need.

Strategic Plan for Career Connect Washington

Gov Inslee CCW

Governor Jay Inslee speaks at the news conference where the Career Connect Washington strategic plan was delivered.

Thursday, Oct. 25: The Career Connect Washington team officially delivered its Strategic Plan to Governor Inslee, detailing the plan for how we might have an effective statewide youth apprenticeship system here in Washington State. Organizations such as Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft, Kaiser Permanente, Avista, our Community Colleges, SEH America, AFL-CIO, SEIU and government and academic dignitaries such as Superintendent Chris Reykal, Senator Lisa Wellman, and Governor Inslee spoke up advocating for this system!

Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA)

Friday, Oct. 26: New America Foundation launched PAYA  and Washington’s own Lynn Strickland, Executive Director of Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) presented her work – alongside many other leaders in youth “earn-and-learn” systems across America.

The American dream

For us to get multiple braided pathways going, we will need to catalyze movement on apprenticeship all across the United States. Again – these recent events –and many others–including the National Apprenticeship Week event in Everett last week–have been instrumental to catapulting us forward.

NAW 2018

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) ambassadors and I enjoyed the NAW celebration in Everett on Nov. 8

When, not if, we are successful, we will re-ignite the paths to success and the American Dream for more Americans than ever before!

Happy Apprenticeship Week!

IMG_0272

Check it out! The state’s job match website, WorkSourceWA.com, now supports Registered Apprenticeship in Washington.  We’ve launched a resource page, ApprenticeshipWA.com, this fall where job seekers and employers can take the first steps to join the apprenticeship momentum.

As a partner 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.

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#Powerofajob: WorkSource Whidbey brings a job seeker full circle!

Welcome to Workforce Wednesday, where we spotlight success stories from WorkSource offices across the state.

This week, we feature a back-to-work story from WorkSource Whidbey in Oak Harbor. After a rocky time in California, Eric Drommer returned to Washington and used WorkSource resources to get a stable job at Signs Plus. Coming full circle, Eric later found himself installing signs at…WorkSource Whidbey!

Here’s Eric’s testimonial:

I left an unsafe, unsatisfactory job in California and came back home to Washington with no job and almost no savings. Through the WorkSource (WorkSourceWA.com) website, I was able to build and post a new resume that landed me a great job at Signs Plus.

I even ended up coming back and installing some signs for WorkSource! I highly recommend WorkSource and am thankful they were here and able to provide services for me.

Read another “full circle” story — from WorkSource to a job that leads back to WorkSource — on this Employment Security blog.

As a partner 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, which are Powered by Jobs, to help them find employees.

To leave a comment, select the comment bubble icon next to the title of this post.

Teamwork: Three WorkSource staff connect a veteran to housing, food and finally – a job

It’s Workforce Wednesday, when we spotlight Power of a Job success stories.

This week, three WorkSource staff demonstrate the value of collaboration. WorkSource is a partnership of state, local and non-profit agencies that work together — often in the same buildings — to deliver employment and training services to Washington businesses and job seekers. Debi Keyser, Jarred Rendon and Luis Torres all work at WorkSource Central Basin in Moses Lake. They relied on each other to help a customer find temporary housing and food for his family. They then assessed his skills and connected him to a great job.

In this story, but not in all, the customer is a military veteran. WorkSource places about 10,000 veterans into jobs each year.

Debi: Hi, I’m Debi Keyser with WorkSource Central Basin here in Moses Lake, Washington. I’m a WorkFirst [Washington’s temporary cash assistance program] job coach.

Jarred: Hello, my name is Jarred Rendon. I’m a case manager for Support & Services for Veterans and Families (SSVF) at HopeSource, working in Grant and Adams counties.

Luis: Hi, my name is Luis Torres. I’m a veterans employment representative for WorkSource Central Basin. Today, for Power of a Job, we’d like to feature a veteran family we supported here at WorkSource.

One of the great things about this story is that involved multiple case managers working on behalf of this family. It showcases one of many successes that happen throughout our state. Hundreds of people come through our office doors needing assistance, and we provide that assistance. Most of these stories go untold, but here is one of them. Jared will kick off the story.

Jarred: The veteran family contacted me looking for services. The first thing we did was to identify barriers they had. The first barrier identified was transportation. Their vehicle was in need of some repairs and the tires were worn. The SSVF program was able to provide funds to get their vehicle repaired.

We also identified that they were homeless, living in their car with an infant. We connected them with a community partner: the Housing Authority of Grant County, which immediately provided transitional housing. The family was without income, so we connected them with WorkSource for employment services.

Luis: That’s how I met the family. I contacted them to set up an appointment. The father came in, and one of the first things we did was create a resume. We made sure we highlighted all his skills and abilities; we included all the things he learned in the military that translate to civilian job skills.

We created a WorkSourceWA.com account and uploaded his resume so that he could immediately start looking for jobs. One of the other great things WorkSource does is connect customers with a network of employers. We started sending off his resume (with his consent) to try to get him interviews. He had many gaps in his job history, so having a good solid resume was crucial. We referred him to WorkFirst.

Debi: The father was referred to me through the Department of Social & Health Services. I was working with him in the lobby of the Central Basin WorkSource center, when an employer walked in looking for somebody to install windows — a glazier position. I introduced the customer to the employer, who set up an interview. He was hired on the spot and started the next day. I was able to help him get gas for his vehicle and clothes for the job.

As Luis was saying, at WorkSource we offer a variety of services. All three of us worked with one individual and helped him to be a successful employee. He’s doing really well.

Jarred:  The client came in homeless, with many barriers to employment, and with our assistance started his job making $15 an hour and he’s now making over $20 an hour. So he’s providing for himself, his family and contributing to the community.  He is very, very happy.

Luis: That’s what we do at WorkSource! You have a whole team that works for you, making sure we do everything we can to help you be successful. WorkSource does work!

 Debi: Yes, it does!

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 are Powered by Jobs.

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