#Powerofajob: WorkSource classes turn a life around, setting her on path to success

Welcome to 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. Today we bring you Vicki Husemoen, a job seeker who found help, inspiration and support at WorkSource. She highlights the value of the classes WorkSource offers. They “changed my life,” she says!

Here’s Vicki’s story:

I worked for a company in the telecommunications industry for 14 years. In March, another company purchased ours, initiating several rounds of layoffs, including mine.

Working there for so long, I didn’t know what my skills were and how they’re marketable in today’s industry. I visited WorkSource to find out what I needed to do. At WorkSource, I attended several classes – Resume Writing and Skills and Abilities, and both were very beneficial. They helped me understand who I was and what I enjoy. I also learned how my skills are transferable to other jobs.

I also took the Strategies for Success series of classes. They are so enlightening and literally changed my life – and so timely! The first week, we discussed our own health, taking care of ourselves and setting boundaries — things we don’t normally think about. I honestly feel every high school should teach this. We learned how to navigate life. It gave us tools to further our success and improve our personal well-being.

While hunting for a new job, I still take classes at WorkSource, and there are more I want to take. I have more confidence, relate better to people in my same position and realize I’m not alone. It’s so easy to feel lost, especially when you’ve done something for so long and are trying to start over.

WorkSource has definitely been very important in my life. I expect to have great success!

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

#Powered by jobs: Veteran business owner makes it his mission to hire vets using WorkSource

Happy day before Workforce Wednesday! This week’s blog post comes a day early as we celebrate with a story for the July Fourth holiday and our nation’s veterans.

This week’s post features Jeff Woolever — a U.S. Navy veteran and business owner who looks to WorkSource to help him hire veterans. We caught Jeff on camera after the annual YesVets celebration at the state Capitol last year.

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. Today’s post from Jeff is a Powered by Jobs post.

I’m Jeff Woolever, owner of West Coast Training. We’re a school and training center for crane and heavy equipment operators.

We’re veteran owned, and when we hire, we look for veterans to fill our positions. We’re always looking for talent, and have brought many veterans on board by working with WorkSource when we have an open position. When other employers ask me where I find my staff, I recommend they use WorkSource.

We have hired veterans primarily as training instructors and also as administrative staff. The veterans we have brought on board have always been a good addition to the team. We like having veterans on the team because they are mission and task oriented and know how to serve something greater than themselves. We have always had great success with that.

I would recommend any employer try to seek out veterans at their local WorkSource office. Meet your YesVets [Local Veterans Employment Representative] rep and let them find quality folks to work on your team.

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

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

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.

#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.