#Power of a Job: Older job seeker finds understanding and a new job at 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. Today we bring you Michael Rivers of WorkSource Lynnwood, who shares how he helped an older job seeker find a new job. Michael and other WorkSource professionals understand that older workers often have difficulty navigating the modern job market. Patience and time help, as Michael’s story illustrates.

Here’s Michael’s story:

In September, Rose came in to WorkSource Lynnwood. She’s a 59-year-old woman who lost her job after working for a long time for an insurance underwriter.  She was very distraught and not used to looking for work. She was totally stressed out over writing her resume and with anything related to her job search. Rose was a very private woman, and getting into financial matters and the things we needed to do made her very uncomfortable.

I approached her with tact and said I would help her go as far as she wanted. I assured her that her comfort zone was OK, and that we could work gradually at whatever pace she was ready go.

By the time we got to October, she was ready to start. She began her job search and we were able to work through her resume issues.

In December, she started working at another insurance company as a commercial account assistant. She’s making $25.64 an hour, which is about $53,000 per year, and she’s very happy. She sent me an email saying she is enjoying her job, and she thanked me for all my help.

I’m just grateful I was able to help somebody. That’s what we do here! We help people. We hope the community around us will take full advantage of the resources provided at Lynnwood’s office.

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#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!

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#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.

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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!

#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.