Happy Workforce Wednesday — when we tell Power of a Job success stories from across the state.
This week we spotlight the work of WorkSource Rainier in Seattle. Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) David Madden takes time to sit down with a happy WorkSource customer, veteran job seeker David Evans. Evans tells the story of how WorkSource helped him leave a life of unemployment and homelessness and move into a solid job with a local aerospace company.
We hope you enjoy this week’s installment. Here is David’s story:
David Madden: Hi everyone, this is David Madden I’m sitting here with David Evans, a veteran who came through the WorkSource office, and we were able to assist him with a few things. So we’re just going to have a conversation and hope you enjoy. Alright, so David how did we meet?
David Madden: Hi everyone. I’m sitting here with David Evans, a veteran who came to WorkSource, and we were able to assist him with a few things. So we’re just going to have a conversation and hope you enjoy. So David, how did we meet?
David Evans: We met when I came to the WorkSource just looking for some help. I had been working for CenturyLink for about five years in-house and 10 years as a contractor. I had a kidney disease, and I found myself out of work because of my illness.
DM: So, at the time that you came in, you were homeless.
DE: Yes. That came along with being unemployed. I was transferred out here with my job, and then because my condition got worse, they said I was no longer able to perform my job. So here I found myself with no job, no family, no friends, in a strange place, and you were the one who was familiar and gave me help.
DM: Let’s track the housing piece. So, we connected you with housing resources, which got you out of the homeless situation to the place where we got you a bed. Now you’re at one of the veteran housing facilities, and through that, you are able to receive services from the [state Veterans Administration]. Tell me a little bit about that.
DE: Yes, I was able to connect with supportive services for veterans and their families. First it was King County. They were the first to step up, to answer the call to help veterans. They put me in The Salvation Army’s William Booth Center, and from there I went into transitional housing upstairs. It’s like a one-bedroom unit, and now I’m working on getting my own place through supportive services of veteran families, which I connected to earlier.
DM: So, talk about the tools and services WorkSource was able to provide.
DE: You were able to provide me with job resources. You were able to show me how to do a resume. I mean, after 15 years, I wasn’t really resume savvy, and it was really rough. You helped me to clean it up and also you gave me guidance on housing. You introduced me to Kevin over at Therapeutic Health Services, who allowed me to be an outpatient for my addictions to get that stuff straight. You told me I was putting the cart before the horse; I remember you saying that, and you were able to get me to slow down and get everything together.
DM: You came to see me and we talked, and you were working on getting employment, and getting everything re-situated here, and you ended up working for…
DE: Yeah. Working for Microsoft, and that was a dream. I never thought I would work for Microsoft! I thought that was beyond my reach. Actually, when I first got here [to the Seattle area], I was looking for employment, so I took an ad and went to Alaska to work in a fish factory. I was there for a week, and Microsoft interviewed me over the phone, hired me and flew me back to Seattle.
DM: Wow! And just recently, something happened at Microsoft?
DE: Yeah. Honeywell Aerospace Technology is on the Microsoft campus, right across the parking lot from the building where I worked. I was passing by and chatting with a gentleman. I didn’t know he was a recruiter for Honeywell, and he was saying that they were hiring. I told him, “I don’t know if I have the skills.” And he said, “Well, just send me your resume and let me see.” I sent my resume and a month later, I’m hired.
DM: Wow. So that changes your whole situation. Let’s say you were hired with the bonus, but don’t say how much!
DE: Yes, with a sign-on bonus and, you know, the sky’s the limit. Because of my experience in teaching (I was a training supervisor for the phone company in Chicago), they are already talking about management.
DM: Amazing. Well, this is what we like to hear. I really appreciate you, and I’m so happy that you accepted this invitation to sit down and talk with me. Because we want to encourage other veterans — our brothers and sisters in arms — that WorkSource is here and we’re going to help. You are definitely a success.
DE: If I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t believe it. Like, “Yeah, all that doesn’t happen.” But you guys really made it happen. You worked hard, made the phone calls, saw the paperwork — you did everything you could to help me be successful. And I know you don’t just do that for me; you do it for everybody, and I see that.
DM: I appreciate that. David: You are a success, and I appreciate you, man.
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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